The new prophets of capital

(Jacobin series)

No cover

The new prophets of capital (2015, Verso)

153 pages

English language

Published Nov. 8, 2015 by Verso.

OCLC Number:

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4 stars (2 reviews)

Mythmaking is as central to sustaining our present economy as profit-making. In the 1980s, Thatcher and Reagan's stories about welfare queens, greedy workers and the beauty of the free market cleared the way for an assault on organized labor that led to the boom times of the 1990s. With severe environmental degradation, breathtaking inequality, lousy job prospects and increasing alienation among youth today, capitalism would seem to have come up against its own contradictions. Yet in this moment of crisis, a new generation of wealthy mythmakers, masquerading as progressive thinkers, has emerged to reinvent the free market as the solution to society's problems. Aschoff examines how Steve Jobs uses ideas of creativity and genius to justify the income inequality in America and the exploitation of Foxxconn workers in China; how Oprah's philosophy of educating and believing in oneself perpetuates the myth that socioeconomic inequality can be eradicated if only individuals …

1 edition

Review of 'The new prophets of capital' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

A fast read, and pretty fascinating at times. Aschoff breaks down the personal philosophies of five celebrity capitalists (Sheryl Sandberg, John Mackey, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill & Melinda Gates), explaining why their visions or versions of feminism through corporate promotion, "green" capitalism, self-motivated individual liberation and identity politics, and market-driven conscious capitalist social change will only perpetuate inequality and injustice in the long run. She manages to do this without personally attacking her subjects or rendering them caricatures or arch-villains, and even proposes solutions and an annotated Further Reading list at the end. Well worth your time.


  • Capitalism
  • Income distribution
  • Social mobility