So we, in the business, financial and political system, need to step up. We need political leadership from visionary empiricists who work with the grain of capitalism but also smooth its rough edges: Teddy Roosevelt in the US and Nye Bevan in the UK are sparkling historical examples, but today’s examples are harder to find.
In the UK, the US and Europe, we have systemically under invested in: roads, railways, bridges, digital infrastructure, educational facilities, company start-ups and scale-ups to create high-value jobs. Many situations have become intractable, resulting in requests to governments to simply throw money (which they don’t have) at the problem – amusingly chronicled in King and Crewe."
Nigel Wilson Forbes Magazine July 29th 2018
History will judge us badly if we miss this opportunity to save capitalism from itself, not least because capitalism is under pressure, particularly from populism. When Engels wrote his study of conditions in Manchester factories in 1844, his empirical anti-capitalist analysis was wrong – we were at the beginning of fifty years of unparalleled growth. The outcome was that Manchester became the city with the world’s highest per capita income. His work (not translated into English until 1887) nevertheless cast a long shadow. Our current political and economic backdrop as we enter the fourth industrial revolution today is quite similar. We have choices to make; some countries have made good choices: Singapore, Switzerland, Norway… others have not.