Our panelists came together to tackle capitalism in crisis. Which economic path shows the way forward for the western world?
“Crises are natural to capitalism, that’s how capitalism lives, it cures its own consumption, its excesses by going into crisis … so we will have to find ways, with a high level of prosperity already achieved, of living with it at the same time as not getting into a fascist dictatorship or terrible social unrest. That is the most difficult thing to do.” – Meghnad Desai
The financial world suffered a great blow from the economic collapse of 2008. Four years later the world’s thinkers are asking whether we are stuck in a perpetual cycle of boom and bust. The impending American election and woeful performance of the British economy are both precariously balanced on the answer to this question. Some say that everyone is flailing in the dark for an answer to this seemingly impossible problem, others that this temporary blip on the economic ocean will pass. Does the possibility of escape from this cycle exist for western capitalist society?
The Institute of Art and Ideas has brought together a trio of disparate voices: Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney who believes that “the law of the jungle is vicious competition”, former Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser who looks to cooperative methods of recovery, and LSE economist Meghnad Desai who imagines the future based on fairness rather than equality.
What do you think of our panelist’s conclusions? Join the debate using our comments thread.