Before proceeding, please read at least the opening paragraphs of the post titled ‘New World Order‘. If you have come here via the link at the end of that post welcome to the debate. I offer the following points for discussion in the on-going debate between free-market economics and socialism.
- Neither the French revolution, the Russian and Irish revolutions, nor more recent left wing movements have succeeded in their original aims. All have, sooner or later, reverted to what seems to be the natural order with a powerful minority controlling the economic life of the rest.
- All movements need a leader – in my embryonic story Jason seems the most likely to assume this role – and all leaders eventually have to become dictators or give way to a stronger personality who becomes the dictator.
- The overthrow of dictators in my lifetime – in the Balkans, in Iraq – has resulted in anarchy and violence.4. Despite the undoubted failings of free-market economics it is a system that provides openings for those who are dealt the right cards and play them well to join the wealthy elite. In my lifetime one thinks of Lord Sugar who rose from market stall holder to head up a technology and property empire or Richard Branson who started out in the 1970s as editor of a student magazine and rose to lead a transport and media conglomerate. More recently we have seen the phenomenal growth of corporations like Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook making fortunes for their founders who began without the benefit of inherited wealth. It is my contention that such successes would be impossible in the economic environment proposed by the Left.
5. The fact that a tiny number of people are possessed of the bulk of the wealth, as measured in dollars, is, on the face of it, utterly deplorable. But it is the case that the wealthy do not keep their dollars under the mattress. They invest them in businesses that create jobs. They use them to purchase enviable artifacts – mansions, yachts, limousines – which, again, provide jobs that enable the rest of us to provide for ourselves and our families. In addition, many of them engage in philanthropy, using their wealth to assist others to access education, to assist budding entrepreneurs with seed investment, to support self-help projects in the most deprived communities.
I could go on, but the idea was to provoke discussion so I want to hear your response to these initial points first. Feel free to use the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter to make your contribution to the debate.