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Skyscrapers and capitalism


Martin Parker has a fascinating piece where he explores what London's rising skyscrapers says about society. This quote is particularly interesting :
Skyscrapers are terrifying and beautiful at the same time. They are both monuments to human ingenuity, and to massive inequality, as their occupants look down on the people living in cardboard on the city streets. The question they provoke is not really about boom or slump, but about the nature of an economic system which makes such projects possible.
Perhaps we might go further and say, additional questions are also raised about the values that drives such an economic system. In the end the reality is that economic systems are large a product who we are  as a people not necessarily how we want to be. The capitalistic economic model exists because right or wrongly we have concluded that self interest is the best predictor of human behaviour and therefore the best driver for human progress. 

To change economic system requires us to think different about our underlying values. This point is particularly well made by Edward and Robert Skildesky in their book How Much is Enough?: Money and the Good Life' . And this need is urgent because as Skildesky says, "Capitalism has achieved incomparable progress in the creation of wealth, but has left us incapable of putting that wealth to civilized use". 

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