The Essence of Capitalism: The Origins of Our Future
Sceptre, $29.95 pb, 400 pp
This is a large yet very readable book. There are three strands to this work: a demonstration of the inexorable tendency of a market economy to oligopoly; an explanation of the ease with which money can set ethical consideration aside; and an account of the development of the companies that make and market Coca-Cola. While McQueen has strong opinions, he is careful to separate his critique from his account, and he supports both his opinions and his account with extensive referencing and a substantial bibliography.
Humans, or at least most humans, are not naturally competitive; rather, we are trusting, suggestible, and disposed to be cooperative. We are not, however, unconditionally trusting. The betrayal of trust will arouse deep resentment and, where feasible, active retaliation. A minority of humans are significantly less trusting and cooperative, and more competitive, than the rest of us.