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The Realms of Capitalism
A regime influenced by social forces as well as political; that is the branding on capitalism by Robert Heilbroner, a free thinker of the twentieth century. He asserts that capitalism is the social manifestation of historical vigor, in which there are two realms; economical and political. His analysis and ideologies on capitalism links a lot with the ideas of free thinkers like Thorston Veblen, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Joseph Schumpeter. Social nature and logic are the conceptual categories that he uses to point out a society’s netherworld. Netherworld as he puts it across, is the invisible yet systematic collection of principles that determine the visible history and structure. Capitalism is the urge that drives the socially affluent people within a society to accumulate more of the abstract wealth(Helbroner 17). Robert examines the psychology behind the extraction and employment of this economic surplus and examines its compulsive manner. However, his excitement on the two realms of capitalism is limited by a deeper message on socialism that blunts his touching illustration on the latter.
That being said; the two realms of capitalism that have been examined by the free thinker have their merits that positively affect the society and demerits, which are dysfunctional to the society. This discussion addresses with coherence, the impact that capitalism has had on the society based on the arguments of Robert.
Robert’s intuition that the two realms are both beneficial and dysfunctional meant that capitalism serves to improve the life of the social man in some aspects while limiting them on the other. Capitalism empowers all and serves them with revenue and this way; it uplifts the status of man(Heilbroner 25). When, on the other hand, it gives much to a few by depriving most; it significantly tilts shifts the social scale, a situation that leaves the primary employers with more reaping. The latter, according to Robert, is capitalism’s way of stripping man of his social status; its dysfunctional aspect.
Because the capital is the absolute denominator of capitalism, it makes the social aspects unlimited to other institutions beyond its direct ambit of functions. However, the capital is not the interest that organizes all aspects of the modern societies, it only correlates with the other interests. Heilbroner states that influence of the realm of capital(economic realm) on its correlated political and social realms, is not involved through the mechanical dependency and the latter’s slavish passivity. They are instead congruent and complementary. He has an emphasis on the molding of social interests based on capital, but also recognizes the independence that comes along with the capital’s influence(Heilbroner 34). What gives capitalism some peculiar orientation is its unending drive to milk surplus from the activities that are productive. When money capital is transformed into commodity-capital, the intent is to change the commodity-capital back into money capital and to create a surplus. The money capital that results is of a higher value than the previous. Capital, therefore, becomes a process of expansion, not the commodities or fund. Accumulation of this capital is the goal of capitalists. Moreover, the prestige that comes with owning too much capital is not for its influence of products and commodities, but for its command over reason and man. The case is created by the level of dependency on the owners by the non-owners.
Capitalism can be dysfunctional in so many ways. The reaping and capital amassed is never distributed equally, as the capital is oft redound to a small population of the whole group involved. The inequity can go to the extreme(Heilbroner 57). The lesser in the group can grow poorer, situation in which their ownership to the capital is lessened. When people ignore the fundamentals of the economic realm, they develop irrational behavior as they get caught in bubbles that are hypothetical. Such irrational mannerisms are consequential as they can lead to physical harm, emotional harm or even intellectual harm. The irrational behavior sometimes has fueling factors that go beyond the economic realm to other realms such as political and social. In circumstances that involve countries, war can result as every country rushes to protect their interests. The effects can be so devastating so to leave a permanent negative mark on the social psyche. Circumstances that allow the free market also always lead to the behavior of a monopoly, as humans exploit each other by increasing the level of capital undeservedly. The people who own the capital also develop a behavior of monopsony, which is the tendency to exploit employees, by underpaying them. Monopsony in a way is a form of dictatorship, as the CEOs and managers treat their subordinates as nothing(Heilbroner 73). The exploitations can persist as long as it takes for alternatives to be developed and introduced into the market. It also creates the immobility as it is difficult to move a sector of production from an unprofitable sector to more profitable sector. Capitalism also ignores social benefit, as companies who create more capital pay no heed to the externalities in a free market. Factors like pollution that have negative effects on the human health are not responded to by companies adequately. To increase demand for the capital of commodity in a free market, producers develop the tendency to hoard goods from the public, a situation that creates desperation for the specific commodities. Citizens of capitalistic governments have attested that some of the goods should always be provided by the government to ease life. Capitalism also creates a situation in which the capital is utilized marginally. People with the rapt with all accumulate more capital than they actually need as the rest who stand lower in the social ladder(Heilbroner 79). When others have nothing to spend and are barely surviving, their effluent partners are hoarding much more than can be spent by a few. Capitalism beats logic in this sense. The inequity is not the only worrying factor. The level of unselfishness that is accommodated in capitalism are also worrying. The level of selfishness also leads to waste as those who have what they feel they need to get rid of what they feel they do not need. Say for instance, there could be enough food to feed the global population. However, when most of it is collected and hoarded by individuals who did not need all of it, and hence not consume, others are starved. The rich will dump, and rarely give. In this sense, it creates an anti- social behavior because people are so much engaged in caring so much for the capital they can get. They care for themselves and their selfish gains because they have in their minds that no one will care for them when and if he or she lose their capital.
The need to amass more capital can also push companies into cutting corners that endanger workers(Heilbroner 84). Implementing the right measure and compensating workers always mean more capital is spent unproductively; something that d.............
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