capitalism

Topics: Morality, Capitalism, Communism Pages: 3 (1247 words) Published: September 20, 2014
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 possibility for self-determination and moral agency. Capitalism is that system. (Younkins, 1998)

Capitalism is itself only a means and requires individual participants to decide on the ends to be pursued. No economic system can make people good. The best that an economic system can do is to allow people to be good. But morality and virtue require that individuals be free to be immoral and of bad character. Only when an individual has choice and bears responsibility for his actions can he is...
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