1st Edition

Mind vs. Money The War Between Intellectuals and Capitalism

By Alan Kahan Copyright 2010
    311 Pages
    by Routledge

    312 Pages
    by Routledge

    For the past 150 years, Western intellectuals have trumpeted contempt for capitalism and capitalists. They have written novels, plays, and manifestos to demonstrate the evils of the economic system in which they live. Dislike and contempt for the bourgeoisie, the middle classes, industry, and commerce have been a prominent trait of leading Western writers and artists. Mind vs. Money is an analytical history of how and why so many intellectuals have opposed capitalism. It is also an argument for how this opposition can be tempered.

    Historically, intellectuals have expressed their rejection of capitalism through many different movements, including nationalism, anti-Semitism, socialism, fascism, communism, and the 1960s counterculture. Hostility to capitalism takes new forms today. The anti-globalization, Green, communitarian, and New Age movements are all examples. Intellectuals give such movements the legitimacy and leadership they would otherwise lack. What unites radical intellectuals of the nineteenth century, communists and fascists of the twentieth, and anti-globalization protestors of the twenty-first, along with many other intellectuals not associated with these movements, is their rejection of capitalism. Kahan argues that intellectuals are a permanently alienated elite in capitalist societies.

    In myriad forms, and on many fronts, the battle between Mind and Money continues today. Anti-Americanism is one of them. Americans like to see their country as a beacon of freedom and prosperity. But in the eyes of many European and American intellectuals, when America is identified with capitalism, it is transformed from moral beacon into the "Great Satan." This is just one of the issues Mind vs. Money explores. The conflict between Mind and Money is the great, unresolved conflict of modern society. To end it, we must first understand it.

    Part I: Mind vs. Money 1. The Ivory Tower at War Mind vs. MoneyWho Are the Intellectuals?An Accidental AristocracyThe First Thing We Do, Let's GetRid of All the Intellectuals?An Insoluble Problem? 2. The Three Don'ts A Very Brief History of Western IntellectualsThe Three Don'tsThe First Don't—The Classical BackgroundThe Second Don't—The Christian BackgroundThe Third Don't—The Democratic Background 3. The Unexpected Honeymoon of Mind and Money, 1730-1830 The Point of DepartureJustifications of CommerceWhy the Honeymoon BeganWhy the Honeymoon Ended Part II: Intellectuals and their Discontents: The Nineteenth Century (1850-1914) 4. How Capitalism Lost the Struggle Over Character A Fairy TaleThe Self-Made ManThe HypocriteFamily ValuesThe Aristocratic Critique of StupidityBohemian vs. Bourgeois: Criticizing a LifestyleThe Question of TechnologyOur Mutual Incomprehension 5. Academic Alternatives to Capitalism The Babel Project: Building Alternatives to CapitalismIn the Beginning There Was MarxThe Moral Community: ToenniesThe Protestant Critique of Capitalism: VeblenSweetness and Light, Sturm und Drang:Arnold and NietzscheWith a Friend Like This, Who Needs Enemies? —Tocqueville Part III: Triumphs and Tragedies of the Anti-Capitalist Spirit: The Twentieth Century (1914-2001) 6. War Why Great Revolutions Did Not Become RareContinuity and Change after World War ICommunism: The Red and the PinkFascismSocial CatholicismThe New DealWhy Smart People Persist with Dumb Mistakes 7. Retreat The Culture WarsThe Myth of AlienationAristocratic Reactions: Heidegger, the Frankfurt School, and FoucaultMake Love, Not Money: The CountercultureThe Neoconservatives—A Contradiction within the Intellectual Class? 8. Recent Battles Anti-Americanism as an Anti-Capitalist MovementThe French CaseThe Anti-Globalization MovementGreen vs. GoldA Digression: Feminism and Capitalism 9. On Intellectuals in Democratic Society The Hundred Fifty Years WarThe Chapter Tocqueville Never WroteCapitalism's Moral CultureReforming the IntelligentsiaThe Games People PlayThe Intellectual Limits of CapitalismGeneral EducationDetente


    Alan Kahan