Ha-Joon Chang is the author of 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism. He has posted an op-ed at the Guardian on his view of Occupy wrt to capitalism.
Capitalism has many guises. Pigeonholing protesters will only allow those who are against reform to avoid the issue￼
The Occupy London movement is marking its first month this week. It is routinely described as anti-capitalist, but this label is highly misleading. As I found out when I gave a lecture at its Tent City University last weekend, many of its participants are not against capitalism. They just want it better regulated so that it benefits the greatest possible majority.
But even accepting that the label accurately describes some participants in the movement, what does being anti-capitalist actually mean?
Many Americans, for example, consider countries like France and Sweden to be socialist or anti-capitalist – yet, were their 19th-century ancestors able to time-travel to today, they would almost certainly have called today's US socialist. They would have been shocked to find that their beloved country had decided to punish industry and enterprise with a progressive income tax. To their horror, they would also see that children had been deprived of the freedom to work and adults "the liberty of working as long as [they] wished", as the US supreme court put it in 1905 when ruling unconstitutional a New York state act limiting the working hours of bakers to 10 hours a day. What is capitalist, and thus anti-capitalist, it seems, depends on who you are....He concludes:
By labelling the Occupy movement "anti-capitalist", those who do not want reforms have been able to avoid the real debate. This has to stop. It is time we use the Occupy movement as the catalyst for a serious debate on alternative institutional arrangements that will make British (or for that matter, any other) capitalism better for the majority of people.Read the whole op-ed at The Guardian
Anti-capitalist? Too simple. Occupy can be the catalyst for a radical rethink
by Ha-Joon Chang
(h/t Kevin Fathi via email)