I wanted to address a couple of points first about economics, I have a bigger blog on Globalisation looming but I’m not ready with it yet because I haven’t finished it. Now I am no economist, I come from a fundamentally humanities background so my economic theory is very basic, but there are some things that strike me in the capitalist world as being something of a paradox.

The capitalist system is a complex beast but it’s founding principle revolves around economic amelioration, it is a system that relies on creating economic strength. It is seen that everybody wishes to create wealth and the creation of individual wealth is a creation of wealth on a larger scale. Whether or not this is indeed correct there are other things that I think are taken for granted that should perhaps be questioned a little more vigorously.

Not everything that makes economic sense is correct ethically-speaking, look at the covert trading with apartheid South Africa throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, economically these were very good decisions, South Arica was rich in resources but low in friends and therefore eager to trade at competitive rates. Economically-speaking the US involvement in Central America was a sound move, it safeguarded many US markets and ultimately made the region more secure purely for the US. Democratically it was a disaster, the US overthrew government upon government because they disagreed with the US view that what was good for it was good for everybody and if it wasn’t what the hell were you going to do about it punk, go on make our day!

On the flip side, not everything that isn’t economically profitable is a bad thing. Most of the public services, and in some countries still the utilities, are in state hands, in the case of healthcare and public transport these are run on the basis of providing a service to their users, they must seek to cover operating costs but they will be judged on the service they provide rather than just their fiscal merit. Running the utilities as a business has also proved problematic from an ethical stance, you are going to come into conflict because a profit-making business cannot take decisions based on variables like a person’s ability to pay for something. Likewise a public service that has safety or security implications can only be compromised if the profit element is brought into it. This is the same for a service into which public funds are invested that is held under the control of a private company -the private company must fundamentally satisfy their investors and shareholders and this consideration takes precedence over value for money for the public purse. Naturally the latter is an added bonus but if one has to be sacrificed to meet the other it is the public that will suffer rather than the private stakeholders. There are too many examples to list here where this point is illustrated, in the UK one can look at the Railway, the Utility companies, public private partnerships such as hospital building or the construction of Parliament buildings etc. etc.

Arguing about the fact that ‘current capitalism isn’t proper capitalism and if only you had that everything would be ok’ strikes me as being remarkably familiar with the ones we have about ‘the USSR not being real Communism and if only we had real Communism then we’d be ok.’ We have neither, we have never had either of them, the polarity of our opinions breaks down fundamentally to this, which one do we actually wish to attempt to perfect?

Song Of The Day – The Cardigans ~ Erase & Rewind

Original Comments:

Pimme made this comment,
The Amish are the closest thing to perfect Communists.
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – Ah yes, the bearded German folk of Pennsylvania. There is certainly the communal style about them, I confess I do not know a vast amount about them but from what I do know I think their style is what you might chose to define as one interpretation of communism. Obviously the religious part is something of an anathema to me but they have gone a long way toward proving that a belief in religion does not inplicitly have to mean a sussequent elitist attitude towards other religions. I like the idea of assesing something’s relevance before deciding to use it such as technological advances this strikes me as quite a sensible principle in many ways.]

comment added :: 12th July 2004, 16:05 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
wow, i have certainly missed all the upgrades that you have made, but my compliments, it’s all for the better. 🙂 according to George W. Bush, worrying about global warming at this time is bad for our economy. which…pardon my french…i think is fucked.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 18th July 2004, 23:03 GMT+01