Tag Archives: industrial capitalism

Blame Capitalism!

Someone else has something I want. How can I get it?

Capitalism has received a great deal of criticism, from its invention to the present day. It has been blamed by one group or another for seemingly every human evil, real or imagined, including depression, imperialism, violence, hedonism, the decline of democracy, and the destruction of the environment. Especially for the poor, the disadvantaged, and the empathetic, the common refrain seems to be “blame capitalism!” Yet blindly criticizing a policy or view is not at all the same as thinking carefully about it. It’s easy to forget that governments, organizations and policies are tools just as much as hammers and plows, despite their larger scale–in fact, that very scale makes it important to pay extra attention, especially with policies as widespread and influential as capitalism. This means considering such tools’ benefits as well as their evils, while remembering that there is not likely to be a “magic bullet” solution. Poverty, depression, antagonism and the environment are all important problems–but is capitalism really responsible? Or is it possible that true capitalist practice might actually help solve some of these issues?

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