Gary Clifford Gibson writes at Another Working Blog in the Submergent Plutonomy:
This is actually a fairly simple distinction. Capitalism that grows from an individual or family’s personal work building assets without exploiting other people is compassionate capitalism, while the impersonal stock investment, M.B.A. networking trans-national globalism business approach is collectivist. The collectivists are cold-blooded while the small time capitalist is compassionate and cares about his own work and building up of resources.
Adam Smith, the modern spiritual founder of capitalism, wrote largely in support of compassionate capitalism inclusive of trade. There weren’t the sort of large-scale networked corporations in existence in his day that built up huge global capital advantages and leveraging monetary sophistication. It is quite a stretch to transmogrify The Wealth of Nations into a support for absolute abstract modern business practices and monetary policy. One must be disingenuous to extend Smith’s Wealth of Nations so far as that.
Adam Smith was a pragmatic economist and held the welfare of the people of England of his day-of the ordinary people, as being of first concern. He sought for methods to understand, improve and describe more ideal forms of economic methods. One of the fundamental challenges of his day was to liberalize trade and business from the corrupting control of concentrated wealth in the form of royal power or taxation that was not spent to advance the interests of the people of England.
Thus in the United States today compassionate capitalists may rightly oppose foreign military spending in badly thought out ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We know that jihad by the U.S. Government in Afghanistan is opposed by jihadists from Kashmir, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Our jihad is an economic one, for the military industrial complex makes a vast fortune on the enterprises, while the goal of preventing terrorist attacks through the installation of a toady regime in Kabul is unlikely to stop the sources of jihad in Pakistan, Kashmir and elsewhere. Better policy is required. What does the expense do to increase the standard of living of the poor and middle class in the U.S.A.?
Compassionate capitalist support a general increase of wealth in the United States for all citizens and of a healthy ecosystem. They have their eyes open and look at the real world and not just abstract profit and loss statements or throughput concepts and expanding networked, corporate power and market control.
Compassionate capitalist support practical limits on the opportunity for individual citizens to control other through the acquisition of monetary wealth and leveraged investments. Social capital may be perceived as differing from compassionate capital and should be limited. A democracy has the freedom to choose to limit the power that collective business enterprises may gain because of their capacity to oppress the citizenry and harm the security of the nation’s ecological environment. It is reasonable that a maximum percent of the gross national product held by any legally individual entity such as a corporation or individual might be set in order to prevent tyranny.
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