For decades now liberal academics and activists have decried the way our economic system works.
They’ve picked our system apart piece by piece – while doing various post-mortems on the ways that capitalism has responded to everything from the Great Depression to environmentalism.
They’ve written enough books to fill a library – given enough speeches for everyone to have grown tired of hearing them and taken up enough of the public space so that the contours of the elephant in the room have now been fully dissected ad nauseum.
From one vantage point they’ve done yeoman’s work: Fashioning a comprehensive critique of capitalism has not been an easy task.
This is particularly true in the face of the rabid ‘free market’ functionaries who march in lockstep across every television and newspaper.
But from another vantage point that critique has birthed a litmus test for activism that is impossible to achieve.
It says that unless you’re proposing a wholly packaged system of replacement and the means for that wholesale replacement – then the work you’re doing doesn’t have a prayer of changing anything.
Is wholesale replacement necessary?
Perhaps – but the economic models drawn up in lecture halls likely aren’t the substitutes.
Those are generally mired in the ‘old left’ way of thinking—placing trust in government rather than in private market actors.
One could argue however that both systems have equally tortured Earth on the rack – the only difference being whether private corporations or governments are at the wheel.
So we need to start with the fundamentals.