There is a new book, among many to come, discussing the current financial collapse. This paragraph of the review stuck out to me:
Once upon a time in America and Britain, he observes, “the jet engine of capitalism was harnessed to the ox cart of social justice, to much bleating from the advocates of pure capitalism, but with the effect that the Western liberal democracies became the most admired societies that the world had ever seen.”
Then the Wall crumbled, and “the jet engine was unhooked from the ox cart and allowed to roar off at its own speed. The result was an unprecedented boom, which had two big things wrong with it: It wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t sustainable.”
He is talking about the fall of the Berlin Wall. It seems that the thesis is that capitalism was fine when there was a communist enemy because it forced capitalism to be “kinder.” The system of capitalism is designed to raise money and make money… lots of it. But when we battled communism as an ideal, there were things we did as capitalists that gave money to key parts of the world. We had more philanthropy and it was the envy of the world.
Now, without any “enemy,” capitalism just took off and the rich got richer and looked for ways to just keep getting richer. It’s an interesting thought. I’m not sure that is where the author is going, but it’s how the review sounds.