Capitalism – Survival of the fittest or simply the root of all evil? I have recently spent a lot of time reading and studying certain historical figures and their political leanings, which combined with my own natural inclinations have recently forced me to see the world in a new light, and question the practices of certain governments.
Growing up in the UK, a country which has been heavily influenced by its ‘special relationship’ with the United States, capitalism and its dog-eat-dog nature is all around us. We laud and praise professional persons who have risen to the top in their chosen fields, whilst bemoaning the working class folk as idle, not possessing the drive and will, the ambition to better themselves and become a success.
We can walk down the local high street and see large national conglomerates dominating the buildings, companies such as Specsavers and Tesco’s a constant sight. Every town centre is now beginning to resemble each other and if we refuse to cooperate, we get left behind. Capitalist Globalization seems to be stronger than ever.
Whilst it can’t be disputed that this ideology is what has made the USA the most powerful and richest nation in the world, is this ‘American Dream’ scenario actually an irresponsible creation that is contributing to the overall downfall of the majority of the human race. An implementation that is to the benefit of the minority, yet overwhelmingly a stifling disaster for the majority.
Let me expand. Those in support of this imperialistic view can argue a man makes himself, and deserves the success he achieves through hard work and sheer determination. I would agree with this, yet why can’t the same be applied to help each other achieve success to create a more successful and prosperous community as opposed to an ‘every man for himself’ scenario.
Due to external factors, not every man has the opportunity to better themselves regardless of will or ambition. Social classes are tend to be rigid and capitalism reinforces this, evidenced by the great dearth of rags-to-riches stories. The myth is that a capitalist economy ensures the cream of men rises to the top (and in isolated situations this is true I.e. Richard Branson) however this economy more often than not simply perpetrates the well used cliché of making the rich richer, and the poor poorer.
Capitalism is not a policy I consider patriotic or humanist. It can be argued it is a success because America and to a certain extent Britain are dominate the world in financial and gross national product terms. But if this economy is such a success why is the world in general awash with poverty. Why do children go days without food. A whole continent can starve whilst a couple of directors in New York could easily solve this crisis. Dog-eat-dog, forget about everyone else. It is a tragic philosophy. Even in nations such as the UK and the USA, a large percentage of the population, including a growing number of elderly pensioners, survive around or below the poverty line. These people are unable to alter their social status and surroundings to better themselves, a perpetual struggle to no avail.
Capitalism has created a society full of selfishness and greed with no concern for your fellow man. Why help the man next to you when you can trample all over him, take his money and elevate your own position by exploiting that same person.
As a passionate patriot who believes in his country (Wales by the way!) over personal progression, a true socialist state must be implemented before capitalism reaches the zenith of its growth and leads to a global financial crisis we cannot recover from.
The anti-socialists amongst you will cockily point to such failed or allegedly troubled socialist states as Cuba or the former Soviet Union, yet it is a fact that Cuba’s health system is in a greater state than the ‘flawless’ United States, where if you cannot afford health insurance, something a vast amount of citizens can’t, even major injuries can consequently be hard to treat.
The greatest 20th century implementation in the United Kingdom was the establishment of the National Health Service, a creation based on socialist principles. Treatment is equal to all regardless of social status. A person claiming benefits can get the same treatment a millionaire businessman can, a system that is the envy of the world. America’s for-profit non-universal system is self-defeating, to exclude your own citizens from care is barbaric, you wonder why these same people are so patriotic in a country designed to exploit them and part them from their money. Michael Moore, the Hollywood documentary director, mentions in his infamous Sicko film there are over 50m American’s unable to get treatment as they cannot afford Insurance.
The success of the British NHS service should surely lead to the country implement more socialist-based state run systems to the greater benefit of its citizens. The train industry for example, since going privately-owned has deteriorated greatly and needs to be sorted out before it becomes inadequate, especially as public transport needs to gain greater demand to solve the pollution issues mass-car use is causing.
There are too many people struggling to get by, unemployment levels are at record highs, debt is rising, wages are too low for a vast majority to survive on and people are thus being overworked to fill the gap. The power of a capitalist economy, Wall Street et al, has directly contributed to the current economic recession that has put an even greater strain on the long-suffering and exploited working class. An abolishment of capitalism would lead to the abolishment of the ruling upper classes who create the circumstances the majority of the population must live in. A millionaire bank manager or a major director can alter the markets to take full advantage of the majority of the working class, filling their pockets whilst emptying others.
It is time for countries to start taking care of its citizens, and to end capitalism to help the world’s suffering. 2% of the worlds population could eradicate the other 98%’s suffering. Socialism is the only way of putting everyone back on an even keel. Socialism is an humanitarian movement, helping yourself to help your fellow countrymen, offering equality for all. In these uncertain times we must help each other not oppress each other to get ahead. The American Dream? Tell that to the hundred million Americans living in ghetto-conditions trying to put a meal on the table. More like the American Nightmare.