Will Hutton on Fairness and Inequality

From The Browser:

What precisely is your critique of the capitalism we’re living in now?

ScreenHunter_02 Jan. 21 20.50The apologists for today’s capitalism have a series of theories which at a high level of abstraction are about markets always working optimally. What sits behind those theories is a belief system that the way markets work, and the way life works, revolves very much around the principles of Darwinian natural selection. That capitalism is about survival of the fittest, and hunter-gatherers pursuing their own interests individualistically.

My critique is that this doesn’t describe the world of hunter-gatherers, doesn’t describe how Darwin conceived of natural selection, and more importantly doesn’t describe how actually a contemporary capitalism works and how it has an ongoing legitimacy. My argument is that capitalism delivers its best when it respects some very deeply held human views about the way reward and punishment should be distributed.

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