In 1986 Robert Nozick, professor of philosophy at Harvard and author ofAnarchy, State and Utopia among numerous other works, published an essay titled Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism. (An abridged version of the essay appears at the Cato Institute website.)
Nozick’s essay describes the resentment felt by many “wordsmiths”, people who mourn the loss of their status as verbally proficient pupils favored by teachers in elementary and secondary school. The essay then goes on to make a plausible case for why this should lead to rejection of capitalism (or, as I would say, the free market). As they get left behind by their more quantitatively oriented peers, who begin earning greater material and immaterial rewards, a feeling of injustice sets in among the newly un-advantaged, who cast about for remedies. A political ideology that apportions to the “deserving” what is their “rightful share” then becomes an attractive proposition as a way to right a perceived wrong.
Nearly three decades have passed since first publication of the essay. In the interim, the Soviet Union crumbled and Marxist-Leninist ideology was consigned to the ash heap of history along with central planning of the economy (except for Cuba and North Korea). For the resentful and aggrieved, the favored target upon which to vent frustration has shifted. They have rolled up their red flags and unfurled green ones instead. Blatant anti-capitalism has turned into a more subtle variant that finds its expression in alarmism about man-made climate change, attended by prescriptions for a wholesale redesign of the world economy. Ample documentation of the bizarre forms this alarmism can take is readily available on this website.