Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Saturday, 6 June 2015
Capitalism works for me?
No sooner is one election out of the way than passers-by were being called on to press a Yes/No button on this particular question, indeed to engage in discussion with the artist who set it up (an optimist, you might think - no surprise, then, that he turned out to be American).
It's all tied up with something called the 2Degrees Festival, all about worthy attempts to get us thinking, though I suspect most of us just think what we would have thought anyway, if at all (not that this was a question that actually featured much in the election campaign).
I remarked on the symbolism of the choice of venue, since the market's on the edge of the Lansbury Estate, one of the visible reminders of the Festival of Britain and the time when welfarist social democracy reached its high point in this country. But it turned out that they simply had to take the venues they could get, not being able to get approval for anywhere in the City (now there's a surprise).
(PS: The obvious answer is that for someone of my age, capitalism worked out quite well, but that's because its ability to amplify human impulses was held in check by proper regulation and good old-fashioned scepticism. Not so much nowadays, for those priced out of the race to build up capital.)