Why are societies changing to Capitalism?

In this section of Giddens he uses this quote “Capitalist production, especially when conjoined to industrialism, provided a massive leap forward in economic wealth and also in military power” (Giddens 63) which simply gives the example on how the US thrived after the industrial revolution and how the US was able to surpass socialist societies in economic wealth, military power, and foreign relations.

After nearly 240 years the system that the United States was basic upon is still in place today.  When the socialist societies seem to all be failing and becoming more of a capitalists societies.  I wonder if it is because the government has complete control over everything is a socialist societies.  To give an example on how socialist societies and capitalists societies are different I simply look at a test score.  In a socialist societies if I scored a 100 on test and someone else in the class scored a 50 on the same exact test they will take the median and we both will receive a 75 on that test.  So, when it came to the next test the person who scored the 100 on the first test will not care as much and not work as hard to get a 100 knowing that they take the median and could now receive a 50 on the test.  The other person take the test could get a 25 and we both will now end up with a 37.5 on the second test.  Where is a capitalist society if I score a 100 on my first test and someone else in the class scored a 50 we would receive the grade that we scored on the test.  In a socialist societies everyone is equal and in a capitalist society what you receive on a test or from a job is what you will officially receive.

Back to the economic wealth and military power.  The US as we know is a capitalist society and in a capitalist society the citizens put into the government and then the government is able to put whatever we need into the military.  When we voted for independence from England, people were able to invest in whatever they wanted.  People would open companies and start putting back into the government which then would lead to economic wealth and the economic wealth would then lead to a strong military power.  In a socialist society the citizens don’t put into the government because the government owns everything and everything is equal.  So, to wrap everything up, why has the US been able to keep its capitalism and socialism seem to be failing?

JF

4 thoughts on “Why are societies changing to Capitalism?

  1. James,

    You’re right that Giddens identifies some aspects of capitalism that lead to its spread. As you point out, capitalism’s emphasis on innovation in particular means that the individual is valued as such–an idea that we hold dear in the US. I’m puzzled by your closing question, though, as it seems like you’ve already answered it in your post.

    How can we understand the context of your post? Are the major world conflicts these days characterized by a struggle between capitalism and socialism? Or, to put it another way, how can we relate your arguments about capitalism to globalization? Should the US sit on our laurels or is Giddens pointing out that in a globalized world we don’t have that option? Does an expensive military solve all of our problems?

    ~DM

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  2. Hi James,

    I believe capitalism and socialism both contribute to globalization. However, it is up to interpretation whether or not it has a positive or negative impact on our societies. Your test score example was very logical, ultimately proving that capitalism highlights honesty, handwork, and ownership, whereas socialism is essentially unjust.

    As danielmorse suggested, you seemed to do a great job answering the question you asked to close the paragraph that answered the question. Capitalism survives because it is a just and rational system, while socialism fails because it is the opposite.

    ES

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  3. James,
    This post is particularly interesting to me because I have always been fascinated by Capitalism and Socialism. In your blog you summarize both capitalism and socialism very well with the test analogies. “Where is a capitalist society if I score a 100 on my first test and someone else in the class scored a 50 we would receive the grade that we scored on the test. In a socialist societies everyone is equal and in a capitalist society what you receive on a test or from a job is what you will officially receive.” This particular quote did a great job summarizing the idea that in a capitalist society, you get what you personally deserve, no less and no more. You then go on to conclude your entire blog with the question “why has the US been able to keep its capitalism and socialism seem to be failing?”. I would like to challenge this question and ask, is capitalism in the United States really going to continue succeeding? Of course capitalism is a much fairer and better economic system than any form of socialism, but when does capitalism get to the point where a class system then becomes a caste system? Once that happens people will lose the desire to better themselves, to educate themselves and to be productive in society. Many people would agree that this is the exact reason the Roman Empire fell so drastically and quickly, are all civilizations that use capitalism destined for the same fate?

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  4. You did a really good job at explaining and summarizing the concepts of a socialist society and capitalist society. Your example of the test scores to highlight the ideas of these two different societies was extremely effective. “In a socialist society everyone is equal and in a capitalist society what you receive on a test or from a job is what you will officially receive.” This is why the United States has been successful. As to your closing question, socialism has been failing because it’s simply not as effective as capitalism.

    -ML

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