Right so there are two points of view.
1) Capitalism sucks! It leads to pollution, waste, hyper-consumption, global warming and deep inequality. The pursuit of wealth and power is at the heart of all immoral and unjust acts in the world. Power to the People!
2) Capitalism rules! It has given us a quality of life that is unprecedented in human history. If we don’t reward people for the good work they do, then we would still be stuck in the dark ages.
The thing is I have always been frustrated by these arguments. In my eyes they are both right but also equally wrong. It depends completely on your perspective. Therefore I want to champion a new concept – ‘the evolution of capitalism’.
It’s quite simple really.
On one side you have material wealth that is based on material value such as money, assets, property and all the stuff that we buy. Then on the other side you have social wealth that is based on social value, which is all about happiness, new experiences, relationships, and a sense of belonging and purpose within your community. In an ideal world we would have a currency that combines both social and material wealth in perfect harmony.
However, this will never happen because unlike material wealth, social wealth is completely subjective and qualitative. You can’t measure or calculate it. There is no magic formula that will let you trade 5 units of happiness for 5 units of community spirit. That’s just ridiculous.
So… What is this great evolution that I am talking about?
Well… it is really a growing awareness that there is an invisible currency floating around that is distorting the world of macro economics. This currency is called social capital. It appears every time you help out a friend, volunteer, or give advice. In fact every time you do something for someone else without getting paid you are unknowingly trading in social currency.
For some this currency means very little. They can’t see it and they don’t care. However, for others the profits can be unbelievable. Have you ever wondered how some people can get things done in double the speed and at half the cost? Well it is because they are trading in social capital. They are trading in favours and the value of their social currency is based on this thing called ‘TRUST’.
If you take and give nothing back you inflate your social currency. If you promise and don’t deliver your social stocks crash because the trust breaks down.
Like I said before. The evolution of capitalism is quite simple. It occurs when we realise that there is a hidden social currency floating around us. All organisations and businesses must learn how to trade with this invisible currency or they will be left behind.