Market moves

Capitalism evolves with the culture but it also shapes the culture. And there are market forces upon our culture that we cannot ignore. This is why an approach towards blindly de-regulating everything is not just ridiculous but unacceptable.

During the early stages of capitalism, there are many proprietors and many labourers; capital being scarce and labour being more abundant. What is interesting is that the diminishing marginal return on labour sets in quicker than capital so capital keeps gaining more. And that gives capital more bargaining power and hence retain a good share of the income. This is helpful because the concentration of capital in the initial phase helps allows the scale of investment that brings about the large scale development. The government’s ability to tax these gains also help to allow for massive investment in public infrastructure and education, enabling the new class of knowledge worker, unlocking a new phase of capitalism.

We need to decide if the concentration of capital is still important and good for the society from a corporate perspective. I’d say in some industries and spheres, maybe. But in others, it’s probably not so great because increasing the bargaining power of these industries against their customer base or labour base is not going to help with the social objective of improving the society.

And this is not just about the media giants appealing to one political faction over another in order to gain dominance over a set of audience but to the detriment of the society as it fuels divisions. It’s also brands that are trying to appeal to other divides across different spectrum that humans find themselves distributed across. For capitalism, dividing people can be profitable, sometimes more than uniting them. Luxury goods being the best example of that – making things ‘exclusive’, which essentially spells ‘division-as-a-business model’.