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Possessive IndividualismA Crisis of Capitalism$
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Daniel W. Bromley

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190062842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190062842.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 September 2021

Recovering Personhood

Recovering Personhood

(p.259) 9 Recovering Personhood
Possessive Individualism

Daniel W. Bromley

Oxford University Press

Possessive individualism undermines the realization of full personhood, and it enables the capitalist firm to shed any sense of obligation to those who must rent or sell their labor power in order that they might eat. The fundamental crisis of capitalism is that the self-absorbed individual and the self-dealing capitalist firm are locked in a perverse contest in which their mutual dependence is both acknowledged and resented. Re-creating historic ideas of obligations—civic duties—seems impossible to imagine. A more plausible transition is to be found in the idea of loyalty: loyalty to others with whom we work, with whom we share social spaces, and with the community at large. Loyalty from the capitalist firm toward its workers would be a start. Loyalty from the acquisitive selfish individual would be helpful in restoring a shared and necessary sense of personhood.

Keywords:   loyalty, personhood, Josiah Royce, Richard Rorty, Albert Hirschman, burdened loyalty, familiarity, transcendence, Martin Heidegger, Dasein

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