Researcher Bhu Srinivasan has a bold claim to make: capitalism is less like an ideology than it is like your computer’s operating system.
In my view, capitalism should not be thought of as an ideology, but instead should be thought of as an operating system. Think of your iPhone. Your iPhone merges hardware with software. Apps and hardware. Now think about all the hardware as the physical reality all around you, and think of the apps as entrepreneurial activity, creative energy. And in-between, you have an operating system. As you have advances in hardware, you have advances in software. And the operating system needs to keep up. It needs to be patched, it needs to be updated, new releases have to happen. And all of these things have to happen symbiotically. The operating system needs to keep getting more and more advanced to keep up with innovation. …
For instance, imagine that in 1900, you owned 100 acres of land someplace in the Midwest. It’s very easy to see where your fence ends, your neighbor’s property begins. Now let me ask you, where in the sky does your property end? Does it end at 1,000 feet, 5,000 feet, 10,000 feet? It makes no difference, because other than the novelty of a few hot-air balloons, man couldn’t fly.
But within three years, he could. Now all of a sudden, it was very much relevant whether your land ends at 1,000 feet in the sky, 5,000 feet, 10,000 feet. And you have to have someone arbitrate that. And indeed, that’s exactly what happened. And five or ten years from now, when Amazon wants to deliver a package over your house to your neighbor from that UPS truck, we’re going to have to decide: Does you property end at five feet, 10 feet, 50 feet, 100 feet? Where does it end? And there is no ideology that will tell you where your property ends.It’s an operating system.
Watch the video to learn more about the ways he thinks the legal structure American capitalism needs to be “patched” to keep up with modernity.