Not to rant - but the paradoxical fact remains that uncontrolled wild capitalistic economies have
performed better (for most values of better) than polities where careful attention has been given to controlling minute details of everyday life.
I have travelled in both US and the (ex-) soviet block, and the differences are enormous. I was in East Germany in 1988, and the relief when we finally emerged through Checkpoint Charlie into West Berlin was palpable. We made some friends with people in the (then) DDR, whom we visited a couple of years later, and for most
people life was incomparably better.
Not to say that an Ayn Rand-style 'greed is good' world is a panacea. (Present-day Russia is a mess! The kleptocracy of Putin and his cronies is ruining an already broken country. )
What Taleb meant was (I believe) that on the paper
it looks like US-style 'pursuit of happiness' would create a nation of competing beggars and that a command economy ought to
create wealth for everyone. The latter half of the 20th century shows that it doesn't work that way.
By the way: do you think capitalism would be correctly described as "daft, pointless or downright bizarre"?
And the most bizarre is that it works surprisingly well. (It's by no means perfect, though, and recent development has shown where some of the cracks are.)
I'm sorry to go on - but this is a subject that interests me greatly.
I think that present-day 'West' is in danger of becoming overly reliant on huge Goliath-like megacorporations. When the banks where deemed 'to big to fail', it was indeed a sad day for the rest of us. On the other hand - I don't think that the solution is to give more power to politicians.
I think that Acemoglu and Robinsson explain it fairly well in Why Nations Fail
. For a country to work there must be order, and there must be law. But law must always trump order. And the population should be able to change the laws.