Thursday, March 04, 2010

Democratic and Oligarchic Capitalism

The way I look at it, capitalism is at its best when it is democratic, when anybody can enter the field with a new idea or new product and be successful. If we are trying to change to non-traditional energy sources, then I would hope for a fresh field day for innovative entrepreneurs. That's when the pressures of competition actually will pressure even greedy bastards in business to do things that benefit the common good. Capitalism is at its weakest when it becomes oligarchic, when a few entrenched companies have taken over the field, and may in fact be in collusion. That is how I see the oil industry today. Of course, oligarchic capitalists will try to hold on to their position, and use government to preserve their postiion. . The banking industry, with the "too big to fail" companies, which prevailed upon a Republican-dominated government to do the most socialistic thing our government has ever done, would be another example of oligarchic capitalism. It's my hope that acknowledging global warming might give a shot in the arm to democratic, as opposed to oligarchic capitalism.

4 comments:

mattghg said...

"Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists." - G.K. Chesterton

Bilbo said...

I think we have a structurally inherent problem with "Oligarchic" capitalism. Back in the late 1800s, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations had the same civil rights as individual persons. This provided the groundwork for the recent Supreme Court case that struck down attempts to limit how much corporations can donate to political campaigns. Until the Court rules that corporations are not entitled to the same civil rights, I'm afraid there will never be the political will to overcome "Oligarchic" capitalism.

Victor Reppert said...

This was the Supreme Court that was supposed to tell us that fetuses were persons, or, at least, to permit states to decide that fetuses were persons. Instead, they decided that corporations were persons. Of course the very idea of incorporating involves your not being treated as a person in at least one important sense; LLC means limited liability corporation, which means that people can't go to jail for what the corporation does.

RonMasters said...

Prof. Warren Gramm of WSU proposed in 1979 that America was, with the advent of PACs and corporate voting rights held mainly by investment companies, on the verge of oligarchic capitalism. Now, with wealth concentrated so strongly in the top 0.1%, it has arrived. No wonder there is gridlock in Washington. The oligarchs already have prosperity, so they don't need economic recovery. What they need is control, and the politicians they bought are honestly trying to give it to them.