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“In the long arc of history, no human creation has had a greater positive impact on more people more rapidly than free-enterprise capitalism. It is unquestionably the greatest system for innovation and social cooperation that has ever existed” John Mackey and Raj Sisodia co-authored this book In order to return capitalism back to its roots. Free-enterprise capitalism has created prosperity not just for a few, but for billions of people everywhere”
In the past two hundred years, average life expectancy across the world has increased to sixty-eight years primarily because of progress in technology, sanitation, medicine, and agricultural productivity, and so forth. With the growth of economic freedom, 53 percent of people now live in countries with democratic governments elected by universal suffrage, compared with zero people just 120 years ago. The self-determination associated with free markets, along with greater prosperity leads to greater happiness.
The contribution of free enterprise Capitalism to human progress and widespread prosperity has been heroic. While economists presented its ideology solely for-profit maximization, critics portrayed capitalism as exploiting workers, cheating consumers, causing inequality by benefiting the rich but not the poor, homogenizing society, fragmenting communities and destroying the environment.
John Mackey challenged the intellectual view of Milton Friedman. Intellectuals have misled the public on the ethical foundation of capitalism by making it a self-interest venture which he described as “crony capitalism”
According to the book, Classical economists formulated their theories by observing and describing the behavior of various entrepreneurs and their businesses. They observed correctly that successful businesses were always profitable and that, indeed, the entrepreneurs who organized and operated these successful businesses always sought to make profits. Businesses that were not profitable did not survive for long in a competitive marketplace. The classical economists went from describing the behavior in which they observed successful entrepreneurs engage while operating their businesses, to prescribing the behavior as the correct one that all entrepreneurs should engage in all of the time and which was based on the first industrial revolution.
In their view, classical economist premise was positioned wrongly because entrepreneurs who start successful businesses don’t do so just to maximize profits. Of course, they want to make money, but that is not what drives most of them. They are inspired to do something that they believe needs doing. Thus using their dreams and passion as fuel to create extraordinary value for customers, team members, suppliers, society, and investors. They believe that the heroic spirit of capitalism is not the sole aim for profit maximization but a sense of consciousness that should lead to human progress and impacts on the world.
They called their version “conscious capitalism” — here, they highlighted the four tenets of Capitalism; higher purpose, Stakeholders integration, conscious leadership, conscious culture and management. Mackey and Raj went further by delineating how corporations should discover a higher purpose in customer satisfaction, team management, investor’s relationship, community development and so forth. If these tenets are core values of corporations, there’ll be a synergy between entrepreneurs, stakeholders and the environment which will deliver strong financial results and prosperous life to the society.
Creators of zones and societies will find this book intriguing. It supports the premise to which city building was founded; having the interest of the society in mind- value creation and the consciousness of human needs.
Policymakers and analysts will find great insights in this book. The sole purpose of policy formation shouldn’t be self-centered but society-centered. Chapters 1 and 2 also have some interesting data.
Scholars will re-examine their position about the ethical foundation of free enterprise Capitalism. Some parts of Chapter 1 focuses on the history of Capitalism and how economists mispresented its ideology.
The book can be purchased here
Written by Cesare Adeniyi-Martins