I view this quote as potentially good news:
The Harvard University survey, which polled young adults between ages 18 and 29, found that 51 percent of respondents do not support capitalism. Just 42 percent said they support it.
It isn’t clear that the young people in the poll would prefer some alternative system, though. Just 33 percent said they supported socialism. The survey had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.
To start with, how many, even Harvard students, would give a consistent definition for the term “capitalism”? Most from Harvard might give correct definitions, but their definitions would inevitably vary. And when Hilaire Belloc attacked capitalism in The Servile State, he had to first define capitalism. Note: Belloc was arguing against capitalism’s tendency to bring about socialism. *Libertarian heads explode.*
Secondly, many of the paleos were labeled as “anti-capitalist”, and I’ve never believed in the mythos around the Industrial Revolution. The strength of capitalism exists where economically productive assets within a society are given power. The less economically productive then must focus efforts on more immediate concerns, like finding a job so as to eat. As a result, you have less idleness but also reductions in socially useful assets such as monasteries.
And on this second point, let me note that this is only capitalism as functioning ideally. Also, these less productive assets, such as monasteries, can serve vital functions. So, while ideal capitalism might lead to a dramatic flowering, it isn’t necessarily stable. We see in America today, moneyed-special-interests influencing political campaigns, culture, the media (including bloggers though obviously not this site). There’s almost no place for those who value anything other than money.
Today, nationalism is condemned. Faith is condemned. Our society is becoming more individualistic, secular, transient. What value is left to Americans but pursuit of greed? And we see the results, wars partly fought for profit (also for Israel lobby), mass immigration for profit, free trade for profit (Francis once said free trade is “economic ethnic cleansing”). Greed destroys. (And it’s not a Christian value, but it feels somehow dirty to make such an obvious reference.)
The term for what is lost in present-society used to be called, by a paleo blogger, “social capital”. We could all sense something was amiss with Wall Street speculation and greed, though we certainly didn’t want socialism. “Distributism”, “Third Position”, and other “Third Way” ideas became popular as a result.
Anyway, I’m proudly anti-socialist, and that is why I’m also anti-capitalist. Third solutions are the future, however one defines them, alternatives existing within both the “Left” and the “Right”. And I find many on the “Left” agree with me on many things, so long as I don’t break certain taboo topics, at least not all at once. There is potential there for a movement to draw support from both groups to assault the “moderate” centre.
One thing investors and speculators know well: The market doesn’t move in a straight line. If the march of “history” appears inevitable today, that march will shift.