Throughout history, human have developed various forms of economic systems not only for individuals but also for the entire societies. Among those systems, by trial and error people have finally established two dominant forms of economic systems, which are capitalism and socialism. These two economic systems are differed in the end goal and the way to approach it. Within a capitalist society, means of production are privately owned by individuals and individuals are free to choose how to utilize their money. Since the ultimate goal of the capitalism is maximizing its profit, market relies on the motivation of pursuing their self-interest. However, in a socialist society, means of production and distribution are collectively owned by government who decides for the people what to produce and in what quantity to produce. The aim of socialism is establishing economic equality through the government regulation. Having stated how these economic systems are differed and how these works, the big question arises that which one is the superior system. Many philosophers and economists state their views on these systems regarding to motivations and happiness, meaning of equalities, and consequences on environment.
First of all, socialists and capitalists have different views on motivations of working and pursuing of happiness. Capitalists believe that main feature of capitalism is private ownership of property and freedom of making decision about competitive pricing, differentiated production, and distribution of goods. Since property and means of production are privately owned and operated for private profit, people are willing to work hard and effective to expend their property. Bentham defines the ‘good life’ as one maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain and what fundamentally motivates individual is the pursuit of happiness. He believes that capitalism increases property and it is the main means people use to satisfy their utilities. This means, capitalism encourages higher productivity through reward. Individuals are driven to succeed to achieve and possess more incentives and property, and this is the strongest motivating factor a human being feels when they are at work. William Bradford clearly support this statement by stating “At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advise of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; […] This had -very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.” (William Bradford, 1962, pp. 96-97) However, Bellamy rebuts this idea by stating that, capitalism was a “system which made the interests of every individual antagonistic to those of every other.” Like Bellamy, socialists contradict on capitalist’s view, arguing that people under the socialism nations are motivated by freedom to choose their job. Contrary to capitalism nations where people have tendency to give up their dream to maximize their profit, people under socialism are empowered to have an opportunity to express their desires and have creative and be enthusiastic about their career. This is possible since they are free to choose their job with their interests not concerning with their money and losing their jobs. One of the famous Aristotle quote supports this statement, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” Furthermore, unlike capitalism, socialism increases solidarity by binding people as a means of production for the output. Aristotle’s politics is the individual is not something that can be studied...
Bibliography: Bellamy, Edward. Looking backward. Boston: Houghton and Mifflin, 1967. Print.
Ginsberg, Allen. ‘Sunflower Sutra’ in McClatchy, J.D. ed, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry. Toronto: Random House, 1990.
Cummings, e.e. “pity this busy monster, manunkind” from Campbell, Wanda and R.S. Gwynn eds. Literature: A Pocket Anthology (Canadian Edition). Toronto: Pearson Education Inc., 2004..
Wa Thiong’o, Ngugi, “Seeker of Truth and Justice” from Matigari. London: Heinemann International, 1989.
Le Guin, Ursula K. “Chapter 5” from The Dispossessed. New York: HarperPrism, 1974.
Polanyi, Karl. “Societies and Economic Systems” from The Great Transformation. Beacon: Boston, 1957.
Bentham, Jeremy. ‘On Moral Calculation’ in R. Lekachman, ed., Varieties of Economics. Cleveland: Meridian Books, 1962.
Bradford, William. ‘Of Plymouth Plantation’ New York: Capricon Books, 1962. Print
"Quotes on Capitalism | J. Candanedo Reader." J. Candanedo Reader. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. .
Please join StudyMode to read the full document