Reshaping A Rentiers’ Paradise

Inside The Struggle To Reinvent Capitalism

Abhishek Kothari

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Colin Beulin on Unsplash.com

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude — Maya Angelou

My original intention was for this article to focus on certified B corporations. However, as I started to string together different dots, I realized there is a larger theme at work in the world today. It is a constant struggle to make or remake capitalism to work for the good of the society. For much of the developed world, a capitalist economic system combined with a democratic political system has been the formula for growth and transformation. Economic freedom fosters democratic institutions which in turn foster higher growth. The reality is that the world is divided into various shades along the capitalist communist spectrum. None of these shades are perfect just as the two extremes i.e. laisez-faire capitalism and absolute state control are not viable. Recently, there has been a resurgence to rectify the broken aspects of capitalism. Such attempts encompass a broad spectrum of developments i.e. B corporations, micro-financing, decentralizing trust through the Blockchain and a proposal to create a Long Term Stock Exchange (LTSE). All of these developments are concerted efforts to curb rent seeking and to include the masses into the mainstream financial services world. However, greed still remains dominant and the world has become less certain thereby negating some of the gains that these changes seek to make. This article looks at various efforts to reinvent capitalism and ends with a larger question: is there a viable alternative to capitalism as it stands today?

What is Capitalism?

Capitalism is an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. As per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, capitalism is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. The chart below shows how relative economic freedom by country.

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Abhishek Kothari

Futurist@The Intersection of Finance, Tech & Humanity. Stories of a Global Language: “Money”. Contributor @ Startup Grind, HackerNoon, HBR