I have been following with some interest the various discussions being had on TV and radio regarding the state of the world's economy, more particularly the start of the economy in Europe and the UK. Mix that with some protesters seemingly cr@pping in St Paul's (some of them at least), some discussions on what they are really there for, and wider, and let's be honest slightly more esoteric discussions, around wealth and the disparity between rich and poor, and what capitalism is and is not. There was even some discussions today on bankers, and whether they have souls and how they can become ethical bankers*.
Several things resonated with me during these various discussions.
The first is that there is strong evidence that societies that have the smallest gap between the richest and poorest tend to be the happiest. Put in reverse, societies that have the largest gap between the richest and the poorest tend to be the least happy. This resonates with me right now, in light of rioters and St Paul's protesters and all the vitriol a bile directed at bankers. Not that I have any answers to the effects that this principle has on our particular society.
The second thing that has struck me is that I really do not relate to the views of the anti-capitalist arguments. Not sure if this makes me a capitalist or not, but I do find it hard to chase the anti-capitalist arguments through to their logical conclusions, since they do not feel that they are holistic and viable. The trouble with such groups is that while there are always a core of people that really do have good views that are well presented in a way that does not cause harm or distress to others. However, living as they do on the fringes of society, they tend to also attract ne'er-do-wells and other riff raff who are more into the anarchic end of the scale, with little regard for holistic and defendable arguments, nor for other people's possessions and property.
The third thing was something said during, I think, Thought for the Day on Radio 4 (and that, dear readers, definitely ages me). The person made the comment that the trouble with capitalism is that it pits man against man in a negative way; with communism it is the other way round. I liked that very much, and will be incorporating it in to my wide and amusing repertoire.
-------------------------------------------* and yes, it was quite hard to listen to that particular discussion without making myself smile by rearranging the odd letter.