Is Capitalism doomed; how long is its shelf-life? Can its promise of prosperity and the ‘good life’ be sustained? Have stories of its impending demise been exaggerated? If some soothsayers are to be believed it has been on a downward slippery slope at least since the financial crash over a decade ago, so that its days may well be numbered. This work analyses the place of the free market economy in modern society, distinguishes between neo-liberalism and traditional capitalism, and comes to quite different conclusions – as much for reasons of perception as for socio-economic realpolitik. But in the process some important conceptual myths need to be demolished: about the misunderstood role of the individual in modern society, about the absurdity of focusing on economic growth, about the unsustainability of current social inequalities and how they can be overcome, about the mirage of social mobility and the future of work. These issues can only be appreciated in their historical context – currently a yawning gap in any discussion of our current predicament. Suggestions are put forward as to how a reformed, ‘social’ capitalism would better serve the interests of the economy, the community and the individual – in a world where we must learn to consume less, travel less, and yes, work less – with the ultimate goal of greater dignity and justice for all.
Publish Date: 2022