Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lord Skidelsky looks beyond capitalism

In a post on Project Syndicate, Robert Skidelsky speculates that capitalism might well have had its day, at least in so far as it has provided a level of well-being at which more stuff isn't making people happier. Capitalism:
. . . inspired the American way of life, where money always talks. The end of capitalism means simply the end of the urge to listen to it. People would start to enjoy what they have, instead of always wanting more. One can imagine a society of private wealth holders, whose main objective is to lead good lives, not to turn their wealth into “capital.”
His argument isn't quite that the forces of production have outgrown the relations of production, but that the forces of production have outgrown the actual needs of people in most places.
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