LATEST NEWS FROM PARTNER CAP X
24 July 2017
The market doesn’t corrupt morals – socialism does - Talleyrand holds the key to untangling this Brexit mess - Quantitative easing has outstayed its welcome - How bitcoin can help fight poverty in Africa - Why Game of Thrones is really a battle of ideas
The myth that free-market capitalism makes us all greedy, selfish and immoral refuses to die. Everyone from the current Conservative government to the Pope seems to have bought into it. Yet not only is there a complete lack of evidence to support the theory, but numerous studies suggest that it is socialism that really corrupts us.
Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand's lasting contribution to political theory was to explain the importance of legitimacy. His insight was that 'supreme power should only be exercised with the consent of bodies drawn from the heart of the society that it governs'. As the UK navigates the treacherous path to Brexit, the PM could do far worse than heed his advice.
By 2008, policymakers had learned from the mistakes of 1929. Preventing a sharp contraction in the money supply stopped the Great Recession from becoming another Great Depression. Yet almost a decade on, the measure that saved us - QE - has become an albatross around the economy's neck.
Bitcoin still hasn't shaken off the idea that it is the preserve of petty drug dealers and online criminal masterminds. But there is more to cryptocurrencies than illegality. For example, they are transforming the way business works in Africa, circumventing the bureaucracy that stifles the enterprise and innovation needed to raise living standards.
Who will sit on the Iron Throne? For Game of Thrones fans (and there are an awful lot of them), the question is at the heart of the blockbuster series. But what they miss amid the bloodshed, magic and nudity is that the books and TV show are secretly a parable in political theory - one whose real message is not about dynasty, but ideology.
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