Capitalism: Marvelous, Misunderstood, Maligned

By Kate Lowery, January 17, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Kate Lowery

John Mackey, along with co-author Raj Sisodia, business professor and co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism Institute, lays out a bold blueprint for capitalism in their fresh, new book: “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.”

Over the past few years, corporate America has gotten a bad reputation. While free enterprise capitalism has been the most powerful creative system of social cooperation and human progress ever conceived, its perception and role in society have been distorted. Operating under the conscious capitalism model will show that businesses are the true value creators that can push all of humanity upward for continuous improvement. Businesses around the globe need to steer capitalism away from today’s growing trend of cronyism, by embracing conscious capitalism. John and Raj describe this as a way of thinking about business to ensure that it is grounded in a higher purpose to enhance its positive impact on the world. When reinvented in this way, capitalism is an extraordinarily powerful system of value creation mutually benefitting all stakeholders. John talks about how capitalism is Marvelous, Misunderstood and Maligned.

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Marlene Creel says ...
Bravo Mr. Mackey! I haven't been a frequent shopper at Whole Foods but I will be now!
01/17/2013 8:47:12 AM CST
George says ...
This message is excellent and I look forward to reading the book having recently read the Richard Branson book 'Screw Business as Usual. Please keep talking Mr. Mackey.
01/17/2013 3:18:45 PM CST
James says ...
Not bravo, Mr. Mackey! Free enterprise capitalism brought us things like railroad barons and software monopolies. Government involvement is necessary because non-people corporations can't help but try to profit as much as possible from humanity's needs like food, medicine and shelter. Unfettered captialism by nature and by necessity has only one ethical responsibility, and that is to make a profit. They are, quite logically and as evidenced throughout history, totally unscrupulous. This kills the cohesion that makes a society and it literally kills people - witness the gun industry and their phony baloney constitutional arguments for owning guns.
01/17/2013 4:32:00 PM CST
Donna Gulden says ...
Great info, keep your message going! I'll do my part!
01/17/2013 5:13:46 PM CST
Valerie says ...
I never shopped at Whole Foods because I thought it was a granola, liberal, Ben&Jerry's type company--and I do live in WA state. I heard John Mackey's interview on Fox and when he mentioned Von Mises, I was sold. I thought we were a dying breed. Count me as a loyal customer.
01/17/2013 9:50:00 PM CST
pete v says ...
Hello John and Raj, your comments about creating value for "stakeholders" are right on - I look forward to reading the book. _ _ _ _ _ Thomas Paine, in his famous pamphlet "Common Sense," discussed the idea of a small number of settlers in a new territory in order to define "the design and end of government." This allegorical group of stakeholders, operating under a system you might describe as conscious capitalism, enjoy the "reciprocal blessings" of their perfect and just cooperation. _ _ _ _ _ Paine, however, goes on to describe the inevitable fall from this hypothetical ideal state, whereupon the settlers "begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other: and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue." _ _ _ _ _ You state above "Businesses around the globe need to steer capitalism away from today’s growing trend of cronyism." Those of us who are confident in the ability of free markets to create value for all stakeholders must also recognize the hindrances to the actual freedom of these markets. _ _ _ _ _ I wonder, is it contingent upon individual/private actors, in your opinion, to expel corruption from capitalism? What role, if any, should the government play in maintaining the liberty of people to participate in this conscious system free from cronyism? _ _ _ _ _ State regulation of economic activity is a tricky subject. Perhaps "stakeholder theory" will further inform a clear and just idea of the design and end of government. _ _ _ _ _ Thanks, pete v
01/18/2013 1:27:00 PM CST
Jonathan Tobias says ...
I have always supported a capitalism where real persons are making real things, providing real services or selling real goods. I have no reason to believe that Whole Foods is not doing the capitalism that I support. However, it was most unfortunate that John Mackey waded into the madhouse debate with a flaming word like "fascism." I'm glad he walked it back, somewhat. But the federal government insinuating itself into healthcare is no more "overweening" than when it entered the sphere of old age and disability safety nets with the advent of Social Security. I welcome Mackey's brand of capitalism. However, please, please do not label me a "socialist" or a "leftist" or a "fascist" (God forbid) simply because I will continue to denounce the hyper-capitalism of Wall Street financiers, who neither make, provide or sell anything good.
01/21/2013 7:53:35 AM CST
Byron says ...
Capitalism is great, it has brought the most prosperity, the most health, the most wealth to the average person than any other economic system in human history. Capitalism is the only system consistent with human liberty. Free people engaged in mutually beneficial, voluntary transactions is the proper state of mankind. Anything else destroys the human spirit. Statism, in all its incarnations, is evil. Any system which forces men to behave irrationally to be able to exist is immoral. Hats of to Mr. Mackey for supporting capitalism. But I am not exactly sure what "conscious" capitalism is? Capitalism doesnt need to be conscious or compassionate, it is supremely moral.
01/21/2013 9:25:00 AM CST
Mike says ...
Thank You for your courage, honesty and persistence in the face of governmental tyranny supported by a media that falls in line. You are helping to educate the public to an economic system that has been marginalized by demagogues. I liked Whole Foods before your couragous stances but I am now with your biggest fans. I am going out to find your book asap. Keep up the great work.
01/29/2013 10:51:45 AM CST
Philip Griffen says ...
Wonderful tack on capitalism....time to marshal forces to combat the forces aiming to disparage and malign it through medial portrayals which are not favorable. You are a true force for good John.
01/31/2013 1:05:36 AM CST