Keywords The new language of capitalism

John Patrick Leary, 1979-

Book - 2019

"Keywords: the New Language of Capitalism chronicles the rise of a new vocabulary in the twenty-first century. From Silicon Valley to the White House, from kindergarten to college, and from the factory floor to the church pulpit, we are all called to be innovators and entrepreneurs, to be curators of an ever-expanding roster of competencies, and to become resilient and flexible in the face of the insults and injuries we confront at work. Keywords is a lexicon that explores the history and c...ommon usage of major terms in the everyday language of capitalism and reveals the deep affinity for hierarchy, competition, and exploitation beneath the benign gloss of words like grit, creativity, passion, and a host of others."--Back cover.

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Subjects
Published
Chicago, IL : Haymarket Books 2019.
Language
English
Physical Description
206 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781608465446
1608465446
Main Author
John Patrick Leary, 1979- (author)
Review by Publisher Summary 1

A lexicon of the contemporary age of inequality, which decodes the new vocabulary of capitalism for a broad readership.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism chronicles the rise of a new vocabulary in the twenty-first century. Organized alphabetically as a lexicon, Keywords explores the history and common usage of major terms in the everyday language of capitalism

From Silicon Valley to the White House, from kindergarten to college, and from the factory floor to the church pulpit, we are all called to be innovators and entrepreneurs, to be curators of an ever-expanding roster of competencies, and to become resilient and flexible in the face of the insults and injuries we confront at work. In the midst of increasing inequality, these keywords teach us to thrive by applying the lessons of a competitive marketplace to every sphere of life. What’s more, by celebrating the values of gritcreativity, and passion at school and at work, they assure us that economic success is nothing less than a moral virtue.

Because the words in this book have successfully infiltrated everyday life in the English-speaking world, their meanings often seem self-evident, even benign. Who could be against empowerment, after all? Keywords uncovers the unexpected histories of words like innovation, which was once synonymous with “false prophecy” before it became the prevailing faith of Silicon Valley. Other words, like best practices and human capital, are relatively new coinages that promise us a kind of freedom within a marketplace extending its reach across the public sector and into our private lives. The new language of capitalism burnishes hierarchy, competition, and exploitation as leadershipcollaboration, and sharing, modeling for us the habits of the economically successful person: be visionary, be self-reliant, and never, ever stop working.