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A Man of Letters and the Economy - Enzensbergers Views and Understanding of Utopias, Capitalism and Globalization

  • Joachim Starbatty


    (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

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    Though men of letters have a strong impact on public opinion and articulate strong judgments on their economic environment, economic evaluations of those reflections are rather rare. This article analyses the essays of Hans Magnus Enzensberger. It is shown that one cannot distinguish between Marx as the analyst of global capitalism and Marx as the prophet of a new world, as Enzensberger believes. Marx's understanding of the capitalist world is developed from his deterministic view of history. Further on one cannot distinguish between good, freedom guaranteeing Utopias and bad Utopias, based on collectivistic force; rather all Utopias, abolishing private property as the cause of exploitation, will involve resort to force. Finally it is shown that Enzensberger's arguments are contradictory. On the one side he sees men bounded to a global capitalism and complains that they have no alternative, and on the other side the social evolution is regarded as unpredictable and forecasts as principally uncertain. His second statement is an implicit pleading for an open society, which implies decentralized property rights and is therefore anti-socialistic by nature

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    Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 224 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1-2 (February)
    Pages: 185-197

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    Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:224:y:2004:i:1-2:p:185-197
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