Close
A Review of The Emotional Logic of Capitalism
By Jacob Booker
Economics Major
Reviewed September 29, 2017
 
The Emotional Logic of Capitalism by Martijn Konings is an intriguing book that
examines the approach Progressives take on the economy. He believes that Progressives have  either missed or ignored certain features and realities of the capitalist system. Konings argues that the capitalist economy is not as Progressives describe it. Instead of tearing down relationships, and degrading social interaction, it actually does the opposite. Capitalism, defined by Konings, brings people together who would otherwise not be. It creates not only economic goods, but relational foundations that connect wide, and diverse groups of people in order to achieve a common goal.

The purpose of this book is to explain certain ideas, such as the idea that capitalism incorporates the whole human being better than any other economic system. Konings explains this purpose throughout the book. The economy is not an evil  monster, but instead a complete being that  incorporates many aspects of life such as religion, morality, and emotion. All these qualities are distinctly human and under capitalism they are able to flourish.

Konings provides a different take on the roots of the economy as a whole. This non-traditional viewpoint makes for a very interesting read as Konings seeks to redefine the concepts of money, emotion, and capitalism. From the beginning of the book, Konings defines money as an icon which may seem to be taken for granted in today's society. His perspective on money was especially intriguing because of what he defines as the duality of money.

This duality of money has a few distinct characteristics. They can be summed up as money being both centripetal and centrifugal forces. With money acting as these forces through transactions, it creates personal interactions between people. Konings includes many other non-traditional ideas and viewpoints regarding the relationship between humans and capitalism. Not only does Konings take an economic look at the heart of capitalism, but he also dives into the philosophical and ethical approaches of a capitalist market. He makes statements about how he believes human nature operates and therefore makes moral arguments that go against the utilitarian idea of capitalism.Through his efforts, this book creates economic, and moral arguments for the continuation of economic
liberty in the form of capitalism.

All the theories and ideas presented in The Emotional Logic of Capitalism point toward one clear goal. As human beings, the best way that we can flourish in an economic sense is with freedom. Konings argues that Progressives have failed to understand the foundations of a capitalistic economy. Also with the possibilities that arise within a free market economy, Konings argues that humans are better off because economic freedom not only matches the desires at the heart of human nature, but also helps others along the way.