Why Amartya Sen remains the century’s great critic of capitalism


quote-poverty-is-not-just-a-lack-of-money-it-is-not-having-the-capability-to-realize-one-s-amartya-sen-81-18-52

Every major work on material inequality in the 21st century owes a debt to Sen. But his own writings treat material inequality as though the moral frameworks and social relationships that mediate economic exchanges matter. Famine is the nadir of material deprivation. But it seldom occurs – Sen argues – for lack of food. To understand why a people goes hungry, look not for catastrophic crop failure; look rather for malfunctions of the moral economy that moderates competing demands upon a scarce commodity. Material inequality of the most egregious kind is the problem here. But piecemeal modifications to the machinery of production and distribution will not solve it. The relationships between different members of the economy must be put right. Only then will there be enough to go around.

The complete article

Tim Rogan — Aeon

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