Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Anti-capitalism protest

I have a great deal of sympathy with some of the sentiments of the anti-capitalism movement. However, there are aspects which are rather way off the mark. there are many factors wrong with free markets but we have to be logical about the way markets have been instrumental in the rising prosperity of even the poorest in the world. My living standards are much higher than those of my parents. Our generation have more choices in life than our parents did. Because of the way free markets work, research and development has brought us greater health and longer life. We have to choice of better food and better houses. can those living in tents outside St Paul's have had to huddle round a coal fire for warmth, shivering in the draughts of their living rooms. Have they had to rush down stairs in the morning to get dressed in front of the fire for warmth? Were do they get their money from because the benefits they collect can only be paid because most people are employed in private industry paying taxes. ``It is not their money but mine and yours. The protest they have mounted is laughable. The direct result has had no effect what so ever on the financial businesses but has resulted in the closure of one of our major churches. They have caused problems for the very people that support their motives.
Capitalism is not bad but it is neutral. It has brought great wealth to this country and its people.What is wrong is how the rewards are distributed. Ordinary people are fed up with the unfairness of the system. They laugh hollowly at the defenders of the system who are rich. How is it that somebody can earn a bonus of £3m while others are put on the dole? Those at the top do not seem to appreciate the anger of those ordinary people. They think their rewards are justified. In addition they claim that they are on performance related pay. However this does not appear to decrease even if their performance ids bad and leads the company into trouble. Even when they resign because the company is losing money, they go away with large amounts of cash. BUT it is not just at the top. Many hard working people cannot understand how anybody can claim that they are entitled to benefits. Hard working people are fed up with those who make false claims to defraud the state. How can somebody be on the dole or other benefits for years?
It is he attitude of people which is the problem. Most people regard what they do as honest. They make excuses for their actions and use various justifications for what they do. In many ways what is wrong with capitalism is the attitudes of people and the way the system is upheld.
It has to be considered that over the centuries, many revolutions and civil wars have been caused by the uneven distribution of the wealth generated by industries. If we sre to avoid falling into the trap of revolution and dictatorship, we have to find a way of getting a more even distribution of wealth.

(My novel An Ordinary Life explores the way some people justify their actions and how in the end they have to confront what they do.)