A crisis in representative government could be an opening for something new and (maybe) better. In a post at Forbes I suggest that we’re living through the emergence of Social Capitalism, a new economic landscape in which social values are inextricable from branding decisions.
This is a world removed from older efforts to press companies to adopt socially responsible policies. Instead of appealing to companies to “be nice” even when it costs them money, social capitalism represents a change in the underlying market forces that influence profitability. Companies are no friendlier or more moral than in the past, but their alignment with social causes is increasingly tied to productivity and profit. As commerce becomes more responsive and more effective than politics as a means of expressing public values, this threatens to unleash an earthquake under the foundations of democracy.
I’ve alluded to this idea before, once in a piece at GOPLifer and again this past winter at Forbes, but this is the first time I’ve tried to crystalize the concept of social capitalism itself. I should mention that Umair Haque has devoted a lot of thought to a similar concept. It’s worth taking a look at his writings. Interested in your thoughts as always.