April 26, 2014 by History in a Hurry
Capitalism is Progressive – and Must Get Off the Defensive
by Robin Koerner
If much of the economic commentary in the mainstream media is to be believed, the rising inequality of wealth in Anglo societies and the crashing of our economy by the big banks and financial class make the problems of capitalism not just evident but self-evident.
Such claims are made, of course, against a background of hundreds of years of capitalist growth that has, for the overwhelming bulk of our population, made affordable the books that these claimants have presumably read, the computers on which they type, the Internet on which they do their research, the air-conditioning or central heating in the room where they do it, and even the food in their bellies – food of a variety and quality unparalleled in history.
But this background of utter success is taken so much for granted that it is almost entirely invisible.
Rapidly rising economic inequality in favor of an elite is the deeper, moral issue that rightly feeds the fires of much of the Left and must be addressed. Supporters of the free-market should be embracing the issue – raising it more loudly, robustly and systemically than any of the Left who would seek to use it against us. Economic justice is our ground, and we should be on the offensive, declaring proudly that, even if we don’t have all of the answers, we are capitalists precisely because we want more economic justice, not less, and we want to promote equality in a way that adds more value across society than it destroys.