The New Capitalism

Interesting. The mainstream media is talking about a new capitalism. There are no details as yet, just a general punt about a more caring society, of putting well being above profit. Even politicians are mouthing these platitudes; entrepreneurship with responsibility they spout.

Henry Ford famously said ‘History is bunk’. He was right in a way, lessons never seem to be learned from history.

The reality is this. A new capitalism requires change – a change in thinking, a change in values, a change in power. Those already in power instinctively resist change because they have the most to lose. Consider the argument for proportional representation. The people who advocate it are the minority parties, the ones with little power, because they have the most to gain. For it to become law however, the people in power have to agree to it and they are the ones who will lose the most. The system is far more equitable than the current first past the post nonsense but how will it come into effect?

Bankers and politicians, therefore, talking about change are creating a smoke screen. They are saying what the people want to hear but saying something and doing something are two different things. Change occurs against their will. Change comes from the outside, it is imposed by another force. To refer to history I will give the example of the poll tax which Margaret Thatcher tried to introduce. The mass of ordinary people perceived this tax to be unfair and made their feelings be known. The tax had to be scrapped.

Think about it. If you were in a position to vote yourself a bonus every year, why would you stop? If nothing prevents you from doing so you might reduce the amount to appease the general public (see, they do have power, just don’t get them mad). What needs to change is the thinking behind why financial wealth is considered the greatest achievement in our society. It’s like smoking; if you remove the perceived coolness from the act of smoking, fewer children will try it and thus avoid the resulting addiction.

For New Capitalism to work we have to become adults and put away childish things.

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