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Institutions and Material Conditions: The Problem of History in Piketty’s Capital and Ideology

Dennison, Tracy (2021) Institutions and Material Conditions: The Problem of History in Piketty’s Capital and Ideology. Œconomia (11-1). pp. 161-170. ISSN 2113-5207. doi:10.4000/oeconomia.10570. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210715-153539148

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Abstract

In his celebrated 2013 volume, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty set out a detailed empirical account of the accelerated growth in inequality within and between societies around the globe, noting that over the past two centuries increases in wealth have increasingly made their way into the pockets of fewer and fewer people. His latest book returns to the question of inequality, but the focus is on what he sees as its ideological origins rather than its empirical manifestations. Unlike the data-driven argument set out in the earlier book, Capital and Ideology is a more discursive tour of global history going back to the Middle Ages. There are still data, mainly used to demonstrate the existence of inequality over the centuries, but the bulk of the book—and it is a bulky book—is devoted to various forms of social organization and the evolution of the ideologies that underpinned them. At the heart of this vast tome is the notion that ideas and ideologies, especially those surrounding property, have long been used to justify and perpetuate inequality, and that new ways of thinking will be required if we are to reinvent our societies as truly egalitarian ones.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.4000/oeconomia.10570DOIArticle
https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674979857Related ItemCapital in the Twenty-First Century - Thomas Piketty
Additional Information:Les contenus d’Œconomia sont mis à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.
Issue or Number:11-1
DOI:10.4000/oeconomia.10570
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210715-153539148
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210715-153539148
Official Citation:Tracy Dennison, Institutions and Material Conditions: The Problem of History in Piketty’s Capital and Ideology, Œconomia, 11-1; 2021, 161-170; DOI: 10.4000/oeconomia.10570
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109844
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Jul 2021 16:56
Last Modified:15 Jul 2021 16:56

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