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Capitalism vs Socialism - Your View?


David

  

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Capitalism:

 

Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit; supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are determined mainly by private decisions in the free market, rather than by the state through central economic planning; Profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses.

 

In a capitalist economy, the prices of goods and services are controlled mainly through supply and demand and competition. Supply is the amount of a good or service produced by a firm and which is available for sale. Demand is the amount that people are willing to buy at a specific price. Prices tend to rise when demand exceeds supply, and fall when supply exceeds demand. In theory, the market is able to coordinate itself when a new equilibrium price and quantity is reached.

 

Competition arises when more than one producer is trying to sell the same or similar products to the same buyers. In capitalist theory, competition leads to innovation and more affordable prices. Without competition, a monopoly or cartel may develop. A monopoly occurs when a firm supplies the total output in the market; the firm can therefore limit output and raise prices because it has no fear of competition. A cartel is a group of firms that act together in a monopolistic manner to control output and raise prices.

 

Notable critics of capitalism have included: socialists, anarchists, communists, technocrats, some types of conservatives, Luddites, Narodniks, Shakers and some types of nationalists. Marxists advocated a revolutionary overthrow of capitalism that would lead to socialism, before eventually transforming into communism. Marxism influenced social democratic and labour parties, as well as some moderate democratic socialists. Many aspects of capitalism have come under attack from the anti-globalization movement, which is primarily opposed to corporate capitalism.

 

Many religions have criticized or opposed specific elements of capitalism. Traditional Judaism, Christianity, and Islam forbid lending money at interest, although methods of banking have been developed in all three cases, and adherents to all three religions are allowed to lend to those outside of their religion. Christianity has been a source of praise for capitalism, as well as criticism of it, particularly for its materialist aspects. Indian philosopher P.R. Sarkar, founder of the Ananda Marga movement, developed the Law of Social Cycle to identify the problems of capitalism.

 

Critics argue that capitalism is associated with the unfair distribution of wealth and power; a tendency toward market monopoly or oligopoly (and government by oligarchy); imperialism, counter-revolutionary wars and various forms of economic and cultural exploitation; repression of workers and trade unionists, and phenomena such as social alienation, economic inequality, unemployment, and economic instability. Capitalism is regarded by many socialists to be irrational in that production and the direction of the economy are unplanned, creating many inconsistencies and internal contradictions.

 

Environmentalists have argued that capitalism requires continual economic growth, and will inevitably deplete the finite natural resources of the earth, and other broadly utilized resources. Labor historians and scholars, such as Immanuel Wallerstein have argued that unfree labor

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Socialism

 

A few simple reasons why

 

Under Capitalism the rich get richer and the poor get poorer this exists more in some places than others, America and Brazil being two that have been effected by this, its not a good thing as I cant be the only one who feels uneasy when 1 percent of America the worlds biggest superpower has more weatlh than 99 percent of the rest of the country

 

How selfish and unfair is it that a small amount get all the welath and resources and such a large amount dont, its greedy and just wrong

 

Also anyone who wants to trumpet Capitalism as David rightly pointed out it isnt working, look at the recession the past few years and how it may be coming back, cracks have been growing for years with the stock market and people are starting to question things more instead of being mindless drones

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Socialism

 

Firstly, I’d say that there are wildly differing expectations of modern socialism that range from ‘Capitalism-by-any-other-name’ Socialism with a few social caveats nailed on to full blown ‘guns-and-ammo’ communism. There are efficiencies in the capitalist modes of production, whereby they need not exploit or displace the labourer or cause general social ill, which shouldn’t be shunned based on a detached socialist objective. Capitalism, however, in its grossly unjust, unfettered form is a cracked system. It has allowed modern society to amble down the path of Ancient Rome, whereby the top 1% live a life of reckless abandon and gluttony, whilst keeping the worker classes down with the fallacy of ‘it could be you!’ and the wavering guarantee of an existence through subsistence allowance.

 

Both systems have flaws, though if we’re in the mood to quote philosophers, John Stuart Mill gives a good account of why socialism (from a time when ‘communism’ and ‘socialism’ were interchangeable words, and the former had not come to mean anything quite so sinister);

 

‘[if] the choice were to be made between Communism with all its chances, and the present state of society with all its sufferings and injustices, if the institution of private property necessarily carried with it as a consequence that the produce of labour should be apportioned as we now see it almost in inverse proportion to labour, the largest portions to those who have never worked at all, the next largest to those whose work is almost nominal, and so in descending scale, the remuneration dwindling as the work grows harder and more disagreeable until the most fatiguing and exhausting bodily labour cannot count with certainty on being able to earn even the necessities of life; if this or Communism were the alternative, all the difficulties, great or small, of Communism would be but as dust in the balance.’

 

For me, personally, private property is not something that necessarily requires abolition but I find the more pertinent point there is the remuneration of the worker classes, and consequently the redistribution of wealth. My insular view of socialism, and what I want it to mean is based on four very simple principles;

 

- The strive for Full Employment. Mass unemployment has become accepted as a social norm, when in reality it is the consequence of post-industrial economies and ‘race to the bottom’ philosophies that see workers as cattle and require cheaper costs and, thus, cheaper prices at any social cost.

 

- Strong Trade Unions to check the power of the political classes and managerial classes, to ensure the fruits of prosperity are adequately remunerated to the workers. I don’t believe socialism abolishes the political class or bourgeois managerial class, I just believe it acts as a more authoritative check on their actions, and a check on their ability to accumulate masses of wealth at the expense of the majority.

 

- Redistributive tax system based on the philosophy that those with the broadest shoulders, as a socioeconomic and moral imperative, should bear the brunt of the taxation burden.

 

- A system that believes in not just the basic rights of health (with no nonsense privatisation in the areas of social care, dentistry etc) and education, but a state provided uniformity of universal health care and education. The very existence of a private sector in these areas is to admit that money can buy you better care or opportunity.

 

I think, also, as an aside to that. The very minimum wage in a society, as Mills alluded to, should never drop below the average cost of living. The fact that the cost of living has increased at twice the rate of the minimum wage since 1997 is frankly disgusting, as no one should be in the position whereby they work a full time week yet can’t afford to put food on the table.

 

Capitalism, as a system, has a lot to answer for in modern society, both globally and in the United Kingdom. Our focus on the free market deems it acceptable to spend

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Socialism is different from the purer forms of communism, Chuckles. It doesn't require uniformity of wage, per se, it requires remuneration of the worker classes through a tax system skewed in favour of heavier (both in real terms and proportionately) taxes on the rich.

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Socialism

 

A few simple reasons why

 

Under Capitalism the rich get richer and the poor get poorer this exists more in some places than others, America and Brazil being two that have been effected by this, its not a good thing as I cant be the only one who feels uneasy when 1 percent of America the worlds biggest superpower has more weatlh than 99 percent of the rest of the country

 

How selfish and unfair is it that a small amount get all the welath and resources and such a large amount dont, its greedy and just wrong

 

Also anyone who wants to trumpet Capitalism as David rightly pointed out it isnt working, look at the recession the past few years and how it may be coming back, cracks have been growing for years with the stock market and people are starting to question things more instead of being mindless drones

Maybe because they work hard and earn their wealth?

 

No doubt there are selfish people out there who cheat and lie and do every other immoral thing to increase their wealth, but when properly regulated to ensure honest business, then capitalism is a great thing. I don't hold a grudge against the rich for being just that, which seems to be the mentality of a lot of people who're in favour of Socialism.

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Yeah I agree with the hard work bit, but the deficit shouldnt be so in the grand scheme of things, like I stated when 1 percent of America is worth more than the bottom 99 percent somthing is deadly wrong

 

I get the Doctor and Mcdonalds comparision too, one has far more intellectual value than the other and one requires a lot more hard work to acheive, but thats not the point the point is why should so few get to live a life fullof insane wealth when such a large amount live in such crappy conditions

 

I wouldnt consider myself poor, maybe upper working/low middle class, but thanks to Capitalism the Middle Class is getting considerably smaller and the divde between the upper class and the lower class is growing

 

EDIT: Id also like to second D-Daz excellent points about unions,health care and eduacation in relates to this subject

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Yeah I agree with the hard work bit, but the deficit shouldnt be so in the grand scheme of things, like I stated when 1 percent of America is worth more than the bottom 99 percent somthing is deadly wrong.

I get your point, but I still believe it's right to give people that freedom to earn that wealth, allow a company to grow as it would ultimately benefit those at the "bottom" as big companies and such would create more employment opportunities through expansion.

 

The state, in my opinion, should have a very small role in everyone's lives, and although I think it's right that the "mega rich" should pay a higher tax, this can be taken to an extreme which I think is unnecessary. I agree with the idea that there should be state run health and education, but I don't think there should just be state run education and health as it then assumes that the state knows best and can provide the best, so I think where there are people who can afford "better" education and health care, then I think that should be available.

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Yeah I agree with the hard work bit, but the deficit shouldnt be so in the grand scheme of things, like I stated when 1 percent of America is worth more than the bottom 99 percent somthing is deadly wrong.

I get your point, but I still believe it's right to give people that freedom to earn that wealth, allow a company to grow as it would ultimately benefit those at the "bottom" as big companies and such would create more employment opportunities through expansion.

 

The state, in my opinion, should have a very small role in everyone's lives, and although I think it's right that the "mega rich" should pay a higher tax, this can be taken to an extreme which I think is unnecessary. I agree with the idea that there should be state run health and education, but I don't think there should just be state run education and health as it then assumes that the state knows best and can provide the best, so I think where there are people who can afford "better" education and health care, then I think that should be available.

The only reason I dont like "paid for" education is that it gives youths a unfair advantage over ones who would go through the inferior state system, its not a youths fault there parents or family has less wealth than someone elses and it lets the rich youths live of there familys laurels and makes them spoilt

 

Wouldnt it be nice if there was a fair competion in terms of sucess and carrers provided by education regardless of the wealth of there parents and social class

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The only reason I dont like "paid for" education is that it gives youths a unfair advantage over ones who would go through the inferior state system, its not a youths fault there parents or family has less wealth than someone elses and it lets the rich youths live of there familys laurels and makes them spoilt

 

Wouldnt it be nice if there was a fair competion in terms of sucess and carrers provided by education regardless of the wealth of there parents and social class

I strongly agree with that point about it just being about the success and not about family wealth and social status, but I don't think the abolition of private health of education would be the answer. You'll never get a 100% meritocratic society as there will always be people who will look more favourably at employing someone from a wealthier family or who was educated in a private school. I think the best way of tackling that type of injustice is to work towards bringing the whole public school system up to the level private schools, rather than forcing the children of those who can afford to be put through private schooling into a currently inferior public system.

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