Mr Benn says the growing wealth divide is threatening peace
In a HARDtalk interview on 13 October, Tim Sebastian talks to former Labour cabinet minister Tony Benn, as part of BBC World's focus on capitalism, about the break-up of the WTO meeting in Cancun, globalisation and the evils he attributes to capitalism.
The recent collapse of the WTO talks in Cancun has highlighted the difference between rich and poor nations.
But should it be capitalism itself that's under the spotlight?
Tony Benn, acknowledged leader of the populist left in the British Labour party says the gap between rich and poor countries is now so sharp and the difference in income so extreme that it threatens world peace.
"The world is run by big businesses. It is the political power of capital that is the problem," he told HARDtalk.
"Nobody argues the right to buy the cheapest soap, but when you get multinationals with a bigger turnover than countries, they dominate governments. Ford has a bigger turnover than the whole of South Africa".
Tony Benn believes that what capitalism and communism have in common is that they are both enemies of democracy.
"Neither capitalism nor communism want the ordinary people to have a say. Why did the talks in Mexico break down? Because rich countries protect and subsidise their own agriculture and put a duty on food from developing countries."
He told HARDtalk: "I don't think anyone should kid themselves that capitalism is about the rich benefiting the poor. It's about the rich getting richer at the expense of those who make the world's wealth.
"They want to get their hands on the money those countries currently choose to use for public services, like health. "When the rich go to the poorest countries they insist all their industries are privatised."
Me Benn says the war in Iraq is a capitalist war.
"We supplied the weapons. We armed Saddam. I was in parliament when Halabja happened and we raised it and were told we couldn't do anything about it because Saddam was an ally."
Tony Benn makes no bones about being a socialist and is very definitely not "New Labour".
He maintains New Labour is a Thatcherite party: "Margaret Thatcher was asked recently what her greatest achievement was, and she said "New Labour". And she's right".
HARDtalk can be seen on BBC World at 03:30 GMT, 08:30 GMT, 11:30 GMT, 15:30 GMT, 18:30 GMT and 22:30 GMT
It can also be seen on BBC News 24 at 03:30 and 23:30