Capitalism isn’t dead

Capitalism wasn’t designed. It wasn’t invented. It happened.

And so did most of the social organizations we’ve come to know and use in practice. And there is nothing wrong with it. The idea that theory comes before practice is completely… theoretical. Even though we like to think it is true, things very rarely happen this way.

Organizations are experiments : each of them is unique, and tries to be better that the previous ones. The problem with these kinds of experiments is that it is very difficult to infer anything from them : each of them is so different from the others that we don’t know why they work or don’t. That is exactly why scientists put theory before practice, and design experiments thoroughly. Isolating variables enables inference. And that is not the case for politics.

Take Communism. Most people will tell you “it doesn’t work”, and will mention the collapse of the USSR as a proof. But is it a valid proof ? In fact, the combination of many things did not work : the state owning the Capital, the way production was shared (or not) with workers, the five-year plans, the way people dealt with corruption, the relationship between the USSR and its neighbors, the personality of its leaders, the way they were elected, the level of education of the population, … Like. Wao. Too many variables, and only one experiment. No scientist will ever conclude anything from it.

Ok. Now we have to accept that everything we know is similar. What we call Democracy. What we call Capitalism. What we call Elections. What we call Constitution. What we call Money. Even the Banking system. All of this is exists in a very specific form, a shape that is the result of history, and many decisions. At no point was the system designed from end to end. And most decisions, while valid when they were taken, are now questionable.

So please, when people say Capitalism is dead, can we please step back and think about what is really dead ? If something did not work, maybe something similar can work. Or even something very different, but that builds on what we know works.

Think about it.