Can Capitalism Fall? - Tangent

I have not read Das Capital, but I considered the question posed by Mason, "Can Capitalism Fall?”. After reading the comments to his post it appears that all are in favor that Karl Marx is off his rocker. However, consider this; in a solely capitalistic society every member of society would be looking out for number one. Men and women would place their wants before any other. This would result in fewer marriages and less family structures in which to teach values. Also, within families both parents may work in pursuit of personal goals and once again neglect the teaching of values to children. A decay of the moral fabric of society may ultimately cause the downfall of capitalism. This is how I propose that capitalism will fall. Few will gain power and monetary control over many through their exceptional ability or good-fortune. These few will lack the civil decency and moral compass (along with everyone else) to do recognize the greater good and will put their selfish desires first. They will do what our government increasing is doing by talking from some and giving to others or to themselves.

The capitalistic system without a moral compass will turn into a socialistic system. A revolution will occur and the system that was previously capitalistic will fall. The fall will occur primarily because of a breakdown in the core unit of society, the family. In order for Capitalism to succeed, families must be socialistic and teach that although individuals are not responsible for society, they have a duty a duty to uphold it.

I was going to leave my thoughts as comments, but felt that it created a subject of its own. Please comment and help me see the fallacy and/or the accuracy of my reasoning.


Jackson said...

Dr. Tufte,

please forgive me...I stuttered on "a duty"

I don't think that stuttering constitutes a loss of points...does it?

Alex said...

Ideologies such as Capitalism and Socialism cannot exist in this world in the purest form. We need a blend of both. The degree varies from country to country based on the social, economic and political set ups.

mason said...

You make a good point, but I think you are entering a religious point of veiw. I agree that these moral and ethical values should be taught in the home, but we have to remember that pride and greed can get the best of anyone. We live in a society where when we are able to get a little we always want more. But what we don't realize, are the consequences.
Our system now has proven that when some one is doing something illegal and unethical, like putting their wants first, it will catch up to them. Look at WorldCom or Enron for an example, big companies that went away from what was ethically right.
Another reason why the system is too strong to fall is that there is still alot of good. Many companies are doing wonders and it is helping our economy grow. We as a society have to get involved. We can make the difference by using our civil rights to put in position, leaders, who carry these moral and ethical values.

Madeline said...

But isn't one of the ideas of capitalism the "invisible hand" that regulates markets? One could say that Enron and WorldCom no longer exist becuase this invisible hand that regulates markets would not tolerate their behavior. Perhaps it is in this way that social virtures are incorporated into capitalism. For example, some homebuilders are incorporating energy efficient designs into new home models. Consumers in many markets are willing to pay for this feature since it, in turn, saves them money. In this scenario, dollars are driving companies to act in a way that is also for the greater good. I think the issue really is working to align society's good with dollar benefits, like in this homebuilder example.

Jackson said...

Mason and Madeline,

You made and excellent point with the Enron and World-Com examples. It helped me to realize something about our generation of buyers.
We are a "service" oriented market. This compels business owners to be increasingly more ethical in order to meet the buyers increasing demands.
Also, with the introduction on e-business and a more connected world, competition is increasing and once again encouraging business owners to be more ethical and treat their customers fairly.
Poor ethics will cause the invisible hand to yank a business from the market.
Thanks-a-million for your input.

Jackson said...

Mason and Madeline,

Thinking more about your comments and determined in finding capitalism's fall, I concluded that selfishness because of decayed morals cannot kill capitalism. Capitalism is fed by selfishness.
I feel that the real demise of capitalism is stupidity and Unproductiveness because of lost morals. With no productive people in society, capitalism (and socialism for that matter) will fail. Granted, overwhelming amounts of people would need to be sponges rather than producers in order to kill capitalism, but there you go Mason...I hope this answers your question. Can Capitalism Fall? It's a long-shot, but YES.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Mason and Jackson for spelling errors. Jackson gets a pass for catching his own error in the post, but lost a point for missing his errors in the comments.

First off, I have no reason to believe that capitalism can or can't fall.

But, what is missing from this debate is trust. Capitalism requires us to trust strangers, and thereby it engenders our society with a deeper sense of togetherness. I think we're missing the forest for the trees.