A few weeks ago I had the mordacity to suggest this pandemic could be an opportunity to end capitalism, which obviously automatically makes me the other…
“I mean, how very dare I. How very dare I even think it’s okay to believe there’s another way to do business.
And yes, I definitely, definitely deserved being called a Communist for it. That’s more than fair.
Herein lies the problem.
If I’m not a Capitalist, then I have to be a Communist, right?
Because there are only ever two choices – black and white, right?
I’m sorry, but when was it deemed completely unacceptable to play in the grey?
What I’m getting at here, is why, why when I talked about there being an opportunity to reinvent capitalism on social enterprise principles, there seems to be this massive problem?
Why is that?
Is it because we, as simple beings who like simple choices, just prefer to choose option 1, or option 2, a or b, black or white?
You know, you’re either a Conservative or Labour, employed or not employed, a carbon footprint stomper or eco-warrior.
Why don’t we ever look at the gap between – that grey area where we could choose the best of both worlds.
And more specifically, the fact that now, RIGHT NOW, with the world’s economy on its knees, we have this opportunity to re-imagine a new economic world, then WHY can’t we re-imagine this world where the businesses all have a purpose beyond profit making?
Look, before you get me wrong, I’m not saying that making profits is wrong. Jesus no.
I encourage all social enterprises that I work with to ensure they’re profitable.
Profit is a way to invest; a way to give back to staff and communities; a way to make the right choices between cheap plastic and more expensive, eco-friendly ones.
It’s also essential is we’re to live the lives we want.
So, no, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with making profit.
Yet capitalism is defined by the multinationals and corporate greed.
Feeding the 1% richest in the world rather than the millions starving to death each year.
A bit of wealth redistribution would not be a bad thing, so rather than taking from the wealthy because they took too much to start with, why not start right? Where they take less?
It comes back to what do we value in life. And lately money hasn’t been as much use as before because there’s only so much food you can buy and eat.
Why can’t staff be paid and treated fairly?
Why can’t we support and help the most vulnerable in society?
Why can’t we make choices that don’t destroy the environment?
Ultimately, why can’t capitalism also include putting purpose at the heart of business?
P.S. Since I wrote this I’ve noticed a lot of talk of social capitalism – essentially what social enterprise is, and it makes me a tiny bit excited that people are talking about and considering the possibilities!