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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Debating Capitalism as if it exists

Posted by steve on May 31, 2012

In my earlier post I said that my hobby of analysing capitalism from a sustainable point of view has got me to the point where I see that capitalism is actually a grammar describing the language of money.

I said that there is an intellectual class paid to talk about these issues but, like linguists who have spoken a language but never ever said anything significant, they have no influence over policy-making, law making or even how people use money.

We now see conferences debating “capitalism” is if were a system, as if it existed like something  you could change and even adapt.

It is now the turn of Peter Drucker’s followers to discuss this academic subject as if it were a science.

QUOTE: While the unethical behaviours and self-serving strategies of key players in the financial sector have become quite evident because of the mess, the issue has not stopped there. Many have begun to question the underlying values of the capitalist system as a whole.

Sadly, they make capitalism into a system, and mean that there are values underlying this system. Such un-precise  language is what gets you into trouble in the first place. And they quote unethical behaviors, not the system as part of the problem.  Here is another scientific-sounding quote:

There is not the slightest shadow of evidence that any other known or conceived economic system would have achieved the mind-boggling performance in value creation and innovation in such a short timeframe.

Of course there is no evidence. How can you collect evidence and do experiments and measurements on something that does not exist?

Later on in the abstracts, the debate treats capitalism as if it were more that a system, maybe an ideal? As long as the intellectual class spends its employer’s money talking about things that do not exist in a way that lacks precision or actionabilty, it will be unable to lead the way to any sustainable transition to equitable and ecological practices.

The man in the street could give you the straight answer to the question above: the debt crisis, and the problems in Greece are consequences of mis-management, deliberate and non-deliberate, by people who have enough capital to not be affected by it.  The system as  everyone insists on calling it, does not exist; there are no real definitions of it, and depending on the mood of the debaters expands and contracts in a farcical exchange to win points. And votes.

One interesting time -waster will be the debate:

On a more fundamental level, there is a broader

challenge to the Western capitalist model in the

form of state capitalism as exercised in countries

as different as China and Brazil

Once again, the “system” is now a “model” that can be “challenged” by another model. What kind of challenge is Brazil? Are they going to ridicule other states? Undercut other countries’ products? Is state capitalism capitalism? Is it the same “model” in a different mode? And where does “management” fit in. I am sure Peter Drucker worked with much better things, like getting companies to work properly.

It all sounds so intellectual and high -flying and important. Hope the coffee is good at least.

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