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.
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