Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The End of Capitalism? Come off it Andrew!

The Guardian today was full of stuff on the downturn and what it means for the Third Sector. Geoff Mulgan thinks it the era of chasing public sector contracts will be replaced by more organisations getting involved in the real economy as happened in earlier eras with mutuals and so on. Andrew Simms of NEF, who writes well, talks about the current crisis of financial capitalism as the equivalent of the end of Soviet Communism.

Personally I think the latter, though a great line, over-does it a touch. The end of Communism was the end of the idea of the planned economy in which markets played no meaningful part. The events of recent week are not its equivalent in reverse. As Simon Jenkins says, also in the Guardian, just because the car drives too fast and crashes doesn't mean we should ban driving.

What we have seen isn't the same kind of failure of that of Communism, which was based on a totally flawed concept of how people are. Rather it was a failure to properly managed a system based very much on how people are - if just left to just get on with it. Better road-signs and more traffic cops are needed. Not an entirely new way of getting around.

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