I learned of an interesting book by Muhammad Yunus, Building Social Business – The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs. So I looked it up on Amazon. I was intrigued by the book and also by the reviews.
Muhammad Yunus is the 2006 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Knowing that was helpful. It braced me for the double-talk I was about to read in the book description and the reviews.
A Social Business is one that is set up, not for profit, but for the betterment of society. It generates profit, but that profit is plowed back into the business.
The first paragraph of the book description reads: “Muhammad Yunus, the practical visionary who pioneered microcredit and, with his Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, has developed a visionary new dimension for capitalism which he calls ‘social business.’ By harnessing the energy of profit-making to the objective of fulfilling human needs, social business creates self-supporting, viable commercial enterprises that generate economic growth even as they produce goods and services that make the world a better place.”
As an entrepreneur, I can’t make sense of this statement. Doesn’t Ford Motor Company have the objective of producing goods that make the world a better place? Now admittedly there are businesses that don’t. But it appears to me that most capitalistic activity has that as its objective. That is how a business thrives – by meeting the needs of its customers.
I have started three businesses. All three were traditional capitalistic enterprises. All of them were set up with the objective of fulfilling human needs and to produce goods and services that would make the world a better place. Within the context of making a profit, of course. I have a family and bills to pay.
But it was getting into the reviews that especially intrigued me. One review was titled, “Great Book — Solving Problems of Capitalism.” The reviewer included this comment: “Overall this is a great book, telling of what might evolve into a massive shift in how capitalist economies operate.” Red flags go up when I read stuff like this. Capitalism is a word coined by Marx to be a derogatory description of free market economics. Let’s substitute “the free market” where the reviewer talks about capitalism, and his words become a little threatening. He sees problems in the free market. He wants to shift away from the free market.
This is so typical of leftists. They soft-pedal the coerciveness of their philosophy. Notice how Obama does this. When he wants to take money from “the rich,” he never talks about taking it. He will ask them to give a little more. They will increase their contribution. Leftists do this almost instinctively.
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