Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Crisis of Leadership, Not a Crisis of Capitalism

by Clive Crook


January 4, 2012

With the world’s rich economies struggling and the leaders of the European Union intent on making things worse, the gravity of the economic crisis still confronting the West is hard to exaggerate. Nonetheless, it can be done.

According to what I read, we face not just the worst recession since the 1930s, but a challenge to the West’s entire economic order. The Great Recession exposes the poverty of orthodox economics. It constitutes an ideological crisis. It shows that capitalism itself is “fundamentally” flawed. If all this were true, I’d be a lot more worried about the coming year than I am -- which is saying something.

A new year’s corrective is in order. Reports of the death of capitalism are greatly exaggerated.

What’s surprising is just how wrong those reports have been. Perhaps, as I write, the revolutionaries are organizing in secret, but I see no signs of a popular uprising. Please don’t say Occupy Wall Street, that risible stirring of the perpetually discontented whose principal goal seems to be “a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner” (not all at once, I assume). It is a movement, if you can call it that, without an agenda, and as soon as it tries to get one, if not before, it will sputter out.


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