“Capitalism May Be a Failed Idea as an Idea,” by Andrew J. Schatkin

“Capitalism May be Failed as an Idea,” by Andrew J. Schatkin

The capitalist system in the United States has brought about a reasonably successful economic system in which business creates jobs and jobs are available, although there are economic recessions from time to time. In this essay, I would like to suggest that perhaps capitalism has a few deficits. The capitalist system is based on a free marketplace based on competition. The idea behind it is that theoretically each person is given an equal chance and equal starting point to advance themselves economically or in any other respect. It must be understood that the capitalist system is an economic system and not a political system and most certainly not a philosophical or religious system. The core basis of capitalism is competition and the desire for money and material goods, or better put, greed. The concept behind it is that this provides the best chances and most opportunities for the majority of persons to better themselves.

In its basic form, capitalism is extremely gross and unduly harsh giving the greatest rewards to the strongest and leaving the weaker elements of society to fend the best it can or even die, whether the weaker elements are old, disabled, or mentally dysfunctional.

Since the capitalist system is based on greed and in a sense, is based on survival of the fittest or perhaps one could put it, a Darwinian system, it fails to some extent, even as an economic system since those who cannot make it and lack the funds or genetic basis to do so must fail to avail themselves of so-called opportunities the system may offer and are left behind to live their insufferable lives.

In sum, the result is that a large percent of people in this harshest of systems have little or no chance, due to its ruthlessly competitive character, pitting each person against the other.

More significantly, this somewhat brutalized economic system is not a political system and lacks philosophical and religious ideas. In my view, a political system should set out to provide some degree of equality and even sharing for its members. Capitalism rewards brute strength and some degree of ruthlessness in its participants. It makes the acquisition of material wealth the sole good and goal, shoving and pushing aside other values, such as sharing equality. Capitalism most certainly rejects any notion of charity and love and concern for others as possessing validity. As an idea and political construct, it is intellectually bankrupt, based on what is greed and animal competitiveness and rewarding aggressiveness and degrading any concept of giving and contributing.

Thus, I have to say socialism though also has proved to be a failed idea and political system, it is closer to the ideal society we should always wish to obtain as persons. Unfortunately, socialism in its practical operation, in depriving its citizens of any incentive and opportunity to advance themselves whether material or otherwise, also fails. In its theoretical form, socialism in its idea of redistributing wealth, sharing, and providing for all to some degree, regardless of their wealth, class, intellect, or advantages, is superior. In this essay, I do not suggest we should adopt a socialist system and certainly capitalism has proved quite helpful to most people in the United States affording them employment, the ability and chance to attend school and to make the most of their lives as they may choose. As I say, socialism in its ideal form is an idea that is a good one. I think if there were to be a Christian society, it would be closer to socialism than capitalism. The answer may be that we should have a little of both systems. Capitalism has to be controlled by a rescue network for those ill, disabled, or unemployed. This is the case in the United States. However, as a political or philosophical system, capitalism has no particular meaning and in this sense is vacant and vacuous. Any person is totally poverty stricken in intellect, imagination or spirit who places getting themselves above humane or human concerns. Socialism although it equalizes makes us all into automated workers with no hope or chance of advancement beyond the job that they have been awarded. Capitalism is good and may be the better system since its participants must and are given the chance to advance and develop themselves to their full capacity. In this sense, socialism fails miserably. The best system is the system that provides the fullest and fairest opportunities to all its citizens regardless of race, class, sex or wealth, allowing each and every person to develop into their full potential and providing for the weak and disadvantaged which this system passes by. The goal of any system is to give help to all seeking in every respect to ameliorate the suffering and pain that at some time, must come to us all.

I would like to make a final, unconnected comment to certainly politically correct phrasing. As I have said many times, the majority of people of the Islamic faith are peaceful and good people. There is a minority that do not embrace this peace and love but act violently. This is a cultural and religious minority within certain countries in this system. Therefore, it is incorrect when someone may say that people who do this are extremist and that other religions kill. These persons are not correctly termed extremists but are a certain thought group within certain Muslim societies, albeit activated by a minority. I have also heard it said that other religions kill. That may be so but I am not aware that people are emerging from churches, engaged in jihads or from Jewish temples to do this or from Hindu temples to do this. It may be so and certainly is that Christians, Hindus, and Jewish people may embrace violence at times. The difference is that at this point, they are not doing that on a group or societal basis nor are Islamic people except for a thin minority in certain Islamic societies in certain countries. I make these comments because I have a respect for honesty and truth and not political correctness or left-wing ideological statements.