Free Essay

Capitalism

In: Social Issues

Submitted By nadiadboss
Words 282
Pages 2
The earliest establishment of capitalism originated in Rome through mercantilism. Mercantilism involves the distribution of goods in order to realize a profit, which is the fundamental goal of capitalism. Goods were bought at one site for a certain price and then moved to another site and sold at a higher price. As the Roman Empire expanded, mercantilism correspondingly expanded. But the fall of the Roman Empire caused European economies do eventually lose its focus of mercantilism and localize their economies. However, these mercantilist ideas gradually evolved into capitalism in the era after the fall of Rome. The absence of empires created the social space for capitalism. Capitalism was similar to mercantilism in its large-scale search for profit by acquiring goods at lower prices than one sells them.

However, capitalism evolved into a complex European system that soon spread around the globe and involved many aspects: the accumulation of capital, increased productivity, wage labor, mass-trade in necessities, individualist thinking, and the large-scale goal to produce wealth and develop the national economy. "The uniqueness of this system was not that it used money, but rather that it used it for the first time in history as capital to make profit."(Stav. 35).

Capitalism first arose in Western Europe. Many factors led to the rise of capitalism. Technological advancements led to demographic and economic advancements. Christianity's humanitarian ethics promoted manual labor, which helped provide the necessary productivity for a surplus. A dramatic population increase struck many areas, particularly western European, between the 10th and 14th centuries. This population increase demanded a greater food supply, bigger towns, and more necessities. Cities grew and banded together; subsequently merchants gained power and formed guilds.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Capitalism

...Do you believe that Capitalism is moral? Justify you answer. Capitalism can be defined ideally as an economic system in which the major portion of production and distribution is in private hands, operating under what is termed a profit or market system. (Shaw et al. 2013, p.118) As compared to other forms of economic systems, capitalism benefits the society in various ways (and based on utilitarian argument, this will be morally preferred because the balance of good over bad is the greatest). Few would deny that capitalism is the most productive and efficient economic system, especially after the collapse of Soviet Communism. But some critics still contend that capitalism is not a moral system. Yet morality is impossible unless one is free to choose between alternatives without outside coercion. Since capitalism is based on freedom of choice, it provides the best environment for morality and character development. In addition, business success not only requires but also rewards virtuous behavior by participants in the market.  A social system such as capitalism is a system of relationships and cannot be moral or immoral in the sense that a person can be – only individuals can be moral agents. However, a social system can be moral in its effects if it promotes the possibility and likelihood of moral behavior by individuals who act within it. It follows, then; that there is a moral imperative to create a political and economic system that permits the greatest......

Words: 1293 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Capitalism

...Of course free-market capitalism is flawed. But it is no worse than socialism or communism or any other man-made societal structure. All systems will fail in time because any system can be abused, and it is human nature to take advantage of such things Capitalism increases our standard of living but not necessarily our morals. However, when we look at Socialist Europe, we see neither morals nor standards of living comparable to the US. We have bigger houses, more cars, take shorter vacations to more exotic places than the Europeans. We don't have full frontal nudity for men and women as is common on European TV and in their movies. We don't have legalized prostitution as in Holland and we don't pay more than half of our incomes for all the free things European get from their governments. But wait... it's all coming to a neighborhood near you and soon. It's not capitalism that is the problem, it's the government's over-involvement in business, corporations and capitalism that is the problem. If you read Farrell's examples they are all caused by the marriage between government and business. Some regulation is necessary, but modern government uses corporations and capitalism as a means to all its ends. For example, healthcare beefs up insurance companies in order to force everyone to buy health insurance and participate in the exchanges. The bailouts provided enormous amounts of money to stabilize car companies and banks, so that people could still borrow money and......

Words: 398 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Capitalism

...Capitalism vs. socialism: the great debate revislted October 11 Civics CHV2D1-02 Capitalism versus socialism : the great debate revislted Page1 -debate between two isms, soicalism and capitalism are far from over. -International agencies porvide hard evidenceto discuss these 2 isms -comparisons between before and after the important events of capitalism in Europe and comparison of excommunist countries provide us with enough fact which provides us with definate conclusions -Under communism ->economic decisons/property owned by national/publicly -over the past 15 years of the transition to capitalism-> basic industries taken over by European/Us corporations and by mafia billionaires or have been shut down -In bulgaria, Rumania and some other countries, their average capita growth over the past 15 years -> far below compared to 15 years under communism. -In Armenia, the number of scientific researchers -> 20000 to 5000 in 5 years(1990-1995) Page2 -By the mid 1990s, over 50% of population lived in poverty,homelessness in Russia(Capitalist). Economy = privatized ->taken over by russian gangsters (which was led by billinaire). -the transition to capitalism in russia led to over 15million premature deaths (which would not have happened if they remained as socialism). -intro of capitalism has weaken the system of public health ->caused death/ infectious disease -The big contributor to the AIDS ->russian criminal gangs (trade in heroin......

Words: 366 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Capitalism

...Capitalism, as defined by Austere is a social, political, and economic system that succeeded feudalism based upon recognition of the rights of private parties to choose how to employ their labor and capital in markets as indicated by market prices instead of tradition.(Austere 1966) Price is the main co-ordinating method rather than the command and control mechanisms and upholds the fact that,capitalists systems are differentiated among each other depending on the level and nature of governmental effectiveness and participation in their market. Capitalism is more of an indirect governance system,whereby private players in the business field are motivated to own and use property for individual gain subject to the laws and regulations that have been put in place .In capitalism, people are free to work for a pay,capital earns return for free and furthemore, labor and capital, in different types of business, are free to get in and quit.It heavily relies on pricing method to bring into equilibrium the supply and demand in the market.Depends on the profit margin to provide more chances and resources to the competing suppliers and relies on authority, for instance the government, to set the laws and regulations so as to include all the necessary societal uses and benefits. Capitalism appreciates the use of technology.High level technology results to efficiency and high productivity in the market.It is also economical, resulting to wide profit margins of which is the main aim......

Words: 726 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Capitalism

...Capitalism and Its Effects “As a result of capitalism, we are increasingly unhappy and dissatisfied, and only by turning against capitalism will we be able to move on.” Peter Saunders cites by Clive Hamilton in his book “Why Capitalism Is Good for the Soul” (8). Capitalism dates back to industrial age. After the industrial revolution, the traditional trade has evolved to a new global platform and some of economic system like capitalism came into prominence. According to Cambridge Dictionary, capitalism is a political and economic system in which a country’s trade is controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. With this system, the numbers of producer increased because of the private owners. Until the last few decades, it seems beneficial and useful breakthrough for humanity but today, increasingly people criticize this system. While Peter Saunders in his article “Why Capitalism Is Good for the Soul” defends that capitalism provide a profitable result for us; Clive Hamilton in his books “Grown Fetish” and “Affluenza”, Annie Leonard in her video “The Story of Stuff” and Tim Kasser in his book “The High Price of Capitalism” claim that capitalism has damaged people in some ways. Although some people argue consumerism provides an easy life and a better world; it actually makes people materialistic and dissatisfied with life, kills people’s free time and damages the plane. With capitalism, people become materialistic and dissatisfied with life. They......

Words: 967 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Capitalism

...The Morality of Capitalism 500520316 ENT 527 Ryerson University Dr. Jeffrey Overall Friday, January 23, 2015 Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned. Through the capitalist system, state and economic affairs are completely separated, leaving the government with a single role to protect individual rights against those who pose a threat against others through physical force. Capitalism is diminishing as government regulations of most countries have increased with the intent to gain more revenue through the involvement of business affairs. Therefore, governments are subsidizing businesses through loans, bailouts and tax credits. Although laws and institutions are vital, capitalism is sustained by the more fundamental role played by basic human spirit of independence, initiative, and innovation conducted through entrepreneurship. Capitalism is the only social system that protects the human means of survival which consists of thinking and applying reason to produce material values or creating innovation. Capitalism is a system of freedom where individuals have a choice in work or business to be involved with and the choice to trade with others freely through mutual agreement. Capitalism creates better products, better production and better distribution processes through its system of competition and innovation, resulting in lower costs and prices. An example......

Words: 676 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Capitalism

...Capitalism vs. Socialism CAPITALISM HISTORY The history of capitalism can be traced back to early forms of merchant capitalism practiced in Western Europe during the Middle Ages,[1] though many economic historians consider the Netherlands as the first thoroughly capitalist country. In Early modern Europe it featured the wealthiest trading city (Amsterdam) and the first full-time stock exchange. The inventiveness of the traders led to insurance and retirement funds as well along with much less benign phenomena such as the boom-bust cycle, the world's first asset-inflation bubble, the tulip mania of 1636–1637, and according to Murray Sayle, the world's first bear raider – Isaac le Maire, who in 1607 forced prices down by dumping stock and then buying it back at a discount.[2] Over the course of the past five hundred years, capital has been accumulated by a variety of different methods, in a variety of scales, and associated with a great deal of variation in the concentration of economic power and wealth.[3] Much of the history of the past five hundred years is concerned with the development of capitalism in its various forms, its condemnation and rejection, particularly by socialists, and its defense, mainly by conservatives and libertarians. PRE-HISTORY OF CAPITALISM The Crisis of the 14th century and the "pre-history of capitalism" According to some historians, the modern capitalist system has its origin in the "crisis of the fourteenth century," a conflict......

Words: 915 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Capitalism

...Is contemporary capitalism a kind of imperialism? For Ellen Meiskins Wood, it is the ‘empire of capital’ that is shaping our world. For her, the empire of capital is the new form of imperialism across the globe. Capitalism, she argues, has become ‘universal’ and it spans the globe with pervasive and intrusive control over human life and nature. It is operating with its systemic logic of ‘accumulation, commodification, profit maximization, and competition’. The empire of capital has achieved its global and penetrating grip by setting free and directing the destructive forces of the capitalist market and ‘totalizing itself’ intensively and extensively to permeate all spheres wherever it establishes itself. It is alive and there's no sign of its demise in the near future. Wood argues that capitalist imperialism, driven by market imperatives, and unlike other imperialisms before it, ‘seeks to impose its economic hegemony without political domination wherever it can.’ Empire of Capital provides perceptive insights into the fundamental nature of capitalist imperialism and what drives it. ‘The Detachment of Economic Power’ she provides an explanation of and dissects capital imperialism. She shows how under ‘empire of capital’ (the new imperialism) the economic power of capital is detached from political and military power (extra-economic force) and discusses the relation between them, as well as the implication of the detachment on the relation between the economy and the......

Words: 834 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Capitalism

...Answer: Capitalism is an economic system, in which prices of the products are decided by the market and government does play significant role in the regulation of market. If we look back into history then we will found that Capitalism has always been remaining subject of criticism from many perspectives. The concept of Capitalism was first criticized by Marxists. They present various lines of argument claiming that capitalism is a contradiction-laden system characterized by persistent crises that have an inclination towards mounting severity. Critiques of capitalism argued that this tendency of the system to unravel combined with a socialization process that links people in an international market, produce the objective conditions for revolutionary change. The three Marxist critiques of capitalism were Karl Marx, Weber and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Marxists describe capital as "a social, economic relation" among people. In brief, we can say that they seek to abolish capital. According to the Karl Marx, capitalism is a progressive chronological stage that would ultimately stagnate due to internal contradictions and be followed by socialism. In Karl Marx's view; working class will affect adversely due to dynamic of capital. This will lead to the social conditions for a revolution. Capitalism promotes Private ownership. This means that the people having more money will have control over the production and distribution. This type of economic structure will create non-owning classes......

Words: 562 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Capitalism

...Nowadays our society has a huge interest in American culture, the culture of progress, money and Capitalism. American culture, and western culture in general, may be characterized as the culture of Capitalism, or more specifically consumer Capitalism, and American society may be characterized as the society of perpetual growth. The following discussion treats exactly the topic of this thesis. The first part deals with Capitalism and the second one with consumerism. For most of us, American culture can’t be imagined without Capitalism, and it seems we got here on a way as determined as that of a tossed baseball. We are taught and come to believe that the head of the American economy is capitalist. It’s time to break out of that way of thinking. Let’s briefly think of the history of American Capitalism, only to get us out of this habit of thinking. When did American Capitalism begin? It is easy to forget that capitalism was born not so long ago, in the 19th century, when the Industrial Revolution took place, and entrepreneurs were creating new industries and wealth. In other words, capitalism came to be a “big thing” once it was already there. Capitalism effects people and created a consumerist society. Consumerist societies live by the influence of advertisements, and often buy things they do not need, and in most cases, they cannot afford it. This, in turn, leads to greater economic inequality, consumerists have a feeling of unfulfilled due to spending a lot of money yet......

Words: 325 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Capitalism

...Capitalism Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist once stated, “doing well is the result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about.” (Brainyqoute, 2013). Capitalism can be defined as an economic and political system based around property ownership and private industry. It is a different form of government where the system is based upon individual rights. The key component of capitalism runs off competition, all markets are open with little or no government directive. This form of government has a tremendous effect on healthcare in that Capitalism is based on demand and supply and when dealing with healthcare the demand and supply are disconnected. Capitalism is defined as a free enterprise system. It is essentially a competition between markets as well as unregulated supply and demand. Each individual is permitted to sell whatever product at whatever price as long as the market can sustain it. Decisions about products are made solely on the need or demand. If there is no demand then there will be no profit, if the demand is high then there will be a profit; however, if the demand is too high, there will not be enough suppliers. Nearly every nation has a different economy which means capitalism will operate differently. The future for healthcare holds many negative and positive factors. It will be positive in that Capitalism will encourage health care providers to be efficient by concentrating on the things which are on demand rather than those that are not.......

Words: 459 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Capitalism

...Due to the limited resources and unlimited human wants, whole world faces problem of scarcity. Therefore, capitalism is needed to solve these production decision such as what and how to produce the goods and services and distribution decision such as for whom to produce the goods and services. Capitalism is an economic system in which the major portion of production and distribution is in private hands, operating under what is termed a profit or market system. In the country which works on capitalism system, the production and distribution decisions are made by private individuals who are free to pursue their self-interest and their decisions are coordinated and communicated through price signals which also means by profit motive in the market. I believe that the morality of capitalism is debatable, whether the capitalism is moral or immoral have to view it from different sides of perspective. Utilitarianism said that an action is judged as right, good, or wrong on the basis of its consequences. It emphasizes that greatest good for the greatest number of people. In other words, the goods have to be maximized for everyone affected by the decision (Weiss J.W., 2008). When all the costs are added and compared with the results, if the benefits outweigh the costs, then the action may be considered ethical. In a capitalist economic system, individuals have natural rights to property. They can possess, use and dispose the means of production or distribution such as equipment,......

Words: 1390 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Capitalism

...Capitalism Quiz Essay What is capitalism? “Capitalism is an economic system in which private people, not the government, own and run companies.” Industrial capitalism refers to an economic and social system where trade, industry, and capital are privately controlled and operated for a profit. In this system income, production, distribution, investments pricing and supply of goods, and services are determined by private decisions. In a capitalistic state, property is privately owned and this is protected by the law of government. Companies compete with other companies for business. They decide what products they want to produce, how much they should cost and where to sell them. Companies do all these things in order to make products for their owners. The upscale of Capitalism is that it promotes economic growth by providing an open competition in the business market. It gives a rise to where the consumers regulate the market. Consumers are happy in a capitalist economy. For example, the supply and demand aspect is that when someone purchases property, and waits to sell the property to gain more money, demand something at a low price and supply it at a high price. A person works so that they are able to supply the needs for their household; they purchase these goods from the income they have earned. However, some households may have more income than others. Sometimes only one member of a household has a job, at other times it may be a two person household that goes to......

Words: 522 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Capitalism

...Miguel Beatrice Capitalism is an economic system in which private individuals and business firms carry out production and exchange of goods and services through complex transactions involved in prices and markets. By extension called capitalist higher social class of this economic system ("bourgeoisie"), or to the common form would the individual interests of capital owners in both companies, shareholders and patterns, also called capitalism entire social and political order (law, idiosyncrasies, etc..) that orbits the system while structurally determines the possibilities of its content. Capitalism is based ideologically in an economy in which the market prevails, it is usually given, although there are important exceptions in addition to the controversy over what should be called free market or free enterprise. In it are carried out economic transactions between individuals, companies and organizations that provide products and that demand. The market, through the laws of supply and demand regulates prices under which goods are exchanged (goods and services), allowing the allocation of resources and the distribution of wealth among individuals. Freedom of enterprise proposes that all companies are free to obtain economic resources and transform them into a new commodity or service to be offered in the market that they have. In turn, they are free to choose the business that wish to develop and when to enter or exit from it. Freedom of choice applies to businesses,......

Words: 836 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Capitalism

...Capitalism acts to constrain the forces of production. The notion of free and competitive market penalizes inefficiency and redistributes the surplus to the more efficient enterprises. Adam Smith’s idea of invisible hand promotes rivalries. Therefore the majority of petty owners is pushed out of the market and forced to sell labor power. The surplus value is derived from exploiting these workers. The rate of exploitation is surplus value divided by the labor value. Laborers produce a use value but get paid only for their labor value. The left-over surplus value becomes profit for the capitalist. This wealth can be use for investment, mechanization, research development, management and etc. Industrial enterprises spend money on capital and labor to produce a product. Rate of profit is calculated from surplus value divided by capital and labor cost. Therefore the rate has an inverse relationship with labor and capital cost. As they fall, rate of profit rise. The average cost is total spent divided by output. By mechanizing, it allows companies to produce more resulting in cheaper price per unit For example, say three companies produce the same amount of goods using identical labor and capital cost structure. When one company mechanizes, it can produce more goods by only increasing capital and not labor cost. It can also produce more merchandise with same amount of capital and labor. These two scenarios are both forms of increase efficiency. They also are forms of labor......

Words: 880 - Pages: 4