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Is capitalism good?

Capitalism is an economic system where wealth is privatized, that is, controlled by individuals. It stands in contrast to socialism, where wealth is controlled by the government. Western economies are said to be capitalist systems, though in reality they are a blend of capitalist and socialist systems, where the left and right wing advocate socialist vs. capitalistic leaning economic policies respectively.

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Experts and Influencers

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Experts In Philosophy

Adam Smith    Founder of Modern Economics
Every system which [rewards an] industry a greater share of the capital of the society than what would naturally go to it, or [forces an] industry some share of the capital which would otherwise be employed in it, is in reality subversive of the great purpose which it means to promote. It retards, instead of accelerating, the progress of the society towards real wealth and greatness; and diminishes, instead of increasing, the real value of the annual produce of its land and labour.
01 Jan 1776    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is free trade generally beneficial for a country?

Ayn Rand    Philosopher, Novelist
The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve “the common good.” It is true that capitalism does—if that catch-phrase has any meaning—but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.
15 Jul 1986    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is free trade generally beneficial for a country?

Experts In Economics

Milton Friedman    Iconic Economist of 20th Century
...is there some society you know that doesn't run on greed? You think Russia doesn't run on greed?. ... What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy; it's only the other fellow who's greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. ...the only cases in which the masses have escaped from ... grinding poverty ... are the cases where they have had capitalism and free trade. ...If you want to know where they're worst off it's the kind of societies that depart from that.
01 Jan 1979    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is free trade generally beneficial for a country?

Experts In Psychology

Sigmund Freud    Famous Psychologist
Mostly Agree
I have no concern with any economic criticisms of the communist system [but] I am able to recognize that the psychological premises on which the systems based are an untenable illusion. In abolishing private property we deprive the human love of aggression of one of its instruments, certainly a strong one, though certainly not the strongest; but we have in no way altered the differences in power and influence which are misused by aggressiveness, nor have we altered anything in its nature.
01 Jan 1930    Source


Conservapedia    Christian Encyclopedia
Historically, capitalism has fostered freedom and an increase in the standard of living and human rights, and vice versa. Societies that have tried non-capitalist systems inevitably fall into tyranny.
21 Dec 2011    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is free trade generally beneficial for a country?

Experts In Communism

Karl Marx    Father of Communism
In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
21 Feb 1848    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is free trade generally beneficial for a country?

Experts In War

Osama Bin Laden    Former Leader of Al Qaeda
As you liberated yourselves before from the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system. If you were to ponder it well, you would find that in the end, it is a system harsher and fiercer than your systems in the Middle Ages. The capitalist system seeks to turn the entire world into a fiefdom of the major corporations under the label of "globalization" in order to protect democracy.
07 Sep 2007    Source

Experts In Entertainment

Peter Joseph    Movie Producer
...what isn’t talked about, is how a competition based economy invariably leads to strategic corruption, power and wealth consolidation, social stratification, technological paralysis, labor abuse and ultimately a covert form of government dictatorship by the rich elite.
02 Oct 2008    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is free trade generally beneficial for a country?

Experts In Media

Michael Moore    Documentarian
[Our] economic system [is] unfair and unjust, in which a few people with a lot of money are making decisions that cause a lot misery and heartache for millions of people. ... Ever since slavery was eliminated, [the wealthy] have been trying to keep it as close to slavery as they can without violating the slave laws. ... What will historians and anthropologists call it? They are not going to call us employees or associates. They are going to call us wage slaves.
26 Sep 2009    Source

Experts In Economics

Robin Hanson    Economics Professor
This seems to me a common situation – things said to be critiques of capitalism are often just critiques of humanity. Humans vie selfishly and self-deludedly for status. Some succeed, while others fail. The struggle, and the failures, aren’t pretty. Yes capitalism inherits this ugliness, but then so does any other system with humans.
06 May 2012    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is free trade generally beneficial for a country?


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0 Points      dionisos      22 Aug 2016      Stance on Question: Disagree
It can’t be good nor bad in itself.
It could be better or worse than another economical system, given a particular ethical system.

I think there is a lot of better economical systems than capitalist. (given most consequentialist ethics).

0 Points      Octavio Giraldo      19 May 2013      Stance on Question: Agree
It is very sad that they kill each other, to reach a similar standard of living to which they want to go their separate ways and with the same objetivo. UT UNAM SIMUS.

-1 Point      Jarvis13      14 Apr 2013      Stance on Question: General Comment
why cant u commies understand that communism is bad because communism is dictatorship and the goverment controls everything while capitalism is democracy because the people have rights unlike in communism in which the government pretty much controls you.

-1 Point      bellarossi      10 Feb 2012      Stance on Question: Neutral
Capitalism's chief goal is to make money.

Man is never satisfied with how much he makes. Man suffers from greed and always wants more. (Rich people suffer from depression and suicide. If money was what makes us happy, then rich people would never be sad.)

If money does not satisfy man, then money cannot be man's chief purpose.

How can a system that does not satisfy man's chief pupose be thought of as the "most perfect" system for man?


0 Points      TheSentinel      30 Jan 2013      General Comment
your misconception is that the ONLY desire Capitalism attempts to satisfy is money. This is incorrect, and before you write off Capitalism, you should actually understand its true nature. If after truly understanding, you still disagree, then American is a not a place that would be optimal for you to live in.

0 Points      Irene Ruso      18 Nov 2012      General Comment
The contradiction between capitalism and democracy
A democracy is a system of government in which not only the voice of the people is heard but the interests and wellbeing of all citizens are paramount. The existence of classes poses a serious problem for democracy, since classes presuppose contradictory interests in different parts (the different classes) of the society. But capitalist society is premised on class—diametrically opposed interests for owners and workers, the exploitation of labor for investors’/employers’ profit.The agenda of capitalism is to downgrade skilled workers, create a willingness to work for lower wages, deny sustenance to single parents, and so forth. That is a remarkably anti-democratic agenda. To achieve this goal they have been working hard:
"In our dream, we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or science. We are not to raise up from among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians. Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply."
Rockefeller Foundation Director of Charity, Frederick Gates, 1913

Then is understandable why: Fraudelent Education Reform in America.

Capitalism is based on a power hierarchy in which investors/employers control the lives of those who work to create profits (capital). This is said in corporate rule: Command and control, which is military style. But democracy proposes that each person shall be an autonomous individual engaged in a common endeavor to create the greatest possible advancement and self-expression of all persons. Capitalism is individualistic. Democracy is communitarian, i.e., it seeks to strike a balance among individual interests. Capitalism seeks benefits for a few based on the exploitation of the many. Democracy requires that people come together to decide what is in the best interests of the community as a whole, regardless of class-based or individual interests.
A fully functioning political democracy could not tolerate a capitalist economy. The power elite knows this, which is why the U.S. government has tried to subvert democracy in every country in which U.S. capitalists have tried to exploit resources and labor. A country in which the people as a whole actually make decisions about their common destiny would, of course, not permit such exploitation. "Democracy subverts capitalism": it works on diametrically opposed principles of the value of human life and the worth of collective decision-making. The power elites does not have to take the same extreme steps in the U.S. because, as Domhoff explains throughout his book (and Parenti concurs in chapter 18 and the chapters on bureaucracy, the media and elections), it has already taken control of the "democratic" forms of the political system and has reduced political culture to mere "consumption" of the ideology of individualism and consumerism.
The corporations which form the foundations of its economy function more like autocracies. Main point is that these two models - capitalism and democracy - seem innately opposed to each other, and that a society couldn't at heart be both. This could explain a lot of the corporate bribing and electoral fraud that goes on in the US and other purported democracies; the drive for supremacy that capitalism creates would effectively undermine any true efforts at democracy.

2 Points      Nashhinton      19 Nov 2011      Stance on Question: Mostly Agree
Capitalism is very productive in the market world, but it is not successful for providing necessities and universal access to health care, education, police, etc. But overall capitalism is excellent for increasing innovation and productivity in the work force. I believe in somewhat of a mixed economy, but I lean more towards promoting a larger expanse of the private sector where businesses are free to compete and operate for profit.

0 Points      TheSentinel      30 Jan 2013      General Comment
well said, that is a very honest statement on Capitalisms strengths and weaknesses. Like you, I belive that a balanced system is good. However I also agree with having more economic control being left with the nature of people in the private sector.

0 Points      Judah      10 Jul 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
We as a species need to develop a system that serves the greater good, and capitalism does not meet this criteria in a complete way. It concentrates wealth in the hands of an easily corrupt minority, although at times of general stability it has made life better for the middle class and lower class.
Yet it is never truly stable and will never be because it is based on money. Money in and of its self is the true problem of inequality, and if we are to ever make our way to a sustainable system that truly supports the greater good of our entire species we must do away with it. Destroy the concept of money and forsake materialism for all of our lives are fleeting and no grand mansion or shiny new jet can save you from worldly departure. So i say live a humble life, embrace pure communism, live in sync with the earth, and prosper as a whole under a democratic communist world government.

-1 Point      Robert B      19 Oct 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
People under the Capitalistic system have the power to do the greater good than any government ever could or ever can.

Communist governments do not exist they have all failed or have faile dtheir people. Where you get such a grand idea of communism is beyond me. The very thing you are advocating for yourself, "live a humble life and live in sync with the earth" is a matter of choice under Capitalism under communism it is not.

2 Points      Anonymous      01 Jul 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
Oh yes capitalism works, but why? I will tell you, with the free education system here, we all have an equal opportunity to be successful, lower class or higher class. These "wealthy" people are either born into it, but most work very hard to where they are. People who complain it's only because money is easy to get, think about this, if it's easy to get, why are there only a select few who have it? It's because they're not fatasses who lay around and wait for the government to take money from those who worked all their life to get where the are, and bill it to them. Capitalism follows nature, if you want something, get up and get it yourself.

-1 Point      Anonymous      30 Sep 2011      General Comment
In a capitalist society you wouldn't have a "free education system".

0 Points      Anonymous      03 Sep 2011      General Comment
thank you for helping me with my paper very strong passionate reason

0 Points      Shaun Sanders      01 Jul 2011      General Comment
Well, some people out there do actually work hard and try to make a honey living, but you have privat owned companies stripping the pay checks away dollar by dollar and banks raising mortages - leaving then in a cycle of dept. And don't make me mention credit. The only way you can achieve that, " American Dream " is by investing in capital. Only making those big banks bigger. That is exactly why I dint like capitalism. Because it depends on the rich to determine the economic state in which the lower classes are in. Don't you think that sounds like control. Control of your pockets. And you think government is bad, so I say we take that power from the upper class and determine our own economic state. Being rich is one thing, but hordeing your wealth to maintain your economic power is Ungodly, foolish, selfish, narsistic, and evil.

P.S. Money is paper; morals are humane

-2 Points      Javi      22 Jun 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
Capitalism is the source of evil. They do not present benefits to lower class people. Also, capitalism is basically an anti-sharing act for some wealthy people. Do not follow capitalism, it is so horrific!

0 Points      TheSentinel      30 Jan 2013      General Comment
benefits were earned buddy. They are not simply given. Also "anti-sharing act"? Try " you get what you work for". How many people are born into wealth and keep it all by spending like crazy and not working? none, you have to work hard to make and keep your money. They dont have to share what they worked very hard for. Especially with someone like you who is ungrateful for what he has, you wouldnt even be grateful if they did share it with you.

0 Points      Anthony      29 Dec 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
Yeah capitalism doesn't benefit the lower class at all...... it's not like it consistently raises their quality of life or constantly increases their real income through prices being beaten down by competition. Those poor lower class in the capitalist societies have nothing! All they have is an air conditioned apartment, cable TV, and a cell phone. BOO HOO!

0 Points      Robert B      19 Oct 2011      General Comment
EVERY person under Capitalism has equal opportunity to succeed or fail. Those who don't believe that have never tried...never given an effort or are just afraid of the former (failure). To have worked hard and to try and end in failure is much better than standing with your hand out asking others to help you.

2 Points      Anon      11 May 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
@Tim Peterson

Most of the millionaires and billionairs not born into there wealth. They work hard and have the right to make a profit off of their idea.

0 Points      ela jean o. flores.      18 Apr 2012      General Comment
perfect! yahh thats true..

0 Points      ela jean o. flores.      18 Apr 2012      General Comment
perfect! yahh thats true..

0 Points      Javi      22 Jun 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
They do not "work hard" as you say. This is one of the flaws of capitalism, that it is too easy for money to be gained and lost that Western countries are having conflicts. Another problem is that many people do not want to listen to lower class peoples' ideas now!

0 Points      Robert B      19 Oct 2011      General Comment
Why should the successful listen to the unsuccessful?????????????????

0 Points      ethcage      04 Dec 2011      General Comment
if your a lion surrounded buy a pack of hyenas you will need to listen

0 Points      TheSentinel      30 Jan 2013      General Comment
or you will need to fight, and the lion has been training hard to fight on his own, that is why he is strong. The Hyenas can laugh but the Lion will roar feircly and scare the cowards away.

0 Points      Couchgirl      14 Feb 2013      General Comment
Hyenas' jaw are more powerful than the lions' :P

0 Points      anon 2      18 May 2011      General Comment
the ones who are usually lose their wealth (both financially and morally) over time
(child stars)

0 Points      Anonymous      24 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
i cant belive they added marx in there thats just stupid and osama bin ladin MY GOD
capitalism is the best system in the world because it fits with the laws of nature socilsm doesnt

1 Point      J. Pareja      13 Apr 2011      General Comment
Silly you, of course they have Marx because he is the antithesis of Capitalism. Communism was "invented" to try to "fix" what were seen as the abuses of the Capitalistic system.

Of course they have Adam Smith as well, as his "Wealth of Nations" made him the "Father of Capitalism."

Osama bin Laden is there for the same reason Marx is there - to represent the abuses of Capitalism.

What I don't know is why entertainers are there?! Except that maybe people who have not studied the writing of the others, may be familiar with the visual "pop culture" work of these entertainers?

2 Points      blacktrance      10 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
Capitalism is the most moral system, as it allows freedom and is the most efficient.

-2 Points      Tim Peterson      11 Jan 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
I think it's real cute the second person you quote for disagree is Bin Laden.Can anyone say bias.Capitalism is true evil.A system that sacrifices the masses in favor of a very small,elite group of wealthy people.Capitalism is a system of semi slavary.Us little people work our asses off in the hope that some day we will be rich too.Wake up!It is not going to happen,we will be surfs our whole lives so some CEO can have a bigger masion or a better yacht!In the meantime I have to struggle to buy the basic means of survival(food,clothes,shelter)And don't give me the whole they worked hard for thier wealth bit.I am quite sure that the overwhelming majority of the rich are born into wealth.As Loftus has pointed out there is not a relgion in this world that says gain as much wealth as you can.As a matter of fact I think they all say the opposite.

0 Points      Robert B      19 Oct 2011      General Comment
"Us little people" have a choice to work or not to work under capitalism...you are free to try and succeed and or fail, under communism there is no incentive to give your best or be your best because the government is supposed to care for you either way....so why work at all? Why try at all.

0 Points      anonymous      18 May 2011      General Comment
jeez man, your like one of those people who go into the smoking section of the bar to complain about how smoking is bad for you. If you dont like it shut up and leave, no one is forcing you to stay in this country.

0 Points      Benja      15 Jan 2011      General Comment
"I think it's real cute the second person you quote for disagree is Bin Laden.Can anyone say bias."

The world isn't black and white - sometimes you disagree with your friends, and sometimes you agree with your enemies. One should confront those disagreements and agreements with a passionate interest - not downplay or worse still censor them based on the sensitivities of certain parties. In any case, I don't see why Bin Laden's quote shouldn't be above Peter Joseph's quote - Bin Laden is certainly more influential than Peter Joseph. Furthermore, I think it's very interesting that Bin Laden is anti-capitalist - were you aware of this fact? Have you bothered to read what Bin Laden has said on this - or have you just chosen to ignore him? Are you sure you're not guilty of bias yourself?

-1 Point      Loftus      28 Jul 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
I view with suspicion the fact that Osama Bin Laden is the second person listed under disagree.

Capitalism is evil. Ask your priest.

1 Point      Robert B      19 Oct 2011      General Comment
Proverbs 28:19
He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.

Proverbs 31:31
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Ecclesiastes 2:21
For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.

What do you think the priest would say about this??????? Right from the B I B L E

0 Points      TheSentinel      30 Jan 2013      General Comment
wow, didnt even know about those. nice post!

3 Points      Adam Atlas      26 Apr 2010      Stance on Question: Mostly Agree
It has been much more successful at creating wealth, promoting innovation, and raising the world's standard of living than any of its predecessors and the non-market-based alternatives that have been tried. However, as I don't believe in natural rights or hold any deontological values that inherently require unrestrained free markets, my preferences regarding economic policy are based on outcomes (measured by utility to humans; metrics like GDP might correlate somewhat to that, but they are not the same measure, and the end goal (very roughly speaking) is maximizing how happy people are with their lives and with the world); therefore, I support commercial regulation and social programs exactly insofar as they result in greater happiness than a pure market economy would.

Not that I would make a blanket statement that "x amount of regulation and wealth redistribution is good", even if I don't claim to know the value of x; it's not a matter of finding some specific "balance", but of trying individual programs and seeing what helps. In general, mixed economies seem to be viable and effective, e.g. in European social democracies.

0 Points      Benja      26 Apr 2010      Stance on Question: Mostly Agree
A core reason capitalism works is that it's based on a predominantly selfish view of human nature that meshes nicely with evolutionary psychology, while its alternatives are based on romantic notions of human nature that people like to signal but do not live up to (ironically also for evo-psych reasons).

If we accept people act primarily out of self interest, and we want to maximize everyone's self interest, then the best system will empower each person. The alternatives require that the individuals whom comprise the bureaucratic power structure tasked with wealth allocation will resist the temptation to act in accordance with their nature.

0 Points      OmnipotentRabbit      10 Apr 2010      Stance on Question: Neutral
Capitalism is about as good as any other system, whether it be Socialism, Communism, or anything of the sort. All of them usually result in an oligarchy gaining all the power or all the money and imposing their power on everyone else to, in turn, increase their power/money.

Sure, capitalism as modernly employed in the countries that define it is a terrible system. But so is Socialism. And so is Juche. The only countries that experience some success are those who try to achieve a balance between the two supposed "extremes" of economy. There is no right system. It's the balancing of tendencies according to the times what creates working politics.