Value Capitalism

Value Capitalism - A Guarantor for India's Future?

Is it possible to integrate values as a component of capitalism? Andreas Herteux, a German researcher and philosopher, has developed a very interesting concept that could also strengthen India's geopolitical role.

In the brief book "Value Capitalism - Wertekapitalismus" (ISBN 978-3948621292, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.4707282), he presents an innovative proposal to redesign capitalism in such a way that values, defined by him as guaranteed rights, become a factor of economic production. Value capitalism would therefore not be a state intervention, but it would change the DNA of capitalism and redirect its power for the benefit of all.

In practical terms, it is to be implemented through a so-called guardian of values, a fund in which liberal democratic countries invest and which becomes active as a market participant.

The aim is to gain high market shares in the key technologies of the future and thus secure them for the general public. These are then offered on the market. If a company wants to enter into a licensing agreement, it contractually commits itself to comply with certain values, which would thus become a production factor, because a lack of licenses would be a competitive disadvantage. Accordingly, the pursuit of profit maximization would be the main driver for distribution. The fund would reinvest the revenues or distribute them to the donor countries.

So much for the proposal, outlined in a few pages as a contribution to the debate.

The approach to manipulating capitalism is innovative and above all pragmatic, because although Herteux foregrounds idealistic goals such as prosperity for all, the value capitalism he presents for discussion should be viewed as what it would most likely become in reality: a pragmatic bulwark of democratic states against China's world power ambitions, for the value guardian, would be nothing more than the good mirror image to Beijing state capitalism.

The cool view as a geopolitical concept, therefore, makes the matter even more interesting. The relationship between India and China is complicated. Despite economic interdependence, Beijing's aggressive policy of encirclement is unmistakable. India's response to this is to actively protect its own interests on the one hand and to cooperate more closely with the Western world on the other. The latter, however, is not yet concrete enough, and it also lacks a unifying banner and an understanding that the future of democratic states is directly linked. Value capitalism could be such a banner with high identification potential, which would allow the West and India to come together as equals in the long term to actively fight China's striving for power and thus - as a side effect - create a better world. Therefore, should there be a guardian of values, India would have to play a central role in this concept. For this reason, Herteux's visionary and innovative proposal should be politically advanced internationally, because it would also be a burr gauge for whether the West views India only as a bulwark against Beijing or as an equal partner.