13 Pages


This introduction chapter lists and briefly discusses a number of significant objections that the thesis of a trend toward a moralization of the markets in modern societies is bound to encounter. It further describes the metaphor of the moralization of the markets in greater detail and tries to distinguish it in particular from what has received more attention from economists. The trend towards a moralization of the markets importantly involves both groups, inside as well as outside the narrow boundaries of the economy, such as nongovernmental organizations, social movements, the churches, or political parties. The authority with which the pathological social and cultural trends establish themselves in modern societies is, in the final analysis, testimony to the tremendous success of the institution of the market. The introduction chapter is also a reference to and discussion of alternative images of the role of economic man in modern societies.