From wild capitalism to conscious capitalism

Capitalism, for all its flaws, remains the most powerful tool for channeling ingenuity, satisfying human needs, and elevating us to higher standards of living.


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By: Misael Cadavid MD

With regard to what we have seen in recent decades, a growing disconnect between democracy and capitalism has led people to feel that capitalism no longer serves the common people and the public interest and therefore right is putting in risk the future of the new generations.

Capitalism is under attack and the populist movements against it are raging like a bonfire. There is a real danger that capitalism will destroy itself, drowning in its own excesses.

And it is precisely not because capitalism is flawed in itself, it is simply a tool, the most powerful ever invented to harness and channel human ingenuity and skill. If used well, it can raise the living standards of a society, but used in a selfish way, it can lead to great suffering.

As Professor Raj Sisodia describes it, we must make a transition from the wild to the conscious.

Conscious capitalism will become the balm that society expects, not as a strategy or a commercial model, it is simply an integral philosophy of doing business.

We must move from generating financial wealth at the expense of extracting social, cultural, environmental, intellectual and physical well-being to actually creating it.

The secret of capitalism lies in two principles: voluntary exchange and freedom to make decisions. This has led to the fact that this system is capable of creating extraordinary wealth and well-being in society.

The problem is that these two basic principles were forgotten and the production chains were dedicated to maximizing profits and value for shareholders. Nothing more inequitable. The power of capitalism is to create more value without generating negative impacts.

The dogma of conscious capitalism will then be that we all win and there are no losers, making a simple analogy with popular wisdom: the best deal is the one in which we are all happy.

Employees will get better wages, customers will get better products and services, suppliers will get paid, communities prosper and we will be in balance with the environment, plus investors will get a return on their investment and the government will get its tax revenues In turn, they will be invested in social development.

There must be an altruistic initiative from political, civic and business leaders to adopt the philosophy of conscious capitalism, to set in motion a series of events that can transform the economy and society, it is no longer possible to carry out commercial transactions in the old way : maximizing profits and vainglorious shareholders, there are no longer any moral, economic or social arguments in favor of this retrograde mentality.

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It is imperative to create trusted icons to share this new way of doing business. Early adopters of this philosophy will benefit from more engaged employees and happier customers.

Others will see that success and want to emulate it.

Capitalism, for all its flaws, remains the most powerful tool for channeling ingenuity, satisfying human needs, and elevating us to higher standards of living.

Nothing more conducive than the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus to allow rapid and potentially permanent changes in mentality and social norms, this pandemic is becoming a reminder that human beings need each other and businesses based on the equity and added social value, are a way of doing it at scale.

And what if from savage to conscious capitalism, pass us to merciful capitalism?