Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Confusing Capitalism for a Moral Agent
In a Guaradian piece with the lofty title of The case for moral capitalism, Roger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman attempt to make the case that John Maynard Keynes’ - an economic theorist whose economic theory always seems to entail throwing money, your hard earned money, at a perceived economic conundrum - long ago identified certain moral failings of capitalism are what is ailing the economy, and, if only Keynes’ identified moral failings of capitalism would be acted upon all of the world’s financial problems would be solved.
There’s just one major, and glaringly obvious, problem with Backhouse’s and Bateman’s hypothesis. Capitalism is nothing more than an economic system, lacking entirely in moral agency, and thus capitalism is simply amoral, like science, or a box of hammers.