Pascal Derrien

2 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

chat Contact the author

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

Is Capitalism Out Of Control? The Answer Is...

Is Capitalism Out Of Control? The Answer Is...

Funny times around us at the moment. Nobody is too sure who is behind the wheel and for those who claim to be, its pretty unclear if they actually know what they are meant to do!!! I am probably stating the obvious here but does it not seem to you that the whole thing is spiralling out of control. 

The very basic definition of capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of capital. It has very often been opposed to Communism, a form of socialism that abolishes private ownership, a political theory favoring collectivism in a classless society. Has any of those systems worked perfectly for us. Hell No!!!

Do we need more capitalism? No. Do we need more communism? No. Some greedy Americans in particular would have an anaphylactic shock at the simple evocation of the term, so lets not do that or shall we :-)? More seriously I think what we need is less dilution and more focus. We need companies to solve issues rather proposing only products. We need to shift the shelf mentality to a solution driven approach where the product is only a mean rather than the finality.

That's all very good and jolly my friend but how can we make an attempt to do that (please note the paternalistic tone :-))? Well, some avenues to explore may well be social enterprising. Why?  Because I strongly believe the Social enterprise model becomes a viable and tangible option both for the economy and the society when the product is morphing into a catalyst or a conduct to achieve a societal goal. That is if we accept to readily alter the current production models obviously. 

Social enterprises create positive value and disrupt the market where charities are ''just given/giving'' , the latter do create some positive impact alas it's very often only at transactional level. What I mean by that is for example they give food to the homeless but they don't necessarily help them to be self sufficient. Their programmatic approach to an issue is not the same either than a social enterprise. You could even argue that in some cases they in fact simply perpetuate the issue, you can't treat gangrene with plasters in my opinion. 

By nature social enterprises are small in sizes, very often community based which tend to prompt hard core capitalists to describe them as mickey mouse operations, they would even add that the model is not scalable. Not necessarily true but not untrue either, the social enterprise landscape is vibrant with pockets of brilliance and innovation but is also not homogenous and that's a fact. Most of the social enterprises cemeteries are littered with ill advised entrepreneurs and half baked ideas. Run management is very different to ''aspirational management'' and that's where many ''do good'' crusaders fail.

So how do you scale up? Well if its not strictly speaking for small social enterprises entities to fill that role, B-Corp could well be the answer. Slightly bigger in size and in reach, those companies hold a certification whereby they sign up to be a force for good. They still make profits for shareholders but the ethics and reinvestments are paramount to the model. Not yet a widespread movement but not anecdotical either. 

There were roughly 900 of them in 2014 spread across 130 countries. Companies such as Better World Books or Cascade Engineering are among their ranks alongside Ben & Jerry who is probably the most prominent of them in terms of branding. All have a commitment to post sales community. I like the idea: In opposition to mercantilism lets buy social.

I can already see the sarcasm army and other cynical squads branding numbers and figures battling against what they may consider being the ultimate and dumbest beatitude of a handful of idiotic dreamers. Hang there will you, I am not oblivious of the major forces at play and I am fully aware it's easy to deconstruct a 2mns read. One can wipe it out as a childish proposition. Maybe I am not eloquent enough for some but maybe I don't really care what they think either. 

Is it really immature or unrealistic to think the system needs a counter balance to its current parameters. I don't know you but from where I stand the current model is a bit out of control and not overly inspirational. I don't really see any compelling value proposition in massive overproduction, waste, pollution or exclusion nor I am willing to subscribe to the spin promoting large scale unemployment, malnutrition, exploitation or corruption to name only a few distortions of the truth.  

Is it being naïve to believe in values that are not just speculative? Is it important to take personal accountability? Do micro actions have a chance to impact the system at macro level? I don't know but don't you think its well worth trying ? So here is a question for you. 

What are you going to do ? 


People & stuff

Photo Credit

Ute Out OF control 

Produced for beBee

Written Material 2019 Copyright - Pascal Derrien-

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #32

thanks 🙏 Jennifer Leach-Trask 😉 I guess people do what they can not always what they want intent is a good value me thinks 🤔

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

2 years ago #31

#40 Thanks Gerald Hecht the comments on this thread speak exactly what we all know and what we can do but when we will is a question that time and our current micro-actions will answer. Yes Pal "May be it's time to let the old ways die"? -

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #30

indeed your generation in particular has reminded us many times of the old saying can’t keep on always doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome 🤔

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

2 years ago #29

A nail biting topic pal, I believe that micro actions would breed a change one day, so it's well worth trying and I love the discussions on the topic which is mostly side stepped as confrontation is not very welcomed in the world we live in. It's more of a delegating style than a two-way communication and support that involves discussion, encouragement and facilitation. You do as your told or you're out of the picture or out of the world. I always felt the same way about social enterprises they need to be transformational rather than just transactional. We rather how a man how to catch a fish than catch a fish and feed him. The latter is what world leaders do and people buy into that. There will come a time where materialism is given less importance and humans will understand the importance of having each others back, we both may not be alive to that day but I believe I hope and I dream that a change would come!

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #28

I couldnt agree more.

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #27

let’s agree on altering the absolutes I think about like a change from within I am not prone to frontal confrontation of concepts unless it’s absolutely the last resort and sometimes it is ....

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #26

Your word choice was interesting in, diluted and best. Each word does describe compromise in its most benevolent form. Within the concept here, as presented, the hope would be that some absolute would emerge. If truth is diluted then as a society we must all agree on an undiluted truth. Absolute. My thought here is that each truth brought forward in compromise would encase us in a circular argument of floating truth, no absolutes emerging. With dependencies on who or what is squealing at any given moment. Within the underskirt of capitalism is the belief that "law", absolutes, require conformity. Now as a civilization we can change the law or absolute, but after some form of ratification the citizen is now in an absolute situation, at least until they can implement change through some democratic process. Currently we have segments under capitalism who are diluting the absolutes because they personally or as a group seek a different absolute under the law. The law is truth in progress. Nonetheless it is the absolute until such time as we ratify a new truth. The system is slow and clunky and i agree sometimes quite frustrating. Once we establish that truth is diluted in the face of laws that are ratified, and we we operate under our personal/group absolutes then we have began the journey to authoritarianism. If my self determined absolutes and yours do not line up outside of law and we take this to the end, tribalism and war is the end game. I use these words in a very broad sense of their meaning. The main point is that absolutes must emerge in order for a society to work. The truth can not stay diluted and citizens cant act in a self/group created vacuum.

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #25

indeed Gerald Hecht you may well be right on the final outcome communitarian or dystopian it will be 🤔

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #24

a very thorough analysis Harvey Lloyd the truth is diluted and not absolute nor it is universal we will have to compromise on the basis of what is best from various systems may not need to be one or another 🤔

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #23

there is some merit in the question should we apply limits restrictions ? That may just deregulate further 🤔

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #22

Giving a little more thought to the question and the need for answers, maybe, just maybe, the question should be asked, could capitalism in its current form, exist without the strength of materialism?

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #21

Well written and thought provoking, but as you said it is difficult to espouse the vastness of the issues in such few paragraphs. Many believe that capitalism is the culprit to current unwanted outcomes. But if we go back to some of the earliest philosophy and statesman we can find the real answers. From the 1700-1900's we see John Locke begin the separation of church and state. Reasonable enough in the context that government should not determine ones conscious beliefs. This seemed reasonable at the time. Fast forward some years and we find then that a government with no axioms to lean on to qualify good and bad, we create laws that are subject to evolving moral relativism. Most importantly to your point, without these, capitalism is measured through haves and have not. Again not agree or disagree with this form of measurement, this government position can only look at material things as the measure of a person, place or thing. Humanity has been stripped out. Of course this benifits the private enterprise because it allows them bring material value up in whatever sector the government has a concern. The result of the loss of axiomatic values has allowed the beast of materialism to drive thought and practice. Humanity is the backwash of this process. Group identity politics is an extension of materialism gone awry.

Praveen Raj Gullepalli Questions are important--they can lead to answers. If the questions are never asked, silence can be deafening. What is happening in India is a travesty. I mourn for you. I remember watching Dr. Shiva saying, "Unjust laws must not be followed." Was she quoting Gandhi? Or was that her own?

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #19

The odds are against any potential success on a planetary scale because all the efforts are currently siloed now federating the efforts may work momentarily but you end up replacing a supra model by another one. The fact that micro financing has been mushrooming is also a sign that things can be done differently , the angel tax is a sign that it is actually taken seriously but wrongly interpreted. Not an easy one Praveen Raj Gullepalli

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #18

Thanks Bill !!!! :-)


Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #16

Indeed Vandana Shiva has a fair point Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee. In the most resilient social enterprises break even is the only target financially speaking while quality of services prime over quantity, social enterprises federative platforms do exist but are pretty much in their infancy. Many thanks for reading and providing supplemental info :-)

Way too good to be called a rant. Bless you, Pascal Derrien. I've yet to go over this as many times as I need to, but one thing I settled on right away--we do not need companies, per se--we need councils. No one person or persons, monetarily benefitting from any effort, should be allowed to sit in a "throne." I tend to lean towards this woman: And there is one country in the world that bases growth on something amazing--happiness. Bhutan has a GNH. Gross National Happiness. It forgoes that damned GDP concept. For those of us who growl at the concept of socialism, I offer this:

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #14

I would say buy social Ken Boddie :-) I know easier said than done but I think there are multiple ways of acting upon the proposition of social enterprise and contribute to the better good, it does not necessarily has to be a political act just a stance about a differentiator who does not necessarily has money as a denominator. We are a long way from social enterprising being an outlier in economy but we got to start somewhere I guess and its at the bottom I am afraid :-)

Ken Boddie

2 years ago #13

We might suspect that engineers and scientists would have a natural affinity for social enterprise, yet these groups are tainted by the worst exploiters of mankind, the property developer and the pharmaceutical multinational. And don’t get me started on the giant money lenders, oil magnates, resource exploiters and their watchdog legal wolves. All these top of the food chain sharks seldom have a philanthropic bone in their corpulent corporate hulks, unless there’s a tax deduction involved. This often results in the best socially enterprising concepts, which are invariably born of bottom feeders, being stifled or bought out by those who run with the wolves. After all, when you join the pack, you learn to lift your leg. Yet, there are sparks of hope, like Richard Branson and his ilk, who foster optimism in man’s potential humanity to his fellow man. Personally I’m blowed if I know what to do, Pascal, but where there’s life there’s hope.

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #12

Thanks Savvy Raj I think even if we don't have the answers sometimes that should not prevent us from asking the right questions :-)

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #11

Ah ben Meurci Monsieur Don Philpott\u2618\ufe0f To your question why not social enterprising is not one dimensional :-)

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #10

true true and true Jim ☹️.....but there are pockets of hope now I am not naive enough to think the 80 20 rule is going to change anytime soon but who knows if it changes the course for a handful maybe that could be a victory in itself 😊

Jim Murray

2 years ago #9

This is very interesting Pascal. The main question you have posed is how do you get companies to think that way. I think you are up against two key things. 1. Greed. and 2. The reality that many of the people that own and or run major companies have their egos and their virility tied up in their work in such a tight knot that loosening it will have a psychological impact on these people. They also don't seem to take their cues from the few like Bill and Melinda Gates who are actually trying to make the world a better place with their money. The vast majority of these people seem completely obsessed with their worth in dollars as opposed to any sort of 'giving back' or social enterprise participation. And in a way I can see that, because, generally speaking in the world as we know it, you really to have to be kind of ruthless to get to the top of the mountain, and probably even more ruthless to stay there. The key, as always, is to find a way to change behaviours.

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #8

The most problematic thing about the "Silent Majority" is that they are silent. The best thing about the "Silent Majority" is what they are thinking about even as they remain silent - while the forces acting upon them are great, just one single voice can be a tipping point that ripples through that silence. We just don't know when or who becomes that tipping point.

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #7

thanks CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit you are probably right but the optimist in me thinks it’s too bleak to accept de facto it has to be or will more likely not really change I suppose if it start with one voice ..... yeah I know 🤔

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #6

The existing profit system is not going to value, weigh cost or price in the greater good unless there is a temporal advantage to do so. When we say "We need companies to solve issues rather proposing only products" we are talking about the management teams whose direction is directed by an executive team who report to its ownership. Our consumer society protects that ownership and we as consumers don't value, weigh cost or price in their beliefs . That would require more people to think like you and me. I can be shot down for talking during a brain-dead television show in my own home, never mind hope to engage the greater mass of people to exercise their minds. Social enterprise runs into the same limitation that the expectation is that these companies will do the thinking on the behalf of the collective or the even more consumed. Add to this special interest that we do not think of as special interest, an example is social experiments done by that pro-Freudian crowd, where we are all guinea pigs of powerful people who receive endowments and money for research about how to influence and control us as a consumable society. Yet by questioning this we have done what we consider to be true and right, but whether that dents the universe of perpetual consumers and the consumed is well beyond our control. The powerful simply need to deploy easily affordable incentives to spread mischief and turn people against each other, without dropping a single piece of sweat or crease a forehead with a single worry line. The extreme stuff you write about does have a threshold, and if the powerful go too far, the tipping point will be reached - then they will run to safe havens with their wealth and electronic security - and we watch what has always inflicted society play out. Yours is a sensible approach, which is to speak the truth but recognize it is your voice expressing itself.

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #5

Many thanks Debasish Majumder always a pleasure to see you around :-)

Debasish Majumder

2 years ago #4

Great buzz Pascal Derrien! enjoyed read and shared such illuminating buzz. thank you for the buzz.

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #3

some corporations have seen the CSR opportunity in this but its lip service and overly PRed, there are better chances with embedded policies in supply chain and procurement including construction projects FOR EXAMPLE but it 's like social housing everybody think its a great idea but nobody want a social house in its neighbourhood. Traction is slow Jerry, some social networks are in place and try to federate likeminded individuals but it's a hit and miss whether nationally and internationally. I think B Corps have a better chance and probably a greater impact in the local run :-)

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #2

Pascal, Found this paging down out of curiosity. (I thought you were in my feed) Anyway, nice rant. When I look around the world and over time I can't find any examples of socio-political approaches that don't have a downside. It's like money, it only works if everyone accepts the idea. Capitalism vs Communism is a good example Neither side accepted the other's viewpoint but somehow we managed to trade goods. Seems to me the answer lies in the fact that humans are adopting these approaches and in the end will do whatever works for them at that time and place. Right now , English is the primary language of commerce between countries around the world. The US Dollar is the de facto monetary standard. the solution you propose ain't all bad and in fact probably stands a pretty good chance of success in the USA where folks are generally fiscally conservative and socially liberal. (It might be the only possibility) So how do you round up the "true believers" and get them all headed the same direction. Are there a couple corporate types or politicians out stumping? Wouldn't ask if I were not interested. And so it goes.

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #1

thanks Ignacio :-) My two cents ...but if we add my two cents to your two cents and so it goes :-)

More articles from Pascal Derrien

View blog
2 months ago · 1 min. reading time

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

There are a lot of tensions in the world lately, a ...

6 months ago · 2 min. reading time

A Wheelie Good Tuesday

I don’t know you but in my part of the world the r ...

9 months ago · 1 min. reading time

Say Cheese

Confucius apparently said (more or less) that noth ...