Morality, a natural process of reanimation of Capitalism

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CSR wants to be an expression of corporate morality, but in reality it is a medal with reverse. It speaks increasingly critical of its because of low possibilities of quantification. Given that even those who think this kind of campaigns begin to doubt about their profitability, and it is necessary to understand the logic of CSR in the broader context of global economy.

Traducere de Alina Bunea.

Foto: Ioana Văcăraşu
Diana Șerban/Foto: Ioana Văcăraşu

Although it may seem strange to us, CSR is a concept of economic substance. „An extra expense,” said most economists. In reality things are different, because responsible policies are designed in close connection with the idea of ​​reputation which can be quantified on long-term, as specialized studies shows us.

The new report, Global CSR RepTrak 100, conducted by specialists from reputation institute, looks like 73% of the global consumers surveyed would recommend and would rather choose the services of a company that is socially responsible.

But what do we do with the money considered „throw”? on CSR and with idea that this campaigns are only a ‘fad’ of big companies? A first step would be to integrate the concept of responsibility in the development of the economy, his understanding in a new context that could make it work the global markets of XXI century.

The concept of responsibility is first introduced in the economic sphere to the late XVIII century. Adam Smith (famous economist, politician and Scottish philosopher), spoke for the first time about morality in economics in 1766. His book, known to the public as the „Wealth of Nations” includes first theorization of history of the capitalist system. Thus, according to Adam Smith, the four main pillars that were supposed to uphold the system were: the free market, self-interest, division of labor and morality- which found its expression in principle that we mustn’t harm other members of society in the race to achieve self-interest.

Nicely said, but money rush intensified with the passage of time, transforming the system carefully sketched by Adam Smith into a „wild” system, which offers to economic actors the absolute freedom to sell and purchase, with one constraint: the law. Individual autonomy was thus carried to the extreme, ignoring any responsibility or social constraint.

Basically, we should imagine capitalism as a roof that once supported on four pillars. Meanwhile, for various reasons, one of these pillar was broken, and the roof, obviously, was unbalanced. The capitalist of XXI century, scared by the fact that his money making machine might break one day, found a saving solution to help him to repair the sloped roof: CSR.

The birth of this new business strategies, associated for a long time, in a wrong way, with philanthropy, can be associated with an attempt to recover the morality expressed in the past by Adam Smith as a condition sine qua non for the functioning of the capitalist system.

Basically, moral capitalism, theorized by Stephen Young, which most economists consider it blasphemy, is actually a return to the origins of the system, an attempt to recover the fundamental values that have given life to the capitalist thinking.

Once we managed to internalize these ideas, we all agree that responsible policies are a condition without which we might think of long-term economic development. Supporters of „moral capitalism” claim in unison that markets approaching an imminent collapse, already predicted last economic crisis which now extends crisis faced by U.S. state. It is clear that capitalism has entered into a systemic crisis due to unbalanced operation for a very long time which resulted in exacerbated emphasizing of self-interest. This is why recovery of moral dimension of the system, ignored for so long, as either CSR, or in a form that I don’t found it yet, is vital.

As said two of the leaders of the Forum for Sustainable Development and Environment of the Cambridge University, Lord Martin Rees and Paul Linden. ‘world is changing. And to adapt and to be effective and sustainable, we need to know in which direction should channel our energy to face up to the future challenges’.

 

 

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