Responsibility and Economic development: Highlighting the Current Road of Capitalism Towards Sustainability Using the Increasing Responsibility Framework

By Lucio Muñoz – Independent Qualitative Comparative Researcher / Consultant, Vancouver, BC, Canada Email:

There are three types of capitalism paths, the fully irresponsible one, the partially responsible one, and the fully responsible one.   From 1776 when Adam Smith published “The Wealth of Nations” to 2012 the capitalist world was under fully irresponsible economic development accumulating social and environmental deficits in the process, which led to the death of Adam Smith’s world and prompted the 2012 shift towards green markets and the birth of green capitalism. Notice that when business as usual is no longer possible under fully irresponsible paradigms(e.g. bare capitalism) they shift to partially responsible paradigms(e.g., green markets, red markets).  And notice that in the future when business as usual under partnership based paradigms no longer works due to sustainability gap pressures  they will shift towards fully responsible paradigms(e.g. sustainability markets).   No much seems to be written about the role of responsibility in the evolution of economic development paradigms or capitalism despite that there seems to be a one to one relationship between paradigm shifts and increasing responsibility.   Among the goals of this paper is to introduce a capitalism based increasing responsibility framework that can be used to point out that as economic paradigms shift, in general and currently, from less responsible forms to more responsible ones they are moving slowly towards sustainability, the most responsible economic development paradigm possible.

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