The Discourse Against ‘Shameful Profiteering’ in Greece 1914–1925: Notions of Exploitation, Anticapitalist Morality and the Concept of Moral Economy
The aim of this paper is to elaborate on the concept of moral economy and test its relevance to a discourse with strong elements of anticapitalist morality that developed in early twentieth century Greece. Our argument is that we should keep the concept of moral economy bounded within a specific phase of capitalist development, when the legacy of older regulations of the market still persisted and provided a kind of alternative economics. The interpretation of the discourse against profiteering we offer associates it not so much with defending a specific moral regime as with the diffusion of socialist ideas and new notions of exploitation in an age of transition from politics to economy as the dominant intellectual paradigm of conceptualizing social hierarchies. The strong presence of moral values in political discourse would be more productively incorporated in an investigation of the struggle for hegemony taking place in every society.