Capitalism is a dirty word these days.
I recently attended AOM Academy of Management in Vancouver and went to couple of sessions that questioned and challenged capitalism. This is of course not a new line of enquiry. The discussion explored questions as to whether we needed a whole new paradigm that supersedes capitalism or whether we just need to tweak current approaches to capitalism. No tangible solution came out of the discussion, but it did get me thinking….
Firstly, a proclaimer, I am not the most well read on economic paradigms on capitalism, socialism and communism etc. and only understand them on a basic level. But as I understand it, each perspective has a different view on who should take responsibility for the welfare of themselves and their community.
But what if I said, I believe that any system can work. The heart of the problem is not the system, but the people within those systems. If capitalism was made up of individuals who care and have genuine concern for humanity, the environment and are socially conscious, why can capitalism not work? On the flipside, indigenous and collectivist approaches to economic development can also be vulnerable to corruption and manipulation by those in power and those in charge. It is not our systems that are the problem, it is people. Corruption and greed being the culprit. What we need is to promote economic systems of caring.
So do I dare even say this out-loud and I could be stoned for saying it, but…..maybe capitalism is OK?