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  • Writer's picturejrdreistadt

Interactive Taxonomy of Capital

I love Karl Marx and his work has greatly influenced my political views and my understanding of the world. As I mature, I find myself becoming more uncomfortable with his emphasis on materialism. While the material conditions of our lives impact us in innumerable ways, so do other forms of capital such as intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual capital. Each type of capital is critical to our well-being on its own; they also interact and build upon each other. They are interdependent to some extent, though not necessarily in a linear or measurable way. When any one of these is deficient, the others lose relevance. Material capital, which is the emphasis of much political thought and organizing, is perhaps the least important of these five forms of capital. While the other forms of capital are often neglected or overlooked, sometimes implicit or explicit assumptions are made about their existence and importance. In creating a taxonomy of capital, I am not sure how I would order the other four types of capital. It seems that relationships are important, but they are based on intellect and emotions. Perhaps it isn’t important or helpful to place them in order, but rather to recognize that they are all present. And maybe it is inappropriate to use a capitalist word to describe these other resources. What do you think?

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