VitalSpark: Coalition Blog

Posted: 13 August 2010, in Blog

The nature of capitalism is that it is predicated on exploitation and injustice – discuss.

In the West, we tend not to query the fundamentals of “modern” capitalism. This is because (to date) by and large, most of us, most of the time benefit from this system.

21st Century capitalism however, has taken global inequality to a new level with the emergence of a breed of multi-billionaire Plutocrats who would regard Croesus as a pauper. However, these guys have accumulated so much wealth they have come to realise that this is in itself a problem – for them and their families. Information technology and globalisation also gives these guys influence and power beyond the control of individual nation states and now they want to do some good!

I’m conflicted about this. I can see the immediate benefits of Philanthrocapitalism providing education, health, sanitation and employment opportunities to poor people across the globe.

But, I’m unconvinced about the justice and democracy of old white geezers getting to play social engineer across the globe. It is immoral for an elite to get so rich. It is bad for them, bad for their families, bad for their society, bad for democracy, bad for social justice and bad for the planet and the rest of us that so much power, cash and influence rests with so few – even if they’re “nice” in the flesh.

However, if a Plutocrat offered you a bottomless pit of cash to tackle a social or economic problem what would you do? Is social entrepreneurialism mature enough to ask about the source(s) of money?

Philanthrocapitalism is predicated on a critique of existing aid, NGO and supranational activity and performance. In addition its rhetoric is loaded with centre – right American political, cultural and socio – economic norms and values. These guys mean business and the world will dance to their tune, particularly as the model for any business philanthropy is for the social innovators (i.e. them)  to present their piloted solutions to nation states and supranational bodies for “scaling up exercises” involving tax payer’s monies. I’m impressed with their “front” as Plutocrats seem to have an aversion to paying tax themselves.

In Huxley’s classic*, everyone has their place in the caste hierarchy, (the book also focuses on recreational sex and mass consumption amongst other things) and a drug; Soma, is used to pacify and control people – stops them getting organised and asking awkward questions.

Maybe I need to get out a bit more but I do wonder what the unintended consequences of Philanthrocapitalism will be – especially when an expanding global population asks why the system is the way it is and decides to reject or challenge it.

The opinion expressed here are solely those of Morethanprofitman and do not necessarily represent those of the Coalition