Desired Possessions: Karl Polanyi, Rene Girard, and the Critique of the Market – by Mark Anspach

The market illusion—the idea of an “invisible hand”—perpetuates the idea of “market motives,” or purely economic motives. These do not exist. Social relationships are embedded deeply in the market, and there is no desire that is not social.

Mark Anspach

As Mark Anspach observes, “faith in the naturalness and inevitability of the “economic motive” absolves those who conform to it from direct responsibility for the suffering caused by their treating other people as commodities.”

The market, or “market processes,” has taken on a level of being which the market does not possess. So when there is a collapse or catastrophe in the economy, people do not have to shoulder individual responsibility for it. It’s always just “the market” — with its cycles, it’s randomness, its impersonal nature to whom nobody can ascribe any real blame.

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