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Home » A Moral Blueprint For Reimagining Capitalism: Manish Bhardwaj (Transcript) 

A Moral Blueprint For Reimagining Capitalism: Manish Bhardwaj (Transcript) 

Here is the full transcript of social entrepreneur Manish Bhardwaj’s talk titled “A Moral Blueprint For Reimagining Capitalism” at TED 2022 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

Folks, in 2022, we know capitalism has a problem. The system that undergirds much of our way of life in the West is exacerbating injustice and inequality. We know that women still get paid less than men. This is 2022.

And the share of the bottom half of the world’s population and wealth is just two percent. We know that the playing field is not level. And yet, even as we are awash in new ideas and thinking and approaches, technologies and gadgets, we somehow do not seem to know how to address the fundamental problems at the heart of it all.

Now I can’t claim to have all the answers, but today I want to talk to you about a tool that can help us design more just systems. And that tool is moral clarity.

Moral Clarity

Now, moral clarity is not an ideology. It’s not righteousness. Moral clarity is doing the right thing because it is right and not from fear of sanction or an expectation of reward. It is clarity of the demands that we are allowed to make of others.

It is to never confuse what we ought to do with what we can do. No one ought to starve. No one ought to be discriminated against. No one ought to profit from suffering. These are not personal preferences. These are moral imperatives that most people believe in, whatever their politics or culture.

And this is what gives us the basis to build more just organizations, communities and, ultimately, a more just world. So, folks, how do we do it? First, if we want justice, let’s use the language of justice, the language of right and wrong.

Stakeholder Capitalism

Take stakeholder capitalism, this notion that a company is responsible to all its stakeholders and to the environment, and not just its shareholders. How well has it done? Well, we have data that shows that as a group, companies that subscribe to stakeholder capitalism did no better supporting their employees in the pandemic than companies that made no such pledge.

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