Capitalism vs Human Happiness

Topics: Capitalism, Karl Marx, Socialism Pages: 3 (1037 words) Published: October 12, 2010
Issue 1, titled “Can Capitalism Lead to Human Happiness?” contains arguments from three critical philosophical thinkers of the philosophical world, namely Adam Smith, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Simplified further, the issue stands as a comparative between which economic system is better equipped to provide the most happiness to the people, is it capitalism or communism? Capitalism goes by many names – liberal market economy and a free enterprise system. The word private becomes extremely vital in differentiating the two economic systems. Capitalism suggests that production and distribution of services are privately owned for private profit. All decisions are made by private entities rather than the government. Adam Smith, author of An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, vol. 1 and 2 (1869), concludes that yes, capitalism can lead to human happiness. Communism is capitalism’s alter-ago, the ying to capitalism’s yang, the head to its tail. Exemplified by the cold war, the USSR marred the lines of Communism blurring into Absolutism. Communism does away with classifications in society while all is controlled by the government. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels reply suggesting a darker image of mankind. Their ideology suggests that if people as left to their own self-interests, the rich will keep getting richer, while the poor will keep getting poorer, thereby doing away with the middle class all together. They suggest that capitalism will create a divide between those who own the means of production and everyone else. Thereby, there will be a divide between happiness and misery. The issue suggests that Adam Smith focuses on how the money is made and Karl Marx is more interested in how the wealth is distributed. Marx argues that wealth in the hands of the fortunate lay waste and bares no profit to the nation as a whole. He suggests that proper and equal distribution of wealth will not only increase the morale of the labor...
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