Criticisms of Capitalism

Topics: Capitalism, Socialism, Communism Pages: 10 (3431 words) Published: November 27, 2013
Criticisms of Capitalism

Criticism of capitalism ranges from expressing disagreement with the principles of capitalism, to expressing disagreement with particular outcomes of capitalism. Amongst those who wish to replace capitalism with a different method of production and social organization, a distinct difference can be made between those that believe that capitalism can only be overcome through revolution and those believing that structural change can come slowly through political reforms. Some critics believe there are advantages in capitalism, and wish to balance it with some form of social control, typically through government regulation. Democracy and political and economic freedom

Economist Branko Horvat stated: "it is now well known that capitalist development leads to the concentration of capital, employment and power. It is somewhat less known that it leads to the almost complete destruction of economic freedom." Activists argue that capitalism leads to a significant loss of political, democratic and economic power for the vast majority of the global human population, because they believe capitalism creates very large concentrations of money and property at the hands of a relatively small minority of the global human population leading to very large, and increasing, wealth and income inequalities. Corporate capitalism and inverted totalitarianism are terms used by the activists and critics of capitalism to describe a capitalist marketplace and society characterized by the dominance of hierarchical, bureaucratic, large corporations, which are legally required to pursue profit without concern for the social welfare. Corporate capitalism has been criticized for the amount of power and influence corporations and large business interest groups have over government policy, including the policies of regulatory agencies and influencing political campaigns. Many social scientists have criticized corporations for failing to act in the interests of the people. They claim the existence of large corporations seems to avoid the principles of democracy, which assumes equal power relations between all individuals in a society. As part of the political, activists against corporate power and influence support a decreased income gap and improved economical equity. David Schweickart wrote that, in capitalist societies, "Ordinary people are deemed competent enough to select their political leaders-but not their bosses. Contemporary capitalism celebrates democracy, yet denies us our democratic rights at precisely the point where they might be utilized most immediately and concretely: at the place where we spend most of the active and alert hours of our adult lives." Exploitation

Critics of capitalism view the system as exploitative. In an economic sense, exploitation is often related to the expropriation of labour for profit and based on Marx's version of the labour theory of value. Karl Marx identified the commodity as the basic unit of capitalist organization. Marx described a "common denominator" between commodities, in particular that commodities are the product of labour and are related to each other by an exchange value. Imperialism and political oppression

Critics of capitalism argue that the system is responsible for not only economic exploitation, but also imperialist; colonial and counter-revolutionary wars; repression of workers and trade unionists; genocides; and massacres. John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney argue that capitalism results in imperialism and oppression. Near the start of the 20th century, Vladimir Lenin claimed that state use of military power to defend capitalist interests abroad was an inevitable corollary of monopoly capitalism. He argued that capitalism needs imperialism in order to survive. Inefficiency and waste

Some opponents criticize capitalism's perceived inefficiency. They note a shift from pre-industrial reuse and saving before capitalism to a consumer-based economy that pushes...
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