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03-05-2021 | Featured article and Forum | Issue 1/2021

Society 1/2021

Capitalism Needs to Be Re-encapsulated

Journal:
Society > Issue 1/2021
Author:
Amitai Etzioni
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Abstract

Capitalism, which has become the dominant economic system in the world, requires a strong political and social capsule, made out of regulations and normative restrictions. The capsule in the United States has weakened since 1980; major industries and corporations are engaged in highly unethical and often illegal behavior. It is not a case of a few “rotten apples” in an otherwise healthy barrel—but a barrel whose contents are decomposing as a whole. Public opinion polls and political preferences indicate that large segments of the public are disenchanted with the current form of the capitalist system, and there are some indications that the economic elites recognize a growing public demand for a stronger capsule. This article closes by raising a question about the long-run sustainability of this economic system.

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