I've published a new piece at the LSE Politics and Policy blog, 'How 'competitiveness' became one of the great unquestioned virtues of contemporary culture'. The argument won't be much of a surprise to any regular readers of this blog! Here is a chunk:
We celebrate London because it is a competitive world city; we worship sportsmen for having won; we turn on our televisions and watch contestants competitively cooking against each other. In TV shows such as the Dragons Den or sporting contests such as the Premier League, the division between competitive entertainment and capitalism dissolves altogether. Why would it be remotely surprising, to discover that a society in which competitiveness was a supreme moral and cultural virtue, should also be one which generates increasing levels of inequality? Unless one wants to descend into biological reductionism, the question then has to be posed: how did this state of affairs come about?