Capitalism VS. Socialism
Capitalism and socialism are terms that are used to refer to two systems of social, political and economic behaviors of a given society. These systems are often decided on by the government but, to some extent, are influenced by the people. Most countries in the world practice capitalism while just a few ones like Cuba and Sweden practice socialism. The term capitalism is used to refer to an economic system where individuals hold the means of production. In this kind of economy, those who hold the means control the economy to some extent. Socialist economy, on the other hand, refers to a system where the state retains the sole right to own means of production. This paper seeks to argue out the moral superiority of the capitalist economy over the socialist economy.
In spite of the growing hatred and criticism of the capitalist economy to be exploitative and dehumanizing, it still remains to be the most morally upright one. The first notable reason is that it is largely powered by competition. As it has been the case throughout history, competition has always played a great role in bringing out desirable results. This is the very reason behind it being termed as the free market economy where the consumer has the liberty to go for the best product on the shelves. The liberty of the consumer triggers off competition between the producers of the products coupled with a number of incentives. This is done with the sole reason of making their product be more appealing to the consumer. In the long run, competition helps in stepping up innovation since each producer wants to be ahead of the rest.
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Capitalism also provides for the availability of a variety of goods and services in the market. This comes as a result of competition as a source of inspiration. The availability of alternative goods and services prevents monopoly by the only existing goods and service provider. This in reality causes the producers to work round the clock to outdo their opponents and in the long run bring about the production of quality and affordable products.
The other reason why capitalism is viewed as more economically moral is that it grants the consumer the right to go home with the product of his or her choice. There are no rules on the consumer to carry home what their judgment does not support. This is contrary to the practice in the socialist economy where the consumer has little or no influence on the product they use. Moreover, the consumer in the capitalist economy has the ability to influence some factors in the market. The consumer can, for example, influence the price of the product. This has sometimes made it to be viewed as a consumer-driven economy.
Capitalism is morally best because it encourages entrepreneurship. This is the ability of a person to see the need of the consumer and act on it. The entrepreneur will then assume the risk for the venture by providing the means of production of the new product. The entrepreneur is seen as an innovator and someone who opens up a new frontier of production. What makes capitalism superior in this context is the ability of the market to determine the degree an entrepreneur can rise. If the innovation supplies the needs of the market, the entrepreneur is rewarded regardless of his or her social standing. In simple terms, the product is not forced on the consumer but rather presented to the consumer for some kind of approval. At the same time, the market in itself provides checks and balances on the entrepreneur. This is because a capitalist environment encourages honesty, efficiency, discipline and responsibility among other attributes. As a matter of fact, fraud and coercion are criminal offences in a capitalist economy. This in its own is proof enough that a capitalist economy encourages an entrepreneur to be economically moral.
However, capitalism has always been viewed as unfair mainly because it encourages the circulation of wealth around a small group of people in the society. This is a problem since it can also lead to monopoly in the market since the ones who own means of production also have influence on the power. This gives the owners of the means of production an edge in deciding the price of their goods, thus, making the consumer have no choice but accept the exploitation. Therefore, without strong government intervention, the market can still fall prey of exploitation by the entrepreneurs.
Finally, a capitalist economy has proved not only to be the best but also the only workable one in a big economy. The reason behind the collapse of the socialist economies in the world was because they were too big to be planned. Capitalist economy proved superior because it does not have to be planned but rather just given a little check and balance. It has also been viewed as the center of worker exploitation and repression. This is because the market is driven by the motive of making use of every opportunity to make maximum profit. The capitalist market is also attributed to cause social stratification, inequality, unemployment and economic instability among other things. Socialists point out that capitalism is irrational because it is widely unplanned. This is true because in this economy, the authorities only come in when there are inconsistencies.
In this view, we realize that capitalism cannot be self-sustaining. It is, therefore, necessary to incorporate some socialist behaviors in order to fine tune the economy and make it work for the good of the whole society. The government, for example, despite of having no ownership of means of production should plays strong supervisory role in making sure that there is level play in the market. This can be done by bringing into force different laws and regulations that encourage responsibility and equity in the producers and suppliers.
Other areas that need the governments direct involvement include the health sector. The major reason behind this is to protect the public from exploitation by private players in the health industry. The health sector should, therefore, be socialized so as to guarantee a system where people work for the general good of the society and not necessarily to make huge profits. The government should give a socialist approach to such vital things in the society as healthcare and food production.
Competitors in the capitalist system should also learn the art of cooperation that is practiced in the socialist system. This is because cooperation helps in finding solutions to some problems in the market collectively. It also guarantees less spending on research as far as new market fronts are concerned. At the same time, capitalism has been viewed as unsustainable in the long term. This is because it encourages speedy consumption of natural resources to an un-replenishable level. The governments should also be a watchtower to prevent overexploitation of such resources.
In conclusion, it is quite clear that a capitalist economy is morally best as compared to a socialist economy that has many rules of engagement, thus, causing a lack of exercise of democracy and the need to be innovative. Moreover, this economy would not have stood the test of time had it not been morally best for the society. However, this economic system needs some level of integration with the socialist approach so as to produce a more competent and consumer friendly environment.