Trolls • 6 February 2009 • The SnowBlog
I imagine every time I type the word 'capitalism' the SnowBlog readership dips like the Dow, but in my defence, the question of which brand of capitalism is best seems to be at the heart of our current economic recession/depression/hiccup. Capitalism is powerful, but it's capable of doing as much harm as good. It can use up resources and leave all but a minority poor if we let it. Or it can be modified so that it tows the whole economy towards prosperity. It's a much slower journey, as we see in Socialist-leaning countries, where they make sure to keep their capitalism on a leash. Prosperity takes a lot longer that way than letting the beast off the leash, but now, just as in the Great Depression, we're surveying the damage that's caused when the beast runs wild. It's like one of those big trolls that pull open the gates of Mordor in the Lord of the Rings movies: very handy, but you don't want them getting drunk or throwing tantrums. And it's not just me who thinks like this. Naomi Klein has a little piece in the Guardian today about ordinary people in a smattering of recession-hit nations who are starting to care about these things, mainly as a result of watching their countries slide into debt and depression. As she points out, many of us would prefer the government bail out the victims of this crash and not its instigators. Yes, it's a bit socialist, but that doesn't seem like such a bad thing once the boom is over.