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Capitalism versus Socialism

Socialism has failed. Now capitalism is bankrupt.

Capitalism versus Socialism, Capitalism 72%

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The basic idea that dominated economics and politics in the last century has patently disappeared down the plughole of history in terms of two mutually exclusive opposites: capitalism or socialism.

Nobody seriously thinks of returning to the socialist systems of the Soviet type - not only because of their political faults, but also because of the increasing sluggishness and inefficiency of their economies - though this should not lead us to underestimate their impressive social and educational achievements. On the other hand, until the global free market imploded last year, even the social-democratic or other moderate left parties in the rich countries of northern capitalism and Australasia had committed themselves more and more to the success of free-market capitalism. Indeed, between the fall of the USSR and now I can think of no such party or leader denouncing capitalism as unacceptable. None were more committed to it than New Labour.

The test of a progressive policy is not private but public, not just rising income and consumption for inividuals, but widening the opportunities and what Amartya Sen calls the "capabilities" of all through collective action.

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by Eric Hobsbawm

See Guardian


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