Socialism Versus Capitalism
Capitalism and How It Differs from Socialism
Capitalism is an economic system, in which a society’s production capacity is accomplished by private individuals, whose interest is profit maximization and not consumers’ needs. Concentration of private capital in the hands of a few, as a result of competition, technological advancement, and standard labor input, are the main components of capitalist society (Einstein, 2009). Socialism comprises of production defined by the needs of the consumer, and the participation of the entire community. The output is shared in a planned way among all members, and there is equitable distribution of labor guaranteeing livelihood for every single person.
Capitalism emphasises on profits, and competition in a free market, thus results in thriving of selfish opportunism, and inequality of labor. Socialism, on the other hand, considers the needs of everyone in the society, and emphasizes on life improvement of everyone in a given society. Capitalism is generally characterized by dominance of private ownership; political systems which are amenable to private property, and the market; ubiquitousness of market considerations, budgeting and strong responsive to prices; chronic unemployment; and a predominantly buyers’ market. The characteristics of socialism generally include dominance of state and quasi-state ownership; political systems sympathetic to socialist agenda of community welfare, and equal distribution of labor; omnipresence of bureaucratic coordination; weak responsive to prices; labor shortage; and a predominantly sellers’ market (Kornai, 2000). Capitalism emphasizes and encourages individual capabilities of people in a competitive merit-based society driven by achievement, and success, while socialism is focused on community welfare, and ensuring the protection of every individual’s rights.
Solitary and Social Being
Human beings are created as both solitary and social being; these two aspects are conflicting and varied, as they define the balance between accomplishment of personal goals and individual contribution towards the well-being of society. Solitary being relates to doing things for oneself, and those the individual values, while social being involves doing things for the improvement of social environment. Solitary well-being includes actions involving self-preservation, fulfillment of personal goals and dreams, and self-improvement targeted at developing inherent potential. Contributions to well-being as a social being comprise of achieving recognition, and affection in society, sharing of experiences, a caring and comforting attitude towards fellow beings, and enhancement of social conditions. The interdependence of these two variables constitutes society, and individual contributions to community welfare.
How The Emphasis of Capitalism On the Cultivation of Egoistic Drives Lead Us to Experience Our Dependence On Society as A Threat to Our Natural Rights
Generally, natural rights are considered rights to life, liberty, and property. According to Einstein (2009), human beings’ physical, intellectual, and emotional dependence on society constitutes food, clothing, a home, the tools of work, language, the forms of thought, and most of the content of thought, as well as most requirements for sustenance of life in the pursuit of happiness. Capitalists are very aware of this dependency, and fuel the egoistic drives of achievement, and material possession. This egotism happens because individuals’ selfish desires are increasing daily, while natural connection to society is becoming worse, as the person tries to fight collectiveness, and chooses individualism. The deterioration of the social being results in ‘insecurities, loneliness, and denial of unsophisticated enjoyment of life’ Einstein (2009).
Additionally, capitalism entails inequitable distribution of wealth, property, and access to affordable life-enhancing services such as education and healthcare. The competitive nature of capitalism results in investments in political campaigns, and lobbying for business interests that may be contrary to the interests of the less privileged. According to Einstein (2009), ‘private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education), leading to misinformed use of political rights by citizens.
Why Capitalism Cannot Make Human Life as Satisfying as Possible
Society is created in such a way that interdependence is natural. Capitalism emphasizes on the power of individualism, and encourages vigorous competition. Profit maximization, and not community welfare is the primary focus of capitalist society. However, societal structures require us to depend on one another for the betterment of everyone else. Therefore, capitalism without ‘sustainable’ socialist practices, and an education system oriented toward social goals, will never be fully satisfy human life (Einstein, 2009). True happiness and satisfaction come from achievement of personal goals and desires, as well as contributing to a harmonious equitable society.
Einstein, A. (2009). Why Socialism?. Monthly Review, 61(1), 55-61.
Kornai, J. (2000). What the Change of System from Socialism to Capitalism Does and Does Not Mean. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(1), 27-42. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2647049
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