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The Role of Capitalism and shrinking Democracy in our Society Today

Updated on February 11, 2018

Capitalism Defined

This article was prompted by a vehement comment made on another writers article. The commenter was attempting to promote capitalism as the only solution to maintaining a free society.

No one can make such a strong comment with such complete assurance.

We certainly can see in today's world, that capitalism has taken a wrong turn, and unless re-directed it will eventually destroy our entire economy.

Nothing is absolute, and even the best of intentions can be twisted to become detrimental to the best interest of society as a whole.

"Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private, or corporate, ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision rather than by government control, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined by competition in a free market" {Webster's dictionary}

Is Capitalism Working?

Capitalism as is, is not working
Capitalism as is, is not working | Source

Saving Graces

While the dictionary definition provided above appears to be a positive thing; that "positive" is only a peremptory supposition.

In other words, it was meant to be applied within the boundaries of decency, fair play, and for the good of economic growth.

"Capitalism" as defined, can only benefit society when its implementation is aimed at growing and maintaining a healthy economy that benefits society as a whole.

Destructive Forces

When decency and fair play is abandoned, to embrace greed and self serving, the "core value" of Capitalism is corrupted.

Capitalism then quickly becomes a massive destructive force that only serves a few, while destroying the lives and livelihoods of the majority of people, and the entire economy as well.

Embracing greed and avarice as a national heritage can only lead to the societal decline that leads to a low, destitute, or demoralized condition that we see all around us today across the globe; that is a definitive result of capitalism gone amok.

Capitalism: Greed on a Global Scale

Reigning in Capitalism

We may believe that 'Capitalism', even in its current state, is the best we have in today's world, but to allow its further deterioration is unconscionable.

It has become shockingly unfair and unjust; and a truly destructive force in today's world.

We cannot get rid of it, but we surely can reign it in.

But, in order to reign it in, we must have leaders that understand the destructiveness of greed and avarice on the level of the individual and the corporation; as well as on the nations needs and aspirations for a better tomorrow.

Redistribution of Wealth

The wealthy of the world fear the words "redistribution of wealth".

They fear the loss of elitism and power over others that their excessive wealth may be subject to; and that fear also causes the ill informed to see 'restructuring' as duplicitous.

They fear the imaginary contradictory duplicity of any thought, speech and/or action that might delete or diminish their elevated status in society. As do those aspiring to gain that coveted elevated status in society.

But that fear need not come to pass if we as a society move forward from today; without trying to change the past, and leaving the devil with his dues already collected.

Let the wealthy stay wealthy but stop them from hoarding to the point of destroying society in the future.

The old adage:

"we can't change the past, but we can create a better future by what we do today", has never had a more profound meaning.

We just have to convince our government to consider the needs of (all) people and stop fearing, and catering to, the wealthy and financially powerful.

The article that is linked in this capsule tells it all - like it is - and as it should be.

It is a simple premise that would, could, and should change the dynamics of our economy, our social structure, and our core values.

We all, as human beings must face the fact that our individual existence on this planet is limited, and greed by any individual (s), or corporation has little or no meaning in the grand scheme of our limited time on this planet.

There is no reason we should see any hunger, suffering, strife, or other hardships at the hands of a few of the greedy and self serving people who don't see themselves as having an end. They hoard for themselves as if they will live forever at the expense of all others around them. Greed is truly the root of all evil on this planet. It is self serving, ultimately destructive to the morally corrupt greedy few, and everyone around them whose lives they impact upon, and to this fragile planet itself.

Capitalism as it stands today cannot sustain itself. It must, (and inevitably will), fail completely before mankind can rebuild itself with a fair, equitable, and sustainable way of life that serves every person on this planet. The only way to prevent this catastrophic ending is to accept the truth that the greed of a few will destroy us all and correct that problem before it is too late.

by Independent Mind July 21, 2014

© 2014 IndependentMind


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    • IndependentMind profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      DDE: thank you also for reading and leaving a comment. It is greatly appreciated.

    • IndependentMind profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Frank A:

      thanks for reading and commenting. The ARE solutions to the problem, but the problem with those solutions are that until the effects of the economic disaster is felt by the wealthy who rule, and the politicians in their pockets, nothing will be done about it.

      As i continue to state: the answer to the problem is the education and participation of the general public. Even that seems unattainable when the majority of people are content to wallow in self pity, egregiously believing that somehow their "god" will intervene on their behalf, or put too much trust in the lies of those we elect to serve us in Washington.

    • IndependentMind profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Jodah: The only change venue that is left is "the power of the people". That change can only take place through massive participation in the political system and promoting politicians who stand for the "real" people, along with the deliberate limitation of political terms served. The president is only allowed to serve 2 terms - so should congress have to live by the same rules.

      I think we would see an amazing change in the attitudes of those running for office. Also, $$ down the toilet is the fact that even after serving one term in congress politicians are assured the same salary for retirement.

      We live in a world where greed and corruption is actually revered and protected by law.

    • IndependentMind profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Old Poolman:

      Sorry for the inexcusable delay in writing a response to your comments. You are, of course, correct in all of you statements of fact. The most obvious way to curb political corruption IS to limit their terms serving in congress. The problem with that every changing is that those very "career" politicians are the ones who would have to vote to get rid of themselves. Somehow there is something innately wrong with that even being an issue. Who in congress would opt to actually change what congress has done when those changes will effect their own protections for themselves?

      Your proposal to never vote for anyone who has already served two terms seems to be the only solution to that problem. Unfortunately when most people vote only by party lines that too is an impossible task. I would suspect that is the reason why there is such a promotion of animosity between the parties that make it impossible for one party to vote for anyone in the other party.

      Another solution would be to break up monopolies so there can never be anything "too big to fail".

      Limiting "incomes" is feasible if laws could be passed to cap individual "profit" limits on both the individuals running large corporations AND on corporations themselves. When corporations and top individuals make billions/trillions of $$ profit a year at the expense of the employee this is truly a national shame. No one on this earth needs more that 1 billion dollars in their personal bank account.

      Bonuses of any kind should be banned. They only promote back stabbing and increased animosity and greed.

    • f_hruz profile image


      4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Some of the best comments about the need to restrict multinational corporations from having major political influence on processes which determine public policies of nations:

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      What an interesting hub! I have seen how Croatia has changed to Capitalism and so much is not worth talking about here especially about how most people here have become greedy.

    • f_hruz profile image


      4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Here is a lecture held at the Webster University by Richard Wolff on this very topic ...

      Franto in Toronto

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      a very good hub my friend.... Capitalism or controversy? Only slavery, in this history of free market capitalism, aroused a more intense conviction that the entire motive of an industry is morally flawed. The objectives are only to turn a profit... we must take seriously the effects of public perception on market behavior.... well anyways this was indeed a challenging hub.. I can go all day expressing..LOL :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a very important subject and thank you for writing this hub. Capitalism sounds good in theory, as does "Communism" and "Marxism". If ideas are carried out in their purest form and as envisaged by their developers this world would be a perfect place. Our Western financial system is quickly moving beyond repair...the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer (or at least the gap widening). This is not just a United States problem. Someone has to take control soon who really puts the general population first, not the rich and powerful. The problem is that money buys power, so it is difficult to have a leader who cares for core values. Voted up and shared.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      4 years ago

      I agree with your comment.

      I have been in the repair business of one kind or another for most of my life. Sometimes there are things that are just too broken or worn out to repair, and they must be replaced.

      Many of our elected representatives have just been sitting in their chair for too long and are broken beyond repair. By the time they have served two terms they owe so many favors that everything they do is influenced by the favors they owe. I mention this because they play a huge role in the profits made by large corporations.

      From now on when I visit the polling place nobody who has served two terms or over will get my vote.

      When it comes to fair pay for employees, the fairest way is piece work. Those who produce the most are rewarded more than those who produce very little. But unions will never agree to such a plan because even the worst employees need to be protected.

      Capping salaries would be difficult when there are many more ways than a paycheck to reward the top officials at any company. They also receive vacation homes, all expenses paid vacation, stock options, etc..

      Our own government is very guilty of paying huge bonus's to some of the least deserving employees on their payrolls. This is proven by the bonus money paid to VA administrators.

      I agree the system needs to change, but how to do that is beyond my mental capability.

    • IndependentMind profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      Old Poolman:

      Thanks for being the first to read and leave a comment.

      Such a 'massive' reconstructive change certainly seems to be an unattainable task.

      The solutions are not in the actual redistribution of wealth as most people fear, but in setting limits for the future to avoid the amassing of fortunes at the expense of the ordinary people and the economy.

      Simple changes by congress could effectively change how our society works without causing hardships to the already filthy rich who still want more.

      When we have states like N.Y., and now Florida, who are offering corporations a completely free ride to move into these states, they are only making matters worse. Those corporations will move into these states for the sake of saving money to boost their net profits. They have no interest in making life better, or easier, or the rest of us.

      Greed must never be the motivating factor in any society, and monopolies must never be allowed to exist.

      Caps on income are just as important to the overall well being of society as passing laws that provide a minimum wage that is still too little to support a family without some kind of sacrifices.

      Your comment regarding the saying: "Any strength carried over the line becomes a weakness" is certainly the truth. But to further that thought; it is known that {"any" excess that becomes out of control soon becomes a weakness}.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      4 years ago

      Great hub. Have you ever heard the expression, "Any strength carried over the line becomes a weakness?"

      For example, someone tells you they are a gifted conversationalist. Carried over the line that means they talk too darn much.

      Capitalism once was and can be a strength, but has been carried so far over the line it is now a weakness. Big business pretty much owns and controls our government and most of our politicians. Greed and corruption is out of control.

      Most of our politicians are now for sale to the highest bidder. Our ever growing tax codes are full of loopholes for big business that were purchased with the help of a lobbyist. These are specific loopholes that will only benefit a particular business or industry. The common man will never realize any benefit from these loopholes.

      So how do we go about stopping this ever growing monster? I would certainly not be in favor of Socialism, but would like to see less of the total wealth going to a handful of people.

      It has been said that if today we were able to evenly divide all of the money in the world among the people, nothing would really change. Within a year some would be flat broke, some would be living better, and some would be fabulously wealthy. I tend to think there is some truth to this statement.


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