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GK Chesterton once wrote that the problem with capitalism is too few capitalists. I agree with him. I’m a “Distributist” at heart, the greatest failing of which is no decent mechanism by which to implement it. It is more philosophy needing conversion and willing adoption by the masses than government economic policy.
How to get more capitalists, though, is a question worth asking because there are policies we can support in order to increase them. The problem is cronyism is an effective roadblock.
When the conversation gets started, it almost always begins too close to “how much wealth is too much?” Which then stymies the rest of the conversation, and there is a failure to address real problems in the system that do exist.
Maybe we could ask them, at what point does so much wealth/capital disparity shift into neo-feudalism?
After all, feudalism is characterized by all property being owned by very few, with workers working to produce for the property owner, who are then compensated with some percentage of the wealth generated by the workers.
Omg, I sound like a socialist comparing our current state of economics to feudalism, but where did I go wrong? Lords and business owners still have to manage, steward their money, and coordinate and organize for effective and efficient running of estate or business. That IS the defense for this style of capitalism, is it not? That the employers are justified in how the distribution of business wealth plays out because of their effective management skills, without which the business would not exist and all would be worse off?
Except would we be worse off? How many of those workers would start their own business? Would competition increase in the absence of the large business? Would that competition then drive innovation and decreases in price?
In the grand scheme of things, feudalism is better than slavery. After all, it was a feudal Spain that overthrew the Moors. And slavery systems can’t achieve that. But capitalism was supposed to be better than feudalism. The only difference at the moment is we are on the post-capitalism side of things and the first go around was pre-capitalism. We get to benefit from the progress and technology increases.
Did it go wrong? When? And how can it be put back in place?
And if there is a collapse, what could be baked into the cake to prevent the convergence of capital into the hands of only a few through crony capitalist deals with government?Published in