Beyond Capitalism: Not-for-Profit Business Ethos Motivates Sustainable Behaviour

For-profit capitalism has created social and economic inequality; successful not-for-profit businesses including Mozilla and the Big Issue point to an alternative path

At the heart of the failing capitalist system is the “for-profit” ethic. Based on the myth that humans are mostly selfish and competitive, the for-profit ethic says the best way to incentivise innovation and facilitate economic activity is to appeal to people’s self-interest.

This manifests in the for-profit business model, central to the current economy, where owners and investors go into business expecting a portion of a company’s profits in the form of dividends, options or shares. In essence, capitalism ensures that we live in a for-profit world.

This way of conducting business has led to socioeconomic inequality, with capital gains and company dividends the largest contributor to income divides. What else could we expect when private profit is seen as the driver of economic activity and profit maximisation is the priority of most big businesses?

Furthermore, the social stratification that results from global financial inequity is tied to ecological devastation, driving our ongoing march towards full systems collapse in the next 50 years.

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