Is selfishness and greed good for the economy?
What is the dynamo of the capitalist system? What is the basis of this economical system that has become the dominant faith of global economics? Is it a sound sustainable economic framework? Should Kurdistan blindly adopt it or look at other economic alternatives?
It seems necessary at times to examine the economic roots and the philosophical principles and look at the market with fresh eyes. The answer to the questions above is based on a fundamental part of human nature that is as old as humanity itself; greed and self- ishness. The dominant world economies are based on the motive of human greed and selfishness. Man wants more than he has and is naturally self-interested. The capitalist system is based on this.
Adam Smith, the founder of Capitalism and the idea of laissez-faire (French for to leave alone) thought that the state should not interfere with the economy, and it should just let the natural laws of human selfishness govern market with minimum to no state involvement in the process of economic growth. He thought that as a result of this an ‘invisible hand’ would guide the market towards growth and prosperity.
Is that a good principle to base a national economy on? Can Kurdistan really benefit by having its economy controlled by a supposedly an ‘invisible hand’? Some would argue that the capitalist economy has proven its track record after the fall of communism and its dominance as the de facto economic philosophy, but does that mean the Kurdistan Regional Government should just stand back and watch as greedy capitalists take over the economy and establish monopolies over the market!
Karl Marx once said, “From each according to his ability to each according to his need,” but he is long dead along with his Marxist philosophy. Although I think that it’s a better maxim to base a whole economic system on than just plain selfishness and greed!