The emergence of the meaningless phrase ‘moral capitalism’ in the political world is worrying. The words ‘moral’ and ‘capitalism’ have limited validity in the same sentence, except to declare that Capitalism is the most moral and valuable system yet discovered. Cameron need not make a radical deviation to make Capitalism moral.
Whilst the world has been hit by economic crisis, this is not the fault of Capitalism. Firstly, very few people live under Capitalism; government expenditure in the UK is 49% - half-and-half. Secondly, the world and people are not perfect, thus markets are not perfect, but more moral and produce better results than any proposed alternatives. Thirdly, Governments and Central Banks played a role in the current mess: from interest rates below the natural rate, to encouraging poor financial practices and partaking in consistently and protractedly incompetent behaviour.
Capitalism is the only the system that maintains liberty, allows true individual autonomy, respects the choices of people, and enable us to achieve genuine freedom. It is the system most allied with the concept of civil liberties, enabling individual rights. This autonomy and freedom is intrinsically moral.
Capitalism is also the most practically effective system and efficient economic model. Autonomy and freedom is a necessary condition for long-term prosperity. Capitalism brought the industrial revolution, and has since promoted economic growth, and raised standards of living to unforseen levels of prosperity. The potential for wealth generation is maximised, and decentralised coordination allows development and adaption. Not only is it the best wealth-creating system, but also benefits the greatest number of people, and fairly allows them a chance to generate a larger slice of the growing economic cake: a land of hope where anyone can ‘make it’. [Cont'd - click 'Read More']
It is clearly not a system of "winner takes all", but one in which winners take a fair sum for their results (i.e. they actually win when they win), and the numbers of winners is maximised. These winners then help create more opportunities for others and the system provides the aligned incentives to maximise successes. The adoption of more capitalism has enriched the world, and in India and China, markets have enabled a greater number of people to escape poverty, than government planning ever will.
The record of history is clear, and the temptations must be avoided. Now is the worst time to pursue theories, that when implemented, even in part have produced and would require terrible oppression, economic stagnation, the destruction of freedom; failure in almost all regards, with the honourable exception of the production of hard liquor to substitute for water and null the pain. Under variants of socialism and communism, there were more deaths than in all the wars of the 20th century (as a direct result of government oppression) and under all significant indicators, these experiments failed to compete with the freer nations.
Optimism tells us that Mr Cameron argued for moral capitalism, as an appeal to popular opinion, rather than because of misguided beliefs. The threat against free people, free markets and freedom is always great, and the tide must not turn. Moral Capitalism is just plain simple Capitalism.