What about capitalism?

Business Spectator – Capitalism will renew itself – Alan Kohler

I’m all in favour of a better world, so the idea of some kind of ‘new capitalism’ is appealing.

But, but…let’s not apply a big solution to a smaller problem. And anyway, there is no such thing as capitalism. It was only a useful noun during the 20th century when some alternatives were being tried – socialism, communism, anarcho-syndicalism etc. Then capitalism was one of a variety of “isms”.

Now there is just freedom and a few brands of totalitarianism
, including the teetering vestiges of socialism (China, Zimbabwe), militarism (Burma), hereditary monarchy (Saudi Arabia) and the new, violently ambitious one: Islamism.

So the idea of ‘new capitalism’ can only involve the observation of change in western society, not the imposition of it, since that would mean the removal of freedom and the imposition of control – in which case it would no longer be capitalism but something else.

I like the simplicity that Alan Kohler articulates in this article and further down in the article the explanation of GDP and economic growth.


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