System check

Is capitalism the system that’s best suited to build our future society?

I love how simply and innocuously this question frames capitalism. It’s taken from an article by Jason Hickel and Martin Kirk.

Since the end of the Cold War capitalism has appeared unassailable, aided by increasing living standards and decreasing poverty, the growth of international finance and multinational corporations the narrative of global dominance. But with growing inequality, corporate influence, climate change and environmental degradation more people are questioning the merits and, indeed, inevitability of capitalism.

Hickel & Kirk’s question not only neatly captures this growing discomfort in a straightforward, non-ideological way but prompts us to think about how capitalism can be changed to address these growing failures and even what better alternatives might replace it. Most importantly, it inspires us to think about what we want a future society to look like and how we can reach it. Will the continuing pursuit of ever greater profit help us get there or do we need a fairer, more environmentally sustainable economic model? What new ideas, communities and business models are being explored right now that can help us create the future we want?

Read the article here, it’s a good’un.

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