On Friday, billionaire co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates Ray Dalio released an essay on LinkedIn warning that capitalism, if unreformed, will lead to a revolution.
More specifically, he warns that immense inequality caused by capitalism will be the main catalyst for the upheaval of modern society.
“I believe that, as a principle, if there is a very big gap in the economic conditions of people who share a budget and there is an economic downturn, there is a high risk of bad conflict,” he wrote.
He continued, “Disparity in wealth, especially when accompanied by disparity in values, leads to increasing conflict and, in the government, that manifests itself in the form of populism of the left and populism of the right and often in revolutions of one sort or another.” This reason alone puts much at stake for when the U.S. experiences its next economic recession, which is inevitable due to the cyclical nature of capitalism’s “boom and bust” patterns. An increasingly mainstream population of Democratic-socialists and a more emboldened—and sometimes even violent—conservative presence, Dalio predicts, is a ticking time bomb for conflict.
“The problem is that capitalists typically don’t know how to divide the pie well and socialists typically don’t know how to grow it well.
“While one might hope that when such economic polarity and poor conditions exist, leaders would pull together to reform the system to both divide the economic pie and make it grow better (which is certainly doable and the best path), they typically become progressively more extreme and fight more than cooperate.”