Do we see the end of capitalism? This was the subject of a brief interview seen on the website of the Financial Times. There is a Russian proverb which says that if you
look to the future without taking the past into account, you look blindly, if
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you do it with the knowledge of the past, you look with one eye.
do not know why we all have such a need to look at the past but what is sure is that it is of no great help at this stage. The future will mean – please refer to Future “Files” by R. Watson, published with Nicolas Brealey, 2010 – a global connectivity and GRIN technologies not to mention the environmental challenges. GRIN stands for Genetics, Robotics, Internet and Nanotechnology. It is all new and requires no hindsight but foresight, imagination and creativity.
We should spend our time and energy thinking about coping with this trend. It might mean the end of capitalism as it was perceived by Marx but what has our economic environment in common with the one of 1850?
Honestly, I never read Marx, just studied abstracts like most students in economics in Western Europe. I never really understood this author whom I would qualify more as a philosopher than an economist. A much better use of our time would be to see why winds of optimism or pessimism are blowing through our economies. On what grounds do consumers and producers make decisions that affect us all, irrespective where we live?
Rather than wondering about Marx, I would recommend an excellent book on decision making, i.e. to understand how people make decisions and their consequences: “Thinking, fast and slow” by Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate in Economics, published with Allen Lane, 2011.
What is sure is that the future will have
very little in common with Marx’s time and thinking. Will capitalism survive is in my view the same question as will greed survive!
Wish you a pleasant reading.