Marxists and Capitalists make the same mistake: both describe our current system as capitalist. Sure, it is capitalist, but missing is the sub-category.

As Yanis Varoufakis skilfully explains here, when Adam Smith wrote Wealth of Nations in 1776, he was of course writing about that time. At that point in history, a butcher, baker and brewer in a village would produce the best products they could, sold at the cheapest prices. They did so not for the benefit of society, but for their own benefit. And in so doing, society benefits.

Today, Yanis argues, we are living in monopolistic capitalism, a substrata of capitalism. By way of simple example, even if my business (circa 20 people) grew by 10,000 times, we couldn’t take on some of the monopolies: Google, Amazon and Facebook are untouchable and unstoppable. Only if there is an international restructure of these monopolies, Yanis argues, will capitalism return to helping the totality of society, as Smith had observed capitalism can do. There is something in this analysis.