Nigel Farndale: Capitalism isn't broken ... it just needs a little tweak
Published 17/01/2012 | 05:00
Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the political economist Francis Fukuyama declared that we had reached the end of history. Communism had failed. Liberal democracy, and the capitalism that underpinned it, had triumphed. There were no more arguments to be had on the subject of how man should best govern himself.
The only trouble was, history carried on going, first throwing the world into convulsion on 9/11 and then, with the financial meltdown of 2008-09, pulling the ideological rug from under all those triumphant liberal democracies. We were used to a "natural" cycle of boom and bust, but this bust was something different and more profound. It seemed to be a bust of capitalism itself.
After all, when taxpayers have to bail out banks because they are "too big to fail", that, surely, is a contradiction of capitalism -- the survival of the fittest part, anyway.