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I'm an Irish guy living in France. I like music, books, creative writing, art, history, vegetarianism, people, and chocolate.

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Saturday 21 March 2009

"This crisis of capitalism is not all bad news"

If the video doesn't work, you can watch it here.

I admire the fact that Professor Ghosh, even though she claims that the current recession is "much bigger and more extensive" than the Great Depression, manages to be optimistic about the future, and denies that the crisis will necessarily lead to fascism as it did in the 1930s. I appreciated the way she started out, arguing that the current market/financial/banking needs to be changed to lead to more social justice and better care of the environment. But I was disappointed about her conclusions : she wants to reform capitalism, not do away with it. It's similar to Nicolas Sarkozy who on one hand says that "laissez-faire capitalism is over" and denounces the "dictatorship of the market" and on the other hand declares that he wants to "restructure capitalism". Now I don't know if they are being hypocritical or if they are just naïve. But reforming or restructuring capitalism just ain't possible. Controlled capitalism is an oxymoron. Welfare capitalism is a myth. Capitalism isn't evil : it can't be, it's not a person. But capitalism, by its very nature, has to expand to exist. If it stops growing, it collapses. It feeds on growth. If we really want the world to be a more just, ethical, sustainable place, we can't just reform the capitalist system, we have to pull out of it. What to set up in its place is a matter of great debate, and I don't believe that an alternative system will solve all of the world's problems, but that doesn't change the fact that capitalism has to be done away with.

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