George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot): 1. I'm intrigued by the FT's strapline. For many years we've been instructed that capitalism is a practice, not a creed. It was no more than the outcome of everyone's rational pursuit of self-interest. Which is why, as we were constantly told, there was "no alternative". Thread/ “We believe in capitalism. But the model is under strain. We need to reform in order to preserve. If you think the same, join us.”

George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot): 2. In reality, capitalism is as much of a belief system as any other ism. It has been deliberately constructed and promoted over centuries by people seeking to present their self-interest as the fulfilment of a higher purpose.

George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot): 3. So effective has this construction of belief been, and so powerful is its priesthood, that capitalism has achieved a similar status to that of religion a few centuries ago. Its claims have become a holy writ. Those who question or challenge it are blasphemers.

George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot): 4. Like other religions, this belief system is based on a series of myths. For example, it claims that wealth is achieved through enterprise and industry. In reality, many of the biggest fortunes have been amassed through colonial looting, slavery, monopoly and rent grabbing.

George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot): 5. It promises us a heaven in which we can all be millionaires. But this is impossible for two obvious reasons. First, that some people become rich by exploiting others, and an exploited workforce is essential to the model. Second, that it would instantly cook the planet.

George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot): 6. In other words, some people can amass great wealth and luxury only because others cannot.

There are plenty of other myths, both foundational and emergent. I’m sure you could name a few.

George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot): 7. At any rate, we should see the FT’s confessional – “we believe in capitalism” [the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth] – as a positive development, an acknowledgement that it is more than just the outcome of a natural law.

George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot): 8. This is dangerous territory for a bastion of capitalism. Once capitalism is seen as a belief system, and even worse, one that’s “under strain”, it becomes harder to argue that There Is No Alternative (TINA). It might even begin to wonder whether other creeds are available.

George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot): 9. As a blasphemer, I believe we urgently need to abandon this religion, and develop a new economic system. The one I favour is based on the idea of Private Sufficiency, Public Luxury. But there are plenty of others. Our survival depends on exploring them