Efforts to resolve the recent financial crisis have obscured a more deeply rooted financialization crisis that impacts not only the market economy but also the vital civic and moral traditions that support it. This book reveals the cultural influence of finance in reshaping the foundations of American civil society and proposes a return to certain "first principles" of the Republic to restore the nation’s economic vision.
This book demonstrates how funding concerns and financial incentives "revalue" faith traditions, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and even the nation’s healthcare system in ways that are eroding the diversity of American culture. These changes also undermine the ethical framework of both democratic government and the free-market system. While financial influence has diminished the value of civil society, this book proposes that revitalized intermediary institutions still offer the best path forward in restoring the financial sector and, more broadly, enriching the American competitive ethic toward development of a more virtuous economy.
The book is written for an academic and professional audience, offering a blueprint for the involvement of civil society with government in providing more communally integrated oversight that could contribute to a genuine democratization of finance.
Table of Contents
- Introduction 2. The Technocratic Tendencies of Contemporary Finance 3. An Alternate Road to Serfdom 4. The Financialization of Civil Society 5. The Religious Allure of Finance 6. Ad Fontes: Returning to the Sources of American Economic Exceptionalism 7. Recovering Ethics and Virtue in Financial Discourse 8. The Goal: Mobilize Civil Society to Civilize Finance 10. Conclusion
Charles McDaniel, Jr. is Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Core Program of Baylor University’s Honors College, USA. He is also the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Church and State.