Good Capitalism?

June 5, 2007

Many people get branded a socialist who should not be.  I am generally a capitalist except that I see a broader, long-term set of interests that need to be addressed.

Conservatives often want raw capitalism meaning unfettered market forces drive the world.  There is two things wrong with this ideology that make it unsustainable.  The first is that it tends to think of the individual as the most key stakeholder in the market.  The second is that it is tremendously short and narrowly sighted.  The second largely is a product of the first in that people tend to be irrational in discounting societies longterm health.

I stated earlier that I am generally a capitalist.  This is a word game on my part.  I am a capitalist as long as the two problems with capitalism are addressed.  We are social beings and so we need to think in terms of society not in terms of individuals.  Our society needs to act responsibly and rationally not rely on individuals to do this (that is where laws and, yes, taxes come in).  We also need to think in long-range terms.  This is something that individuals and even society can be pretty poor at doing (I am no unquestioning fan of democratic government). 

If we fully accounted for all unpleasant byproducts of our society then I would have far less problems with capitalism.  The truth is we do not take into account our impact on the environment and the adverse effects our “captialistic” actions have on our and other societies.  Also, for the long-term health of our economy we need to step back and take into consideration the importance of universal quality education.  Our economy thrives when we have an educated workforce.  I understand that some conservatives don’t like having a thriving middle class (it dilutes their wealth) but for a sustainable society we need a strong middle class.


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2 Responses to “Good Capitalism?”

  1. Roman Zenka said

    There is nothing wrong in having individuals privately own businesses and run them for profit. The problem is with the definition of profit, and it seems to me that profit for companies does not actually mean profit for people, not to mention nature.

    Education could be a way out. As an educated consumer I know that companies care about their short-term profit and not about my long-term one and I find ways how to escape their game that is actually hurting me.

  2. bigew said

    It would be interesting to mount an education campaign. It definitely won’t be supported by our media monster that plays a very large role in the system. If people were that educated they would demand that laws by put in place limiting this form of captialistic corruption.

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