The struggle between BP and the U.S. government takes place amid a much larger conflict — over whether democratic capitalism is the best political-social-economic system, writes David Brooks. "What system works better to produce security and growth? What system should emerging and struggling democratic nations aim for?" He points out that state energy companies have been absolutely crushing the private-sector energy companies. "We need healthy private energy companies," he concludes, but, "we also need to gradually move away from oil and gas — the products that have financed the rise of aggressive state capitalism."