- by Petros Iliadis
If further evidence were needed that capitalism is incapable of taking society forward, the last ten years have provided it. Not only the ongoing nightmare of the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and soon India and Pakistan – which has led to the death of many tens of thousands and over 5,000 ‘coalition’ soldiers – and the unfair bombing of Korea, Vietnam and Serbia but also the inability of capitalism to take any effective action towards climate change, social discrimination and inequality. In some ways,the most graphic illustration of capitalism’s crisis is not the so-called credit crunch or the inability to cope with natural disasters such as the tsunami at the end of 2004, the South Asian earthquake or Hurricane Katrina,nor the countless thousands who died unnecessarily, and those still homeless (including in the US, the richest nation on the planet) but the actual theory hiding behind contemporary capitalism.
We are told that because we are greedy, self-interested animals, an economic system must reward greedy, self-interested behaviour if we are to thrive economically. Are we greedy and self-interested?