Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Waitrose and the myth of the market economy. Does worker-owned mean anti-capitalist?

 Review of Capitalism Hits the Fan, by Richard Wolff, part two

Reading this book leads inexorably to a conflict with a common sense assumption of everyday life:  that you live in a market economy.

“The market” has become a synonym for the private sector of small firms, privately-owned companies and corporations owned by shareholders. It is frequently said, for example, that public services should be delivered by “the market” because it is more efficient. When things go drastically wrong – spiralling CO2 emissions or worldwide economic recession – “market failure” is blamed.

But the term “market” is fundamentally misleading. The “free market” never sold anything. The organisations that populate the private sector are nothing to do with markets.

To take the example of the most dominant of organisations, corporations. Decisions about their affairs are taken by boards of directors, a tiny elite of 15 or 20 people, who are themselves responsible for maximising financial returns to the corporation’s owners, the shareholders. The immensely more numerous workforce have no say in the decisions, but have to implement them.

In its relations, with other companies, the corporation will try to achieve a monopoly position, destroying competition, and thereby markets. Often it is, ironically, the state that introduces anti-monopoly legislation, and tries, through outside interference, to make sure market competition happens.

The distinction between how production is organised and markets was vividly illustrated by Herbert Simon, the 1978 Nobel laureate in economics. He said that if firms were represented by the colour green and markets by red, the economy would consist of “large green areas interconnected by red lines” rather than “a network of red lines connecting green spots”. We live in an “organizational economy”, not a “market economy”.

That “the market economy” is a myth does not mean that markets don’t exist. The 2007/8 credit crunch was spread around the world by markets. Prices for mortgage-backed securities collapsed, the wealth of banks and others took a huge jolt. Credit was withdrawn from individuals and businesses, and so the disaster was spread. Markets are important, but they are only one part of the story.

The Simon analogy was recounted by Ha-Joon Chang and it shows the convergence, as well as the point of departure, between Keynesianism and Socialism. To a Keynesian like Chang, the realisation that the economy is largely planned within corporations, validates state economic planning. “The question, then is not whether to plan or not,” he writes. “It is what the appropriate levels of and forms of planning are for different activities.”

 But to a Socialist like Wolff, it replaces or augments a debate about how free the market should be, with a new debate about how production should be organised. He agrees that we live in an “organizational economy” but wants to change that organisation.

“Our economic system organizes production in ways that do more damage than markets,” writes Wolff.

Boards of directors of corporations receive, and decide what to do with, the profits from the goods and services produced by workers. The workers themselves – the majority in each enterprise – do not get the profits that their labour produces or any say in what is done with that profit.

As noted in Part One, the soaring profits of corporations lay at the root the economic crisis. But those soaring profits were the result, in part, of stagnating wages for the majority. And the stagnating wages were not a consequence of markets – they didn’t stagnate because productivity stagnated – but because of the inequality of power between corporations and those whose livelihood depends on working for them.

And, as Wolff maintains, boards of directors, as a normal part of their job, will evade and try to destroy government regulations designed to limit corporations’ freedom to do as they want. Corporate lobbying behind laws which legalised speculation in commodities and the creation of instruments like credit default swaps, is a blatant example. All this has no relation to markets, but how the economy is organised.

This leads to Wolff’s answer. Change the profoundly undemocratic way that the economy is organised. Make employers and employees the same people. Alter job descriptions so that employees would work Mondays until Thursdays on their job, while on Friday, everyone would assemble to take decisions for their firm as their collective board of directors. In short, get rid of capitalists.

With this economic democracy, Wolff believes, the economic slump we are living through wouldn’t have happened. Worker-run companies wouldn’t have stopped wages rising, as actually happened since the ‘70s. Without stagnating wages, neither corporate profits nor household debt, vital causes of the financial meltdown, would have skyrocketed.

Enterprises run by their workers would also be less likely to fire workers, repossess homes or outsource production overseas, says Wolff. They would also not be irresistibly hostile to government regulations because the worker-directors are also citizens and residents.

This is Wolff speaking. Look out for line about 12 sculptors in a brick building

But Wolff’s commitment to economic democracy does not make him hostile to markets per se. “I am not saying that markets must never be used as ways to distribute some products and some productive resources,” he writes. “That would simply be a reverse fundamentalism. Rather, let’s recognise that markets have strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly.”

There is an unmistakable similarity between Wolff’s proposals and the recommendations of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in their book The Spirit Level. Both sets of ideas are about expanding employee ownership and control throughout the economy with the help of financial incentives, a gradual approach to a fundamental transformation. Wolff thinks that worker-run enterprises should compete with traditional capitalist enterprises, giving consumers and workers a real choice.

It is interesting that Wolff, a self-proclaimed Marxist economist, and Wilkinson and Pickett, both epidemiologists who are empirically looking for ways to reduce the effects of economic inequality, should come to very similar conclusions.

Two questions arise from Wolff’s plan for economic democracy. Firstly, would it reduce social problems in ways he says it would? Secondly, would it deal with the chronic capitalist instability – boom, followed by bust – which has, as Wolff says, seen thinkers who are by no means its enemies, question capitalism’s long-term future.

In The Spirit Level there is a list of companies, that already now, are worker-run. The London Symphony Orchestra, United Airlines, the Polaroid Corporation, and the John Lewis Partnership, (incorporating Waitrose), are among them. So it’s hardly unheard of.

It seems axiomatic that a worker-run company would be better than a capitalist enterprise, run for the benefit of its shareholders, in at least one respect – the way it treats its workforce.

If you want to use Marxist terms, there is no longer a surplus gleaned from labour to be distributed to shareholders. That surplus, or profit, goes direct to the workforce. So they should be paid more. A worker-run enterprise is unlikely to pay astronomical executive salaries because wage levels will have to be agreed by the workforce, and so these enterprises will lean towards far greater economic equality (which is why The Spirit Level authors are in favour of them). They would put more attention into staff training and wouldn’t resort to outsourcing to developing countries because the labour cost is so much cheaper.

Thus, to Wolff, one major cause of capitalist instability – the conflict between employer and employee – is removed by worker-run companies.

Had they existed throughout the economy, “US history since the 1970s would have differed greatly,” writes Wolff. “Workers appropriating their own surpluses would likely NOT [Wolff likes capitals for emphasis] have frozen their real wages (hence no exploding consumer debt). Workers who collectively appropriated their own surpluses would likely NOT have given immense new payouts to top managers. The distribution of personal income would thus NOT have become so unequal across the last thirty years. Workers appropriating their own surpluses would likely NOT have devoted huge portions of them to move their jobs overseas. And so on.”

It’s important not to minimise this, it’s a significant difference with capitalist “business as usual”. It’s an end to exploitation for one thing. But, at the same time, it’s NOT (sorry) all the difference in the world. This is because the way production is organised takes place, in this economy, through a market. The market economy may be a myth, but markets do condition behaviour in significant ways.

Worker-run or non-profit enterprises are not immune from this conditioning. They have to make a surplus, they have to pay wages, they have to survive, even if they don’t cream off profit for shareholders. It’s when Wolff says that worker-run enterprises would be far more aware of the consequences of what they do, environmentally and socially, that you have reason to be doubtful. “Workers who were also their own board of directors would be less likely to disregard the effects of workplace decisions on surrounding communities (where the workers and their families themselves live),” writes Wolff. “Such workers would aim more for securer jobs and rising wages than for rising profits or market shares.”

But why this greater sensitivity? Is there any empirical reason to think it would happen? To take an example from the real world, consider the behaviour of Waitrose, the UK upmarket food retailer, which is part of the employee-run John Lewis Partnership. There is no evidence that it is more sensitive to the plight of competing small businesses like greengrocers or butchers, than a capitalist retailer. They are competition, and in a market, competition should be destroyed. The resultant increase in market share would lead to greater salaries for the partners in John Lewis, which trumps any sentiment that may exist from those “partners” living in local communities which may be diminished by small shopkeepers being put out of business.

The Spirit Level authors are aware of this weakness. “It might also be said in opposition to employee-ownership,” they concede, “that it does nothing about the basic amorality of the market. The desire to earn a bigger profit would still lead companies to act in anti-social ways, however they were controlled.”

Their answer, that in employee-owned firms people have more control over their work, and can raise awkward questions, is not convincing. We are not talking about whistle-blowing on blatantly unethical activities, but unavoidable survival techniques in a market. Eat or be eaten.

Wolff does address this issue, though only it seems implicitly. Implicitly because in the picture of the new economy he sketches, the market is circumvented by what he calls “democratic social decisions”.

Worker-directors would share power to decide how much work should be done, and how the profits will be used across society with several other “stakeholders”. These groups would comprise workers not directly responsible for production but enabling it to happen. Sales staff, secretaries, bank workers etc. Then public sector workers would have a say. “Besides such workers, local, state and national communities, would also join in democratically co-determining job conditions, the sizes of profits and their disposition,” says Wolff.

Woof! That’s a lot of groups. There’s nothing, in theory, impossible about this, but it does place you squarely in the quicksand territory of what precisely do you replace capitalism with? If you don’t any more rely on the consumer voting with their feet to indicate preference – I don’t like this product, I really like that – how are tastes and desires to be communicated and acted upon? By endless meetings?  This is not to argue that desires aren’t influenced, or even created, by advertising and the mass media, or that the production of goods isn’t impelled by capital and its insatiable need for profit. But it does mean that in a post-capitalist society, the desires of the consumer are not going to disappear and have to be articulated. Unless we all want to live in a Soviet central planning nightmare?

The other question is whether Wolff’s changes would remedy capitalism’s chronic instability, its recurring tendency to go into recession. He argues that the conflict inherent in capitalist production, between employer and employee, would be solved by the conversion to worker control. Another reason for instability, that corporate boards of directors undermine and destroy government regulations, would also be dealt with by employee ownership.

But it does deeper than that. Wolff says that university economics courses used to, up to the mid-1970s, teach about the business cycle. The idea that, under capitalism, the profit from production has to be reinvested, creating more goods and services, which eventually cannot be absorbed by the consumer. This leads to recession, the destruction of jobs and share values. And then, once the destruction had happened, the process can begin again. But the idea of the business cycle – the polite name for capitalism’s instability says Wolff – was forgotten as Milton Friedman became the economic guru, and neoliberalism became dominant.

Now the business cycle is back in vogue. In the draft speech that David Miliband would have given had he won the Labour party leadership, he was due to say, “We did not abolish the business cycle. We should never have claimed it. You can’t in a market economy.”

 You can’t abolish it, but you can try to evade it. Which is exactly what Alan Greenspan of the US Federal Reserve did in 2001 when, in response, to a stock market crash (which should, if things were allowed to take their natural course, have led to recession) he cut interest rates below the rate of inflation and increased the money supply. Thus creating the house price bubble which led to you know what. All by trying to avoid the downside of the business cycle, through government action. David Miliband had the wrong mea culpa.

So the business cycle is real and relevant. The question is whether the destruction of jobs and profits it entails was completed by the recession of 2007/8 or whether we are still in the middle of that destruction.

If the business cycle is a fact of capitalist life, would the changes envisaged by Wolff bring an end to the business cycle? Perhaps, but if the worker-run enterprises he cherishes see their role as accumulating profits, increasing market share, and expanding, as for example John Lewis does now, then you have all the ingredients for the continuation of the business cycle.

You can have sympathy for what Wolff is trying to do in Capitalism Hits the Fan. The Left is rudderless and ambivalent. It offers ineffectual opposition that fails to convince, partly going along with changes proposed from the Right, but complaining the changes are too quick or too brutal. It is in intellectual disarray. Wolff’s idea of worker-run enterprises spreading throughout the economy, would give the Left something to grasp, something that would have to be implacably opposed by the Right. It is also a creditable attempt to sketch how we get from Here to There. But there are questions which Capitalism Hits the Fan alludes to, but does not convincingly answer.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Journalism and the death of the public

The exposure of News International’s resurrection of the private detective industry has prompted introspection about that neglected and defamed art: journalism.

Journalism is the canary in the coal-mine for a 21st century Left. Real journalism is something society can’t do without if it isn’t to degenerate into a schizoid, Public Relations nightmare in which everything is wonderful forever on your TV screen, while it falls slowly apart outside.

It is increasingly obvious that the private sector can’t provide journalism but hiving it all off to the state just creates different problems, such as political interference. The big or bigger state is not the solution. The answer isn’t the market and it isn’t the state. So what is it?

The commentator Ian Dunt does a good job of explaining why journalism is “uniquely unsuited to the private sector”. It is a social good which can’t justify itself economically. In the past, he writes, this was less of a problem as newspapers would treat investigative journalism or foreign news as loss-leaders, but with a certain gravitas that attracted advertisers.

Now, in the days of the internet, there is much more detailed and reliable information about the behaviour of consumers. Hence, endless revelations about celebrities, ‘strange but true’ stories, and photos of dogs doing funny things.

Journalism is gradually being asphyxiated.  A 2010 OECD report concluded that “no business models have been found to finance in-depth independent news production” which raises questions about “the supply of high-quality journalism in the longer-term”. (translated: here’s a picture of a kitten to distract you)

Dunt is encapsulating the process described by Mark Fisher in his book Capitalist Realism as the replacement of the public by the consumer. It is the difference between the public interest and what the public is interested in. The consumer has won. But giving people what they want, based on ever more effective ways of finding out what they want, doesn’t create satisfaction. It just breeds the opposite.

Fisher says this is not only because people don't know what they want, they want what they don’t know.

“The most powerful forms of desire are precisely cravings for the strange, the unexpected, the weird. These can only be supplied by artists and media professionals who are prepared to give people something different from that which already satisfies them: by those, that is to say, prepared to take a certain kind of risk.”

But a risk obviously involves the possibility of being unpopular, of saying something which people don’t want to hear, at least in the short-term. And if everything the media does has to justify itself immediately in monetary terms, you left with (in Fisher’s words) “conformity and the cult of the minimal variation, the turning out of products which very closely resemble those that are already successful”.

The question Fisher asks in conclusion is the question ultimately raised by the News International revelations – what to do about the death of the public. “Since it is now clear that a certain amount of stability is necessary for cultural vibrancy, the question to be asked is: how can this stability be provided, and by what agencies?” (my italics)

One response has been to fund investigate journalism through philanthropy. In the US, the Huffington Post website has received money from charitable foundations for investigative reporting. There are also small funds for investigative journalism in Belgium (the Pascal Decroos Fund which has given 21,000 euros to five teams) and in Norway the Storebrand fund. But, as an article about them says, they are a very small response to a rapidly increasing problem.

Journalism funded through charity can only ever be a limited answer. It is, after all, dependent on capitalist profits being healthy, because this is exactly where charitable foundations get their money from. You might cry, ‘what about non-profit agencies?’ but non-profit businesses still have to survive in the market, and follow its diktats even if they don’t have shareholders to placate. Besides, if no viable business model exists, they won’t exist.

George Orwell once said: “If liberty means anything, it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear”. That right is becoming more and more abstract.

 The above is an artist's impression of George Orwell responding to current events

Saturday, 9 July 2011

I’m a sharing kinda person and everything’s still f****** up. Or how I learned to start worrying and blame capitalism instead of greed

Review of Capitalist Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About it
By Richard Wolff

There is a word that recurs repeatedly throughout this collection of 60 or so essays by the American economist Richard Wolff:systemic. Wolff is a Marxist economist and the Monthly Review on whose website the essays first appeared, is a Marxist journal (founded in 1949 with help from Albert Einstein). Systemic, you might say, is a typical Marxist word.

But the book is not a journey into impenetrable forest of Marx-speak. Wolff’s language belies his background both as a Marxist and an economist. The book is lucid, readable and jargon-free.

Here is Wolff speaking:

Systemic sounds forbidding but its meaning is not complicated. It means that the economic crisis we are in the middle of, that began in the US but spread throughout the world, is not the result of human weakness. But of people rationally pursuing the aims of the organisations they work for.

You can discard greed, gullibility, recklessness and raging testosterone. What you can’t discard is capitalism.

As Wolff says, the Right and the Centre in politics will blame human weakness because they cannot blame the economic system. If they did, they would cease to be right-wing or centrist. Their explanation is pre-determined by what they believe. You can’t blame something you want to preserve.

 The unique contribution of the Left could and should be to insist on systemic explanations and solutions. The Left could not and should not be hamstrung in its thinking by any commitment to preserve the economic system

 But blaming human weakness is like a magnet to which everyone is drawn. Even a critical group outside the UK political consensus, like UK Uncut, will attribute our plight to “reckless banks”.

This, to Wolff, is finger pointing. Because capitalism is not just big banks, or big business but a “system that ties together all streets, businesses, workers, householders and the government”.

The economic crisis is merely the symptom. The disease is capitalism.

Wolff’s explanation starts from the class conflict inevitable in capitalism. You don’t have to believe in this class conflict for it to exist. Employers, naturally, want to keep wages down as they do every type of cost. Employees, equally naturally, want wages and other benefits, to rise. That’s a conflict.

In the US this conflict has erupted sometimes into open struggle but a lid was kept on it by the fact that wage keeping rising for 150 years. However, after the mid-1970s, wages stopped rising. This momentous fact, says Wolff, is rarely appreciated.

The statistics are startling. From 1947 to 1972, average US wages rose by 75 per cent. After 1975 they stopped rising, actually dropping by 6.5 per cent if a shorter working week is taken into account. The average US consumer could buy less with their wages in 2005 than they could 40 years before.

While wages stopped rising, productivity – output per worker – went speeding on ahead.  It rose by 75 per cent between 1973 and 2005. US employers got 75 per cent more goods and services per worker, while the wage bill hardly rose at all.

Oscar Wilde said that the only thing worse than not getting what you want, is getting it.

Well, US employers got what they wanted, soaring profits. But there lies the roots of the current economic crisis.

US workers responded to the abrupt ceasing of rising wages but borrowing at a rate unprecedented in history. They ran up enormous credit cards bills and mortgages, often selling part of their houses back to lenders, to live on the proceeds, so-called reverse mortgages.

This process was positively encouraged by the US government, which cut interest rates to below inflation for three years after 2000, in order to avert a recession.

The soaring profits made by corporations were partly deposited in banks, which make money from loaning out their deposits. The banks, also profit-making corporations operating in a competitive market, invented new financial instruments to profit from these surpluses.

For the banks, profits were the carrot and markets, other competing banks, were the stick.

In this way, workers were squeezed twice. Once as their wages stagnated as productivity rose, and then by the interest on the loans that enabled their consumption.

Mortgage-backed securities, collaterized debt obligations (comprising mortgage, credit card, corporate, and student-loan debt) and credit default swaps were created. All kinds of organisations – including governments and charities – invested in these securities on the stock market because they offered high returns but were thought to be low risk.

“The financial profits depended on the rising surpluses that depended on the stagnant wages,” says Wolff. “Financial profits also depended on the flip side of stagnant wages, namely massive worker borrowing. Because rising consumption had become the measure of personal success in life, wage stagnation since the 1970s rendered most US workers extraordinarily vulnerable to new consumer credit offers. Enter the banks relentlessly pushing credit cards, home equity loans, student loans and so on. Workers undertook a record-breaking debt binge.”

Rising interest rates increased defaults on loans that caused the financial instruments, based on debt, to lose value in the market. And so began the bust that followed the boom. The “credit crunch” was spread all over the world by the organisations that had invested in the MBSs and CDOs.

Note that the only possible point at which greed enters the picture is in the behaviour of American consumers. They could have responded to stagnating wages by cutting back on consumption (which thereby would have precipitated a different kind of economic crisis). Perhaps they were “greedy” not to. But in Wolff words, consumption “had become the measure of personal success in life”. Consumption was the constant message of advertisers, of lifestyle coaches, of business ideologies, and even trade unions. If greed is to blame, there are an awful lot of people out there telling you to be greedy.

But if you reject the systemic explanation for the economic crisis, what are you left with? You are back to human weakness and recklessness, whether of bankers or misguided consumers. Then the answer is either to replace the bad, reckless people with good, sensible people or hope for a general cultural renaissance.

Either is conservative. And the definition of a conservative explanation is that economic problems are not caused by the economic system.

“The basic conservative message holds that the current explanation is NOT connected to the underlying economic system,” says Wolff. “The crisis does NOT emerge from the structure of the corporate system of production. It is NOT connected to the fact that corporate boards of directors, responsible to the minority that owns most of their shares, make all the key economic decisions while the enterprise’s employees and the vast majority of the citizenry have to live with the consequences. The very undemocratic nature of the capitalist system of production is NOT related to crisis in the conservative view”.

So for conservatives the search is for an explanation that doesn’t blame what they hold most precious, namely corporations and markets. Step forward, human beings who have always been, it has to be said, a bit flaky.

The real reason for the economic crash, says British Conservative MP Jesse Norman, is that people and markets did not behave as economic textbooks said they should. Banks hyped 125 per cent mortgages on a credulous public. Politicians, regulators and bankers were not aware of how hard how “humans” find it to assess risk and their well-known (though apparently not well-known enough) tendency to prefer a biscuit now and not think about how their tooth will ache in the future.

Consumerism – the drive to excessively buy goods in the here and now – is what Norman is lamenting. But it is a little late for regrets. Consumerism has been the reason for working for decades. Rising wages that make possible more consumption is the reward for tolerating the work discipline of capitalism and its profoundly undemocratic method of production. It made taking orders and serving purposes that are not your own, bearable.

Consumerism, as Wolff says, is not some strange quirk or fatal flaw in the human race. It was the glue that held together capitalism in the US and in other countries. In economic terms, labour was the burden for which consumption enabled by wages was the compensation. Almost everybody, the media, economists and trade unions accepted, and trumpeted, this deal.  Rising house prices in the US and UK were just another form the glue took.

But the economic crisis has exposed how this glue has lost its stickiness. US employers haven’t needed the deal for three decades and now US workers have exhausted ways – such as borrowing - to postpone the results of its dissolution.

In a strange twist of history, what is becoming more apparent is something that was supposed to have been banished when Marxism was practically and intellectually defeated: exploitation. Back in the 1970s, when neoliberalism was becoming predominant, first in Britain, the idea gained currency that the basic problem was that trade unions were too powerful. That power, or interference, meant that workers automatically got pay increases even when productivity went down. What they were paid was arbitrary.

One of Margaret Thatcher’s key advisers was on trade union law was a union negotiator called Leonard Neal who had pioneered the practice, in the oil industry, of making pay increases dependent on productivity increases.

Thatcher (and Reagan) won. Unions were vanquished. Theoretically, the result should have been that, without trade unions interfering in the market, pay was inextricably linked to productivity. But that wasn’t what happened.

Here is Wolff talking about the fact that hourly wages in the US fell between 2005 and 2006 at the same time as productivity rose. “Workers were not only denied any of the extra output they produced, but their reward for increased productivity was to get even less than they did before they became more productive.”

Britain follows a similar pattern to the US. A 2009 Trades Union Congress Report, found that Britain was suffering from a “wage squeeze”, in contrast the “profits squeeze” of the 1970s. As in the US, the share of national income going to profits has shot up, while personal debt has exploded. Average personal debt was 45 per cent of income in 1980. In 2007, it was 157 per cent. And after 2000, wages in Britain have risen by 0.9 per cent while productivity has averaged 1.6 per cent.

There’s a word for the gap between the value of what workers produce and what they get paid. It is exploitation. And, as Wolff says, it is getting worse.

The problem is not just that some people get millions of pounds for “socially useless” activities. More than that, people are not even paid according to their contribution to profit, their productivity. In economic jargon, their “marginal revenue product”.

The fact that the average pay of FTSE 100 chief executives went up by 13 per cent in 2004/5, 28 per cent in 2005/6 and 37 per cent in 2006/7 says nothing about the profitability of their companies, or their own productivity.

What it reflects, as the International Labour Organization concluded in 2008, is their “dominant bargaining position

The book Rich Britain, shows what that bargaining position is. Theoretically independent remuneration committees that set chief executive salaries are stuffed full of former chief executives of the same company or current chief executives of other companies. “How about a 35 per cent pay increase? Oh, go on then”. Adam Smith’s invisible hand is nowhere to seen, unless it’s scratching backs. Their pay is as “arbitrary” as any Sheffield steel worker in 1978. Only it’s a lot more

This is not “market failure”. It is not, as the Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang claims, due to market manipulation. It is not a product of what Jesse Norman’s desperate imagination calls, “rigor mortis economics”. It is simpler. Markets don’t determine wages, power does.

The lesson for ordinary people should surely be ‘get what you can’ because you aren’t going to get what you deserve. But, in practice, the bargaining position, or power, of organized labour that enabled the relative equality of the post-war era up to mid-70s to happen, is not likely to return. That’s why Wolff’s answer to the fact that the inevitable class conflict of capitalism is seemingly permanently tilted in the employer’s favour, is to radically change the rules of the game.

He wants to make workers their own bosses. We will consider this solution is the second part of this review. But saying what’s wrong with capitalism is far easier than putting a workable alternative in its stead. As the placard said, “Abolish capitalism, and replace it with something nice".