Even though I’m a laissez faire capitalist, I believe the wealth of a nation should be measured by the freedom of the people – not necessarily the accumulative wealth of the country.
Protecting freedom of speech, expression and free assemblies are more important to me than increasing GDP. For example, we may envy China’s vast economic power but none of us wish to experience ordinary life in Chinese society; under the authority of a one party state, no free elections, free speech or the right to protest. I’d rather live in economically weak Britain than China, India or even Russia.
Would you rather be a millionaire in a totalitarian state, or poor in a liberal democracy?
One could argue that the financial crash of 2008 has brought some benefits; we’ve finally understood there are fundamentally greater significant definitions to a successful life than making money. I reject the idea of the ‘normal life’, in which we all strive to get that degree, job, house and car. In my opinion, it is a very depressing and uniformed life; the individuality is stripped out of us.
It is wage slavery; a quasi-voluntary form of slavery, which is more humane than the traditional system. Renting ourselves out cannot be interpreted as being successful to fulfilling the needs of the individual.
To paraphrase the final paragraph of a book I once read; who is the true social outcast, the person who joins the rest in the 9-5 circus or the person who doesn’t?
Once we understand aspiration is not just about economics, but personal freedoms as well, Britain will probably become a more freer, fairer and equal society. I hope.