“How can I believe in capitalism. It is a corrupt system and it failed,” a friend said.
I wondered about the two words “corruption” and “system so closely allied and thought I might replace “people” with “system.”
Are systems inherently corrupt? Some times. But more often than not, even the best system can become corrupt because of people who become corrupt.
Over thirty years ago last month, in April 1975, the Democratic government of Vietnam failed and is no more. That government was widely believed to be corrupt and was replaced by communism — which has itself become a model of corruption.
Yet few Americans I talk to complain that democracy is inherently corrupt — the proof is Vietnam and so this system should be cast aside as dead.
Is capitalism corrupt? I guess when corrupt people like Bernie Madoff take advantage of the breakdown of checks and balances and others including the congress and regulators fail to do their jobs.
Is the CIA corrupt because of the “torture” of terrorists? Hardly: President Obama has said that. But others have said, the corruption is with Bush and Cheney and the others — or with the “system.”
So there may have been failure within the system — that doesn’t necessarily make the system a failure.
We need maybe to make our “system” as corruption free as possible.
The Obama Team seems to make the argument that capitalism is, in and of itself, corrupt and dead: the proof is in our current economic failure.
But it just could be that the system didn’t let us down as much as the people who were not doing their jobs inside the system. And those people were of two parties; not one.