Capitalism is Going to Have to Recreate Itself
We’re in a period now where capitalism is going to have to recreate itself because that selfishness works to an extent but it does leave people behind.
Rich Tafel is founder of The Public Squared, a public policy training program for nonprofits and social entrepreneurs.
For the last decade, Tafel has provided strategic policy advice to nonprofits on a variety of causes, including AIDS programs for Africa, civil rights programs Latin America, and education and health care reform in the United States. He is a guest lecturer in Urban Health and Advocacy at Johns Hopkins University.
Prior to his international consulting, Tafel founded the Log Cabin Republicans in 1993. During his tenure, the Log Cabin Republicans went from an unknown entity to a well-known brand in American political life. At the height of the culture wars, he debated the likes of the Reverend Jerry Fallwell on Larry King Live. He has appeared on most major political TV programs and fought for appropriate AIDS funding and equality for gays and lesbians. He testified before Congress on the need to support the Ryan White Care Act. In 1999, he authored Party Crasher: A Gay Republican Challenges Politics as Usual. Tafel has also been appointed by Governor Weld (R-MA) to manage the adolescent health programs of Massachusetts.
Tafel's work in the public policy arena for social justice causes is inspired by his faith. After graduating from Harvard Divinity School he served at the University Chapel. He is an ordained minister in the Swedenborgian Church. He is a certified coach through Franklin Covey and certified through the International Coaching Association. He's an alumni of the Prince of Wales, Business and Sustainability Program, Cambridge College.
You could argue that capitalism in general and free markets are premised on the fact that when you harness your selfishness you can be more successful. That's Libertarianism. You could say it’s free market capitalism. And I think it’s a pretty good reading of human nature that when we’ve done collective governments around the world it didn’t work so well. So harnessing selfishness has its advantages.
For my worldview of justice, and my faith background, this has its limitations. And I feel like we’re in a period now where capitalism is going to have to recreate itself because that selfishness works to an extent but it does leave people behind.
My faith is probably the inspiration for the work that I do in politics and in Public Squared. And the belief is simply love your neighbor, it’s really nothing more complicated than that. I feel like the Christian Church in many ways is dead, a dying institution because it’s lost that. And I’m working with social entrepreneurs around the world at a new level of consciousness that’s taking on the planet and we’re going to need this inspiration to take on the challenges of the world. It’s very ecumenical and it’s very exciting.
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