Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pro and anti-capitalism: the issues

Artigo de Chris Dillow:

(...) pro and anti-capitalists often misunderstand each other. I suspect there are at least five misunderstandings:

1. What is capitalism? Some pro-capitalists, particularly in the US, have a habit of identifying capitalism with markets. (...)

This matters enormously. Markets are essential in any form of society, and have existed pretty much throughout history. But capitalism, in the sense of outside limited liability ownership of firms from which workers are excluded, is a relatively new thing.

And it's not just Marxists who stress that existing ownership structures are changeable for the better. Douglass North won a Nobel prize for showing how they change in response to economic incentives. (...)

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