Does Capitalism Have a Future?

Does Capitalism Have a Future?

No major issues in the world can be answered with any absolute certainty. Take the creation of human life for example. Artificial insemination has made life but a matter of choice and circumstance. If one is rich, powerful, and oblivious to any ethical concern, then a life can be created in the womb of a woman----with or without a partner. Life, in other words, is no longer the happenstance of divine destiny. Science and human choice can transform an implausible absolute into a certainty. But such a certainty also impinges on the conscience and beliefs of great many in the world. Artificial insemination, despite it already becoming an option available to the top 1 per cent, cannot avoid social and political condemnation. The same goes with the issue: "Does capitalism have a future ?"

The fact of the matter is, no one knows. A failed capitalism in the 21st century cannot automatically progress to communism, as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels ardently predicted in the 19th century.  If it could, the global financial crisis in 2008, would have paved the way for a global revolution from the left. Indeed, some financial institutions have become "too big to fail," and probably "too important to jail." After all, the global financial crisis, which started with the burst of the housing bubble in United States, was nothing short of a major financial Armageddon. Yet, capitalism has survived to see another day.

Immanuel Wallenstein and other thinkers who asked if capitalism have a future, ought to be given the due recognition for even posing the question, though. Capitalism, in whole or in parts, has many flaws. Despite the claims of major advancement in human affairs, for example, where billions have been raised out of poverty, there remain the "bottom billions" who are trapped in crushing poverty. This book will not give an certain or absolute answer on the future of capitalism. But it is the right place to start: to question the seeming inevitable. Indeed, all things are fallible, according to the late Professor Alfred Rubin at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.