Louis Althusser (1918–1990) was a Marxist philosopher, taught philosophy for many years at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and an influential figure in the French Communist Party. His books include For Marx (1965) and Reading Capital (1965, with Étienne Balibar and others) and Lenin and Philosophy (1969). (February 2020)

NYR DAILY

What the Honest Capitalist Will Say

Louis Althusser in his study, Paris, France, April 26, 1978

In other words, bourgeois ideology has reached its goal: representing the capitalist mode of production as the development of an imaginary mercantile mode of production, and the “genesis” of the capitalist mode of production as the result of the work of deserving independent petty producers who became capitalists only because they really deserved to. Thus it is that the mercantile mode of production is, for bourgeois ideology, the only mode of production there is. There is no other. It remains only to strike up the universal anthem of humanity’s gratitude to free enterprise.