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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 6 August, 2002, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Caring capitalism: The price of being nice
caring capitalism n, the pursuit of profit to enrich society as a whole.

COMPARED TO: capitalism - the pursuit of profit to enrich shareholders (which, according to Lenin, is a path that eventually leads to "the suppression of one class by another"). By contrast, caring capitalism seeks to narrow the gap between rich and poor, be kind to the planet and still enrich shareholders.

AS PER: the retiring Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey's new role of lecturing corporate big shots about the morals of making money. Dr Carey will reportedly head up a religious leaders' advisory council for the World Economic Forum.

AS PER II: the "hippy" business model pursued by tree-hugging ice cream makers Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, better known as Ben & Jerry's. The company calls its mission statement a "blueprint for Caring Capitalism".

RELATED CONCEPTS: corporate responsibility, inclusive capitalism, concerned capitalism, ethical investment, stakeholder society, socialism lite, philanthropy, the Third Way, the Co-Op.

RELATED CONCEPTS II: caring conservatism - George Bush's big idea during his 2000 White House campaign.

FLAW: while Bush's new brand of right-wing politics wilted in the face of tax cuts, caring capitalism has also hit trouble. The problem is that ethical investment funds have

than the wider stock market of late.

WHO CARES? In 1986 union chief Rodney Bickerstaff poured scorn on the concept - "The Tory Party definition of caring capitalism is - if you've got capital, we will care for you; if you haven't, hard luck."


Your comments so far:

Surely caring capitalism isn't something new to the world. Didn't Joseph Rowntree practise a kind of caring capitalism that would be unthinkable in the modern world; even to Ben & Jerry.
Bob, UK

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05 Nov 01 | Business
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