Sunday 26 January 2020

Letters to the Editor: 'For capitalism to survive, it must embrace socialism too'

'Capitalism, which in one form or another dates back to the first assemblies of the human race, is, at its most radical, a philosophy of ‘winner takes all’.' Stock photo: PA
'Capitalism, which in one form or another dates back to the first assemblies of the human race, is, at its most radical, a philosophy of ‘winner takes all’.' Stock photo: PA
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The British general election, apart from having a Brexit dilemma hanging over every move, was probably the most intensely fought ideological left versus right struggle of recent times.

The right preaches capitalist economics, which have served the world very well over the last half-century, leaving most people, even those at the bottom of the heap, substantially better off than even their relatively recent predecessors.

Capitalism has certainly been able to create wealth, so much so that deeply committed socialist and even communist regimes have adopted capitalist ideology to greatly improve their own economic situations.

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There is little dispute on how wealth is created – the great argument of opposing ideologies is how that wealth is owned and how it is shared and allocated to the masses.

Extraordinary advances of science and technology in recent times bring the argument to a critical head, and how the increasing dilemma is solved will augur for the peace and prosperity, or otherwise, of the future.

Capitalism, which in one form or another dates back to the first assemblies of the human race, is, at its most radical, a philosophy of ‘winner takes all’.

The reason such selfish aspirations have been accepted and lauded by so many is that creating wealth for even ‘winners’ to take has always required an enormous involvement of the masses in production, marketing and distribution.

Everyone involved gets their share of the spoils within the hierarchical structure of supplying goods and services for the human race.

The future is going to be different, however. Every capitalist dream is to maximise profit by producing and transporting more and more products, with less and less involvement of others.

 The capitalist dream has been spectacularly realised by modern automation, digital communication and immediate transportation.

Capitalism, however, is failing to develop a new ideology which is compatible with unprecedented technological advance, so the whole dream is in danger of becoming a horrendous economic nightmare.

Capitalism must embrace an ideology with agreed methods of restraining production to what is a sensible and safe margin.

It is ironic to think the only way to preserve society and the human race may be an amalgam of the two great ideologies fighting at present for the heart of Britain.

Such merging of systems would make reduction of global warming much easier to achieve as well.

Padraic Neary

Tubbercurry, Co Sligo


Out of touch on how Fine Gael has lifted Ireland

Your edition of December 7 carried a most extraordinary letter from Declan Foley in Australia: ‘From waste of money on NCH to disgrace on housing, Fine Gael’s days are numbered’.

I don’t know how long Mr Foley is in Australia from his native Co Sligo, but he seems to be out of touch.

More than two million people are at work here, population is increasing, we have well-educated young people, many people want to come here (some may say this increases pressure on health, housing, schools and so on) and inequality is at its lowest ever level.

Also, in terms of GDP per capita, Ireland is ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the OECD and the EU 27.

I don’t know if Mr Foley owns a ranch in Australia, but perhaps he should return here and he will see for himself. He is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts.

He might even run as a candidate in Co Sligo. I am sure Fine Gael will have a suitable candidate to match him – and have a candidate in the field in Councillor Thomas Walsh.

That Fine Gael party did take over a bankrupt country with the IMF here, and the party responsible for that debacle did not even return one TD for Sligo/Leitrim in the general election of 2011.

Brendan Cafferty

Ballina, Co Mayo


Craig gives us two hours’ escape from our reality

I Have recently seen the movie ‘Knives Out’, and write to recommend it – two hours of pure entertainment, a great script and plot and a fine galaxy of actors dominated by Daniel Craig, who turns in an outstanding performance.

How good is it? Well, here is an indication: while watching it, neither my wife nor I for one second thought of the housing crisis, high rents, the state of our health service, the cost of the National Children’s Hospital or the printing machine, the recent Environmental Protection Agency report, Brexit, Boris Johnson or Donald Trump.

Go on, see it, and give yourselves a holiday!

Brian Cosgrove

Cornelscourt, Dublin 18

Irish Independent

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