The organic nature of capitalism is on full view at the moment. It seems intent on suicide, but somehow I feel that it will survive. My belief is partly bolstered from reading the obituary of Steven Jobs, the former head of Apple who died yesterday. His career epitomizes the art of learning and adapting to situation. He was not a visionary, he was a man who looked at what was and made good, even excellent, decisions about how they ought to be.
Our needs are fluid and what serves them should be fluid as well. Nothing tangible that we live with has to be the same way tomorrow. To believe that things can somehow be made better should be an essential part of the human condition. Nothing is too small or too large to be thought about and improved on. This is true for the tangible, but also for the intangible such as capitalism and democracy, ideas that need to adapt just as people do.
This probably sounds odd coming from an antique dealer. But well designed things made of beautiful materials have their own lasting quality, but they should not forestall new ways of doing things. Jobs understood that as he reeled off one product after another that just worked well and looked beautiful. And yet he kept tweaking his products. Perhaps he understood that the nature of the universe is change. Capitalism and democracy are facing this challenge right now. We will see how well they re-design themselves.