Inclusive Capitalism: How we can make independence work for everyone
David G. Green, February 2017
The UK is taking back its independence at a time when some of the unspoken assumptions of recent times are shifting. To speak of the political left or the political right no longer has a clear meaning. Some say that the real divide is between globalisation and nationalism, but this distinction fails to capture what is really at stake, namely the accountability of political power.
In this new book, David G. Green argues that the challenge today is not to choose between the left and the right, the market and the state, open or closed societies, or free trade and protection. Rather, it is to decide whether we want the overwhelming concentration of unaccountable power, or dispersed and accountable power in national democracies in which rulers are temporary office holders who act as trustees for the people themselves.
The main threat to the success of Brexit therefore is that the government will be paralysed by the economic ideology of market fundamentalism. This system of beliefs regards government as always and everywhere the enemy of freedom, and our economic life as a set of axiomatic relationships that can be understood only with the special insight of economists. The ‘four freedoms’ of the EU – the freedom of movement for goods, services, capital and labour – are based on this ideology. They are really the four shibboleths of market fundamentalism.
Brexit provides the UK with an opportunity to break free of market fundamentalism and to embrace a new Inclusive Capitalism – an economic and political system compatible with democracy, personal freedom, international peace, and a market economy that is inclusive rather than extractive. This system recognises that a market economy is not a natural outcome found in the absence of intervention by the state. Rather, it is an achievement of legislation and public policy. We need continuously to refine the laws and institutions of business and commerce.
“Soon our future will be back in our own hands. Our journey to independence gives us the chance to renew our vows as a free people and to look afresh at the problems we face and the opportunities we could seize. Whether we succeed or fail will depend in part on the public policies we pursue, especially those that have the potential to impair or enhance our spirit of enterprise. This book is a contribution to the debate about how we can make the most of Brexit. What economic policies are most likely to lead to prosperity for all, and what are the pitfalls to avoid?” – David G. Green