Capitalism may seem like “survival of the fittest”, but it could be halted or reversed by politics or the random flux of human events

In boardrooms, banks and governments the belief has taken root that the advance of capitalism is irreversible.

The key feature of Darwin’s theory is that evolution has no overall direction.

Evolution isn’t going anywhere in particular, and all talk of societies evolving towards some common end-point – whether capitalism, communism or anything else – involves a basic misunderstanding of Darwinian evolution.

Capitalism has survived the financial crisis that began in 2007, and there’s no reason to think it faces any imminent prospect of global collapse. Equally, there’s no reason to suppose capitalism is going to resume its advance. To my mind the most likely upshot is that the future will be like the past, with the world containing a variety of economic systems. Whatever happens, it won’t be determined by some imaginary process of social evolution. It will be human decisions, interacting with the uncontrollable flow of events, which lead the world into an unknown future.


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