Sunday, 22 July 2012

You Can’t Blame Capitalism for This 'Shambles’

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Real free markets require genuine competition if they are to offer the constantly improving quality of service that is the redeeming virtue of private enterprise

What a feast the past week has been for the last adherents of the old socialist religion. There was yet another banking scandal and this one actually involved (wow!) laundering of drug money, and possible terrorist connections. And then there was a whopperoo of a public relations catastrophe, when a private firm’s commitment to providing security for the Olympics fell apart. So here we go again. From the planet where state power and government provision is an eternal fount of benevolence, come the voices of reproach. They always knew it would end like this: the forces of rabid capitalism have been allowed to pillage and destroy the moral fabric of the nation with their rapacious lust for profit, laying waste to the great public service ethos which once ruled our communal life.

Thank heaven for Mark Serwotka. Just as this outpouring of egregious moral hokum was reaching its ululating zenith, along came the Public and Commercial Services Union to remind us what the “public service ethos” is all about. Mr Serwotka’s comrades, who hold the security of the entire country in their grip, were to pull the plug at Britain’s ports of entry on the day before the Olympic Games opened. Ah, yes. There is the spirit of the untrammelled, invincible public sector at its purest: self-serving, politically ruthless, and indifferent to any needs or concerns outside its own vested interest. This was the mindset that once prevailed in the government-owned public services, with their hugely powerful national unions, which dominated our day-to-day existence within living memory.

Those of us old enough to recall what it was actually like to be persecuted by the North Thames Gas Board, to be put on a six-month waiting list for a telephone by the General Post Office, and to be at the mercy of dustmen who went on strike whenever their feelings were hurt, are not likely to be taken in by meretricious rhetoric about the glories of state ownership. It was the blinding rage against all of that – and the determination that it should never return – that kept the Conservatives in power for 18 years.

But I worry about the youngsters. Could a whole new generation of useful idiots be recruited to the cause of collectivism and state ownership, bamboozled by deliberately muddled assertions which do not stand up to examination? Will they be inclined, for example, to accept the hysterical claims that HSBC’s alleged money-laundering activity is a revelation about the nature of capitalism itself: that it encapsulates the essential immorality of the free market? Perhaps it would be pertinent for someone (David Cameron?) to point out that laundering drug money is not capitalism. It is not even “rampant capitalism”: it is a crime. Read on and comment » | Janet Daley | Saturday, July 21, 2012

My comment:

Capitalism has been discredited; and for one simple reason: it has become the economics of greed. Greed is the order of the day for the big boys, who then proceed to screw the 'little people'.

Capitalism could be a wonderful system. Not perfect, but the best system known to man. It used to work just fine when people had moral and ethical anchors. Alas, people have them no more.

I write not as a religious man, but as a keen observer. I must therefore confess that capitalism worked well when the Church held sway over the people. For Christianity ensured that people suppressed their base desires. It led at least to a modicum of fairness for all. People at the top checked their own greed. It was not acceptable to grab all for oneself. There was a sense of community, a sense of looking after the less well-off. In this modern age of hedonism, everyman is out for himself. It's become a case of grab all you can get – for yourself. And this is one of the main reasons why capitalism is failing. Capitalism without any checks and balances is not a noble system at all. In fact, it becomes the blueprint to introduce the law of the jungle.

In short, capitalism is only good when it is tempered by a sense of morality, a sense of ethics, a sense of fairness. – © Mark

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