Is self­ish­ness and greed good for the econ­omy?

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Swara Kadir

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!

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