The coronavirus pandemic could push half a billion people into poverty. The United Nations is warning of the potential for famine of “biblical proportions”. Profiteering and price gouging are rife, and market-based public health systems seem to have been woefully unprepared for the scale of the crisis.

Two of the central arguments in favour of what is sometimes labelled (usually by its critics) “neoliberal globalisation” or “global capitalism” are that free market reforms have lifted over a billion people out of poverty since 1990, and that capitalism has helped to feed the world and greatly reduced the number of deaths by famine. However, could the COVID-19 crisis (and the ongoing climate crisis) challenge that argument?

What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Gheorghita arguing that, on balance, global capitalism has done more harm than good. Is she right?

To get a response, we put Gheorghita’s comment to Raj Patel, academic, film-maker, and best-selling author of books including The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy and A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet. What would he say?

I think you’re right, Gheorghita. And I think that we need to just be clear about what that ‘global capitalism’ is. If you’re thinking capitalism is where people go to the market to exchange goods for money, that’s not capitalism. People have been doing that for millennia, from the souks and bazaars along the silk road, to trading posts, people have been meeting and exchanging money forever.

But there’s something particular about capitalism that requires us to be alienated from the world around us, from nature, from one another, and from our work. And when that happens, when the driving force is about creating and exploiting new frontiers, and turning the rest of the natural world as we understand it into money, then you start destroying forests, you start crowding wildlife together, you start creating the conditions for zoonotic disease – which we’re living through at the moment – you start creating a world which is filled with the possibilities of massive destruction.

And some people say: ‘This is the anthropocene era, human beings are just bad’. But this isn’t the anthropocene. This is an era of capitalism. If you look at the major problems that the world is suffering at the moment, whether it is the sixth extinction or climate change, you will find the fingerprints not of humanity but of a capitalist system… We don’t have to do away with exchange, I think exchange is wonderful. We don’t have to do away with cash, I think exchange and having money and having a limited amount of stuff that’s yours, that’s fine. But I think we need very much to transform the paradigm that humans are above the web of life and we can exploit it, because that, it seems to me, is precisely the cardinal sin of capitalism.

What about the argument that capitalism has massively improved material wealth and living standards for huge numbers of people? Or that it has driven innovation in technology and research to the betterment of all of us?

As we move forward in this world, driving the world to extinction, you may say: ‘Well, at least we’ve got good dental care’! Well, that’s great. But we’ve got great dental care and fast cars in a world that won’t be survivable 100 years from now. So, we can say ‘capitalism is great’ only if we say it in the same way that a banker who’s just jumped off a ledge says ‘so far, so good’ seconds before they hit the bottom.

Right now, it feels to more and more of us like we’re hitting the bottom. And, in fact, the worst is still to come in terms of climate change. COVID is just a blip; when we’re looking at the deaths associated with climate change, it’s far greater and the road ahead is going to be far harder. Recognising that capitalism has made that is going to make it easier for us to imagine a world after capitalism.

For another perspective, we also spoke to Otto Brøns-Petersen, Director of Analysis at the Centre for Political Studies (CEPOS), a free-market think-tank in Denmark. What would he say?

I would completely disagree. I think we tend to overlook the wonderful development thanks to capitalism, especially if we look at poverty in the world. We’re seeing an unprecedented fall in world poverty because of globalisation and because of market reforms, for instance in China and in India. So, I think there’s no doubt that capitalism, on balance, has provided a much, much higher standard of living and a much higher sustainable population than we would otherwise have.

Finally, we put the same comment to Donnie Maclurcan, Executive Director of the Post Growth Institute, an international not-for-profit organisation exploring “viable ideas for a fair and regenerative, full circle economy beyond capitalism”. What would he say?

Has capitalism done more harm than good? Is it sustainably lifting billions of people out of poverty? Or is it driving us toward destruction? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: Photo by Adrien Delforge on Unsplash; PORTRAIT CREDITS: Patel – Wikipedia (cc) Jan Sturmann


148 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Vanja

    I don’t even feel the need to debate this

    • avatar
      Chinedu Obianuju Gift

      I think Capitalism has done more good than Harm
      Without Capitalism
      I think we all cannot survive in the whole Nation as a whole

  2. avatar
    Христо

    Capitalism without welfare is something monstrous. If you don’t have a strong state to regulate the economy, your population is going to suffer. Pure capitalism is not a good ideology and same goes for socialism. Capitalism is acceptable when the rich pay their fair share, when there is welfare state, a strong middle class, economic rights and when the state regulates the market principles. The idea about the Invisible Hand of the Market that regulates everything is an example of wishful thinking. So for me the best system is social democracy. This is neither capitalism neither socialism. Social Democracy in Economics and National Liberalism in society. That’s a good combination.

    • avatar
      Manuel

      Not really (Capitalism without welfare is something monstrous) if you have freedom to make small organizations to help the most vulnerable.

  3. avatar
    Joe

    What has fone more harm than good is globalism, which you are pushing.

  4. avatar
    Gabor

    This what we have is no more capitalism! It’s a pump! This is oligarchism, protectionism, nepotism, neofeudalism, neoliberalism, elite and politicians criminalism, generationism, fashistoid communism, populism, manipulation, mafia governments, capturing the states and the societies and many – many more. Oximorons!? Just seemingly!
    Nothing more is here legal and everyone on a higher level it’s a servant and a pander. To often by the voters and the people too!

  5. avatar
    Martin

    Well, let’s see how the life is in non-capitalist countries – North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba…I think that they have much more poverty. No, the comunism and socialism didn’t work and never will…

    • avatar
      Ariano

      The world isn’t black or white and neither should be countries. Capitalism is great in some things but it can be very bad when you only have that mindset in a country. Look at the US: healthcare at the level of a third world country.
      In Europe you got countries which apply some capitalist ideas with some good socialism ideas, like a free universal healthcare for every citizen.

    • avatar
      Martin

      The healthcare isn’t free in Europe, you have to pay taxes for that. US healthcare isn’t at all like on third world country, just, it is not available to who has no insurance

    • avatar
      Mario

      tell me a country that, then, as free health care… or any other thing. Please indulge me.

    • avatar
      Ben

      free is a misnomer. Countries with Universal healthcare are many, with a wide range of how good they are. The USA isn’t one of them. They do spend a great amount of their GDP on healthcare though, if I’m not wrong.
      There’s maybe 20 nations that could be said to have true universal healthcare ie/ covering 100% of the population.

    • avatar
      Mario

      I just find this “you pay taxes so it’s not free” thing to be so primary.
      It is said to be free because you don’t directly pay to access it. You pay to a common box depending on your income and then are allowed, without further payments, to use the services/goods.
      I usually follow on to ask if those primaries use the roads. As they are so sensitive to issue they should not use them.

  6. avatar
    Michael

    We are in the midst of a shortage of vital medical supplies and flour, a basic foodstuff. Eight years ago they said we must sacrifice to save our country. We sacrificed, now we have to sacrifice even more. We are paying for benefits we will likely never see. The efforts we make to better ourselves are sabotaged. I’m not very impressed by this system we’ve inherited to say the least. Even less so by our terrible leaders.

  7. avatar
    Jacob

    “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    …well guess that in the end a bit of socialism won’t hurt to save the day because capitalistic things have really gone out of track and have messed up the world.

    • avatar
      Христо

      FDR was a social Democrat not a socialist.

    • avatar
      Jacob

      That’s not the issue.

    • avatar
      Alex

      the 1% have rotted good capitalism, their greed and dystopic view of the future led to the realization of roosevelt’s speech that is exactly were we are today. Reagan’s and Clinton’s policies paved the way for the mess we’re in today.
      All this lockdown bs is fishy af

  8. avatar
    Любомир

    It has made Europe one of the richest, most prosperous and desired places to live in all of human history. You tell me.

    • avatar
      Николай

      1%?

    • avatar
      Mario

      That was the work of welfare state.

    • avatar
      Любомир

      Where does this welfare come from mate?

  9. avatar
    Cãlin

    Capitalism is a very vague term, but, nevertheless, a well regulated capitalism does far more good than harm. You just take example from the states that applied a well regulated form of capitalism as the European ones. Most of their citizens live a good life, have a better health, education and a longer life span.

    • avatar
      Ben

      you mean USA?

    • avatar
      Cãlin

      although my exemplification was general I didn’t exclude USA and, although the US seem less regulated they also applied certain norms, maybe not unitary, and even there it’s hard to speak about a “raw” capitalism. Anyway, everything can be improved.

  10. avatar
    Hugo

    Redo that question with Socialism…

  11. avatar
    Serena

    Wowww, I completely agree with Raj Patell! exchanging goods is literally nothing new, but we are exploiting our planet and the people that live on it. this system has to change, we cant go on like this

    • avatar
      Donnie Maclurcan

      Serena, absolutely. You can have a market without it needing to be capitalist.

  12. avatar
    Cara

    unfortunately I don’t see a viable alternative to capitalism at this very moment, but the least we can do is limit its negative sides! lets have a look at the Scandinavian countries which have very strong welfare states, thriving economies and are leaders in environmental innovation and measures. We need to protect people from the exploitativeness of rampant capitalism, we need to give them a safety net – now more than ever! Corona is showing once and for all that we cant treat our hospitals like factories that have to work at maximum efficiency – its showing that everyone and I mean EVERYONE needs affordable or free healthcare and that we need living wages, and that the gig economy isn’t sustainable… we need to change our systems! And we need to protect our planet – who cares about GDP when the world is literally and figuratively burning?! I urge our leaders to take the warning sign of the Coronacrisis seriously and to make the decsions that are necessary, even if they are difficult!

    • avatar
      Donnie Maclurcan

      Cara you’re absolutely right about the need for a viable alternative. We’re working on one here, that builds on the best of capitalism, but leaves its worst aspects behind – a post-capitalist market system based on where existing trends are taking our global economy: http://howoenarth.us.

    • avatar
      UknownWarrior

      Yes the Scandinavian countries have adopted a good model of socialist capitalism. This is the idea and not an organized crime syndicate capitalism like in eastern Europe.

  13. avatar
    Filipe

    Capitalism, like any other system, has done good and bad. What works best, for me, is a mixed system, with a strong public sector in strategic industries, firm regulators and free market for the rest.

  14. avatar
    João

    All Economic systems are capitalistic….

  15. avatar
    Rajesh

    Not if we get down from our high horses ..

  16. avatar
    Maria

    The problem is China. The problem is Socialism in the EU.

  17. avatar
    Orlando

    Lol is funny how, when you ask that, people cry “AnD sOciAliSm?1?1?” implying that only thos two systems exists and not considering that socialsm has been applied in single countries (moreover opposed by all the other capitalist countries in the world)

  18. avatar
    Alex

    It’s NOT capitalism per se that led us to this mess but 1) the European Union, a supranational entity that regulates every little aspects of our lives but is inadequate when a big shock come in like the 2008 financial crisis, the destruction of Greece 2015, migrants crisis few yrs later and now thi pandemic. We don’t need to waste funds on this entity (essentially a currency based on German interests and a tax heaven aka the Netherlands which drain money from all the EU, is this the great European solidarity? You have to be naive or dumb to believe that fairytale).
    Other problem is American govt which paved the way for the speculative financial capitalism we are in today that led the greatest democracy in the world (so they believe) to a country led by oligarchs, corporations and the 1%..just follow the great projects the bill and melinda gates foundation, Google and apple have for us poor ordinary people.
    This pandemic maybe was not created on purpose BUT something is fishy: since when in history few thousands deaths caused a complete lockdown of states ,freezing the economy,put on hold civil liberties and the constitutions? NEVER

  19. avatar
    Boris

    People who failed to do something in their lives are blaming political regime, whatever one they have. Now it became popular to criticise capitalism. There is no any shape of economy where one can have something easily. There are poor in Sweden and there are rich in Venezuela. There are more rich in capitalism though.

  20. avatar
    Sandor

    Definitively! In the 80-ties we had an allocation of 250 g butter per month per person. We were sooo healthy and lean! /sarc

  21. avatar
    UknownWarrior

    I would like to join the debate please !!!

    Capitalism took over Eastern Europe in 1989, but it brought nothing, bur organized crime to Eastern Europe. Not to mention that most of the Politicians from those countries became very wealthy during these years of transition from Socialism to Capitalism.

    Lets face it. Western Europeans will not or never recognize Eastern Europe as a rightful partner due to the 45 years of Communism thanks to Soviet Russia. The reason why there was communism in Eastern Europe is because after the USSR defeated Fascist Germany they had the right to choose as victors prosperous land in Europe.

    Even now Eastern Europeans are second class citizens in the EU. If Hitler did not rose to power this divide would never have happened.

  22. avatar
    Rajesh

    European capitalism is sustained by favoritism… poor people create wealth which ends up in rich peoples pockets ..poor remain poor for generations rich get richer every generation

  23. avatar
    Maria

    I am for capitalism. But now there is a financialization of the economy. The money doesnt exist and there is no profit. This is making the control of the market by the corporations, who are more and more rich and can be bailout by the money that the central banks are printing more and more. We are serfs of the Gleb like in Feudalism.

  24. avatar
    Filipe

    I am not opposed to capitalism, but with some limitations. It is an illusion to think the market can solve all problems. We need a mixed system, and the states need some public companies in strategic industries to regulate the economy. I am completely opposed to private monopolies, like in the airport sector in Portugal, where one single company controls all international airports. This is not capitalism, and it needs to change.

  25. avatar
    Bernard

    I am glad i live on a continent where, in most countries, the sharpest edges are taken off the capitalist system. I think the Rhinelandic (German, Dutch) and Scandinavian systems are quite successful. BUT, I think ‘we’ should always think what we will leave for ‘the market’ and which public(!) services(!), we deem too important (health insurance, public transport, public housing?) to let ‘the market’ take care of this…

  26. avatar
    Oliver

    Capitalism is the most efficient system to create wealth.. The only thing to improve is to ensure equality of chance… If competition creates losers… Is it a problem?

    • avatar
      George

      we can not be all on the first place. And it’s ok. Still this winner takes it all situation we see now must be mitigated.

    • avatar
      Olivier

      yes but in France we redistribute more than 50%of GDP… We are in a semi communist system

    • avatar
      George

      govs must maintain a balancing act between socialist measures and advancing the “free market”.maintain a fair playing field. Where is that balance point that remains to be discussed…. :).

    • avatar
      Bernard

      two remarks:
      – 50 percent of GDP is re-distributed, yes, but what do you get in return?
      – have you ever compared the tax burden of someone in the French middle-class with the tax burden of someone in a comparable situation in the US, including the Federal, State and local taxes?

  27. avatar
    Oliver

    Its the worst system we have, exept everything else we have tried

  28. avatar
    Return the 80s movement

    The difference between Capitalism that there is hope for you to choose your destiny and what you own. In Communism you have no hope or chance to own your own business or choose. Politicians are rich and the rest is poor. The funny thing is that many leftist trying to push being poor on them selfs.

  29. avatar
    Oliver

    Darwinian selection and technological progress vdetermines inequality. It is unavoidable, but by state redistribution the chances of people to decent life can be increased.

  30. avatar
    Христо

    Capitalism is a liberal economic system that abolished and took the place of conservative feudalism. In capitalism anyone can enter the middle class or to become rich because unlike feudalism, capitalism has no interest of where you are born. It created economic growth and wealth. The problem of capitalism is that it doesn’t contain social element. This is the only mistake liberals made. That’s why socialists exist. Nowadays what we criticize is not capitalism. It’s neoliberal corporatism which kills the market economy by creating monopoly and killing the loyal competition between the people.
    Conslusion: We need capitalism but we also need welfare state made by the wealth capitalism produces. We need a strong state that participates in the market and that insures loyal competition and worker’s rights. Therefore we need Liberal Social Demoracy.

    • avatar
      Peter

      something like the Chinese model?

    • avatar
      Христо

      No, China is a neoliberal country since 1978. It’s political and economic system is very close to fascism.

    • avatar
      Peter

      I am only making the question as to how will the capital feed the state ? as we see taxation doesn’t work , should n’t the capital be owned by the state ?

    • avatar
      Julia

      If we took the BIS, IMF and central banks out of private hands we could magically print money ourselves to cover that.

    • avatar
      George

      all gov must do is make a balancing act between socialist measure and capitalism also maintaining a balance inside the “free market”.

    • avatar
      Peter

      bravo simple as that ! so we are not doing it because … there is no will I suppose

    • avatar
      Chris

      you had up until you tagged the Liberal part on, how about Conservative social capitalism

    • avatar
      Claudia

      China is a dictatorship!!!

    • avatar
      Peter

      yes and unfortunately their economic policies are working and they are conquering the world ..

    • avatar
      Христо

      Conservative capitalism is like socialist capitlaism – an oxymoron. Capitalism and democracy are always liberal. So about your suggestion of ,,Conservative Social Capialism”, I say no thanks.

    • avatar
      Chris

      Liberal always seems to mean, an erosion of morals, and standards. Loss, of culture and history and, nearly always includes mass, migration, no thanks

    • avatar
      Христо

      You don’t know what you are talking about.

    • avatar
      Chris

      yes, I do, just because I, don’t agree with you.

    • avatar
      Oliver

      read about liberalism in 19 century Britain, to see what really ment

  31. avatar
    Gabor

    We should change the system, but there is nothing better at the moment. The biggest trouble is us, human. No system will work until 100% of the participant will accept the game rules, and knowing the arrogance and egoism, also the stupidity of human beings that is just not happening.

    • avatar
      Alex

      *must be voluntary otherwise is dictatorship

    • avatar
      Gabor

      absolutely. Also must be an option to fully opt out.

    • avatar
      Oliver

      People are different, one size doesn’t fit all . Conformism leads t o stagnation. Imagine that all the people conformed to Catholic church at n Middle Ages. We would still think that Earth is center of universe. People don’t change much but societies yes. Read Illiad or Odissee for comparation

  32. avatar
    Yannick

    In my view it should not be about growth or degrowth, but about quality of growth

    • avatar
      Oliver

      Or level of life

    • avatar
      Oliver

      It is a rip off I think is was cheaper to buy a house for his, treat him there and then burn it

  33. avatar
    István

    always depending on, the LEADERS.
    systems are neutrals: kingdoms, socialisms, capitalisms, how good or how bad to live on them, ONLY depending, who sitting at the wheelhouse.
    in other hand: when You se a crashed car, do you blame the car manufacturers?
    do You?
    really?

    • avatar
      István

      as Otto von Habsburg said: a state, when peoples suffering of bad circumstances, does mean, that state governed by criminals.

    • avatar
      Oliver

      Sometimes is the fault of the car, bad brakes, bad steering wheel

    • avatar
      István

      indeed.
      it’s happen, when the car owner let that critical parts, to weared out.

  34. avatar
    Любомир

    No. It has made life for the people in Euorpe more peaceful and wealthier. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

  35. avatar
    Γεώργιος

    In present times is making harm because is dominated by inhuman greed not human reason

  36. avatar
    Joshua

    None of the listed negatives have anything to do with capitalism. Socialism is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions.

  37. avatar
    Христо

    Economic inequality in communist China is one of the highest in the world. It’s higher even than the economic inequality in the USA. Also China has one of the most polluted air in the world. And finally about pandemics. Where did Covid-19 come from? It came from communist China.
    Capitalism is the economic system of Europe since the French Revolution. Do you prefer the feudalism instead? I think not. Capitalism is good. Corporatism is not.

  38. avatar
    Martin

    The biggest poverty is in the communist ratholes like Northern Korea or Venezuela, anyway

    • avatar
      Roman

      and their leaders bath in any luxury they want.

    • avatar
      Martin

      Yes, that’s always the case in comunist (and other( dictarures), the key is just to brainwash the poor majority,so that they support they ideologic leader without noticing that they live in shit and mud. Already the USSR’s leader Chruscow had a Rolls-Royce among several private cars…

  39. avatar
    Prodan

    Wtf is this post? What you want now to turn the EU into CCCP? I didnt got to see comunism but my parents did. Not cool

    • avatar
      Patrick

      Yeah it’s becoming more clear that it is heading that way in one way or another.

    • avatar
      Prodan

      its only the media that is just up for some leftists ideology. But the warm and safe homes they have is built by capitalism.

    • avatar
      Theodoros

      wtf is this logic? Its either this nihilistic capitalism or CCCP?

    • avatar
      Amphib

      why does everyone who acknowledges that capitalism isn’t perfect get accused of wanting to bring back the USSR? Are these really the only two economic and political systems that are possible?

    • avatar
      Prodan

      all systems are flawed we all. Know this but the more liberal a market is the more it self regulates. The state just has to deal with consumer rights and law of operating in the country. Anything else is harmfull.

    • avatar
      Theodoros

      it’s binary logic. Some people just can’t process more than that.

  40. avatar
    Patrick

    Yeah it’s becoming more clear that it is heading that way in one way or another.

  41. avatar
    David

    No, you freaking marxist morons idiots

  42. avatar
    Иван

    Capitalism and communism are made by one….

  43. avatar
    Panos

    Hahaha, why don’t you ask about communism and the hundreds of millions of people that died and suffered because of this stupidity?

    • avatar
      Γεώργιος

      stupidity is to repeat propaganda tales in the Era of openness of knowledge sources

    • avatar
      Panos

      each one of us is free to express his thoughts… just because you live in a capitalist world. In a communist world I would be dead now.
      So to protect myself i hate and fight communism with all my heart and powers.
      PS: communists are usually good guys and I have many communist friends. But they are a little bit naive and don’t see that their leaders live like kings while their people are literally slaves.

    • avatar
      Nikos

      Because communism was never the world universal economic and social model. Apart from that even if communism was a bad idea in practise that does not excuse capitalism for it own I justice’s ad disadvantages. On the contrary, if you claim to be “the best” you should prove it in practise and not just in words.

    • avatar
      Nathan

      Fortunately now, however, our Greece is free from all this even though we have delivered monetary policy to our creditors.

  44. avatar
    Drogeanu

    ,,or, HAS COMUNISM DONE MORE HARM THEN …CAPITALISM ?

  45. avatar
    Christos

    Capitalism needs a maintenance and reality check. No harm, like everything it has start showing cracks and parts of it malfunction, and in need of reforms and attention. Otherwise it will go the way of other systems, once people fed up with it.

  46. avatar
    Karolis

    EU has been hijacked by Altiero Spinelli’s followers. Now we have that kind of questions.

  47. avatar
    Roman

    First I am very astounded reading your assumption that the capitalism “is credited for reducing global poverty”. Seriously??? Where is it taken from? Probably from any western normative aid programmes… Capitalism is a system where humans use private property to generate wealth. It works well only when owners are willing to create benefits with their goods. This is why commerce and a possibility of exchange should be interesting to this system. However a question whether capitalism is good for people in the world is another thing. On one hand is a philosophical question, on the other hand look at Asia, Africa, South America. Than ask yourself where to take a property from and give it to people, how to do it? And it is also an ethical issue. I would say, without discussing human values that are attached to our actions, capitalism could be as much as harmful as socialism is.

  48. avatar
    Yvonne

    Who knows..my experiance is of Ireland..with holiday visits to europe..i do think we are better off than we were before the “wars”….but the climate seems to be messed up..altho we are enjoying the warmer weather here!!!..it does seem that there are only a few wealthy people and the rest are doing their best to work their way through..with a growing number of homeless and realy poor and neglected peoples throughout the world…we realy need to fix that..we need all of us to bein the “working through it group”…please…and yes the plastic situation is worse than terrible..we just have to ban plastics..full stop…thats the only way to do this..theres masks everywhere now…i made my own from recyclable cotton and wash it every day… anyway ..the sun is shining at the moment ..hopefully we can all strive to make this world a better place for everyone :D

  49. avatar
    Николай

    Has capitalism done any good?

  50. avatar
    Alkis

    Once, we had the perfect economic system, we lived in abundance of goods and a just distribution of those goods and the responsibilities. We lived in harmony with nature and in peace with each other.
    Then, capitalism came and hell was unleashed. Poverty and war and inequality were invented. We started to take advantage of nature and became mean to each other.
    Conclusion: we just have to tear down the evil economic and political systems that we have in Europe and we will return to our natural, peaceful state.
    #not

    • avatar
      Roman

      your imagination of beginnings of the humanity seem utopian to me. Until capitalism you miss other deadly and abusive systems. I don’t believe that humans can live peacefully “just like that”. People compare themselves and want take advantage of somebody other’s goods. From there should we start.

    • avatar
      Amphib

      Alkış is being sarcastic

    • avatar
      Amphib

      LOL. Capitalism is an improvement on the feudalism that preceded it, but it does have some major problems, which we should acknowledge.

    • avatar
      Alkis

      agree. Nothing is perfect. What concerns me is that 1. people often assign problems on capitalism that are not really problems of capitalism. And false diagnosis typically leads to false treatment. And 2. the various alternatives are far worse than capitalism + people who propose them don’t really care to consider the negative side effects of their proposals.
      So my take is that a smartly regulated capitalsm is the worst system, with the exception of all the others.

  51. avatar
    Christos

    If capitalism would be based on a world to a starting point with the same level of income in real terms, then the antagonism would be purely based on craftsmanship and the ingenuity of the businessman. Today is the traditional colonial exploitation wearing the mask of legitimacy.
    The biggest issue with capitalism though (putting aside the self destruction issues) in monetary terms is the impact on human societies and their values.
    Capitalism and its ideological vessel is one of the most outdated socioeconomic policy which consumes the human knowledge and modifies even education to a well oiled workers producing machine believing that the human thinking reached ground zero and from now on only capitalism is the only way of life putting aside several other needs of the human civilization.
    Feeding the instincts only aspects of a human individual will drive the states to unlimited cracks of social cohesion.
    REACT

  52. avatar
    Mariusz

    Capitalism is great.
    But only if you have capital.
    Bank of England has “printed” £1.4 trillion since March.
    Where’s this money? Why do we allow all the wealth to go to a very small percentage of people? Why do we then allow those people to hide that wealth and not pay any tax on it, depriving societies of even more money?

  53. avatar
    Pedro

    Why the hell are we still arguing about this capitalism/socialism when it’s so obvious to anyone that owns his own brain that mixed economies are the best solution we have right now?
    Arguing about how much of each? Sure.
    Arguing if socialism or capitalism is better is just too smooth brain.

  54. avatar
    Return the 80s movement

    Debating Europe- always pushing discussions related to the Liberal( leftist ) ideology. Leftism has a hidden agenda of bringing back Communism to Europa and USA.

    • avatar
      Gustavo

      we are 10 years away from communism in Europe, unfortunately.

  55. avatar
    João

    Much more good than harm. The question os frankly stupid..

  56. avatar
    Ludwig

    The only problem is that the communist alternative, also produces a huge amount of waste and unfiltered pollution. The only problem is that the communist alternative, also produces a huge amount of garbage and unfiltered pollution.

  57. avatar
    Miguel

    Capitalism is not the problem, the problem is corruption in politics that turn capitalism unstable. Capitalism is an alarm system through money so that people with many types of problems can be easily localized to be helped.

  58. avatar
    Apostolos

    That’s kinda relevant because capitalism created world poverty
    What happened to Africa is a product of capitalism
    The exploitation of their resources and creation of fake borders in order to include hostile tribes and therefore make them unable to agree on a common good policy led to starvation and poverty
    So capitalism is trying to solve a problem it did create

    • avatar
      Craig

      You’re funny mate!

    • avatar
      Roman

      I like your ideas because they lead to further thinking. Whe should ask “who” is supposed to decide for people and with which intention.

    • avatar
      Apostolos

      I believe that they needed more time but that time was not given to them
      The Japanese had time, unable to be conquered in the mid 1800’s to look at their situation, study western technology and ideologies and come up with something and through trial and error they are what they are now
      But the Africans never had that time. They were quickly conquered and forced to live in borders they had no idea about and had to share them with their traditional enemies without even having reconciled with them.
      This will never allow them to advance and all this was created intentionally so that they can be controlled through loans and foreign intervention every time a government will fall (and it will as long as its people hate each other)

    • avatar
      Roman

      I share fully your view on historical development of capitalism in some places of the world. We should not forget that capitalism accumulates, so it means it creates differences depending on conditions of its development. Obviously not every part of the world got the same time. It has far less to do with people’s ability to generate wealth as some capitalism militants may argue

    • avatar
      Apostolos

      people forget that capitalism is not charity. It’s a weapon used in times of war
      The Spanish-Dutch war is such an example. The Dutch used their version of capitalism in order to have enough money and commission armies and navy to beat back the huge Spanish empire
      Also industrialization was mostly used in order to create an endless amount of weapons not for the welfare of the people
      And the welfare of the people is good for capitalism as long as its profitable for the owners of the means of production. If they can produce lower quality food for less money and sell it for more, they will do it. They won’t be like “no I care about the people”, whoever believes that need to see the history of capitalism and also take a look at the food that is available for the poor based on prices

    • avatar
      Gustavo

      what are you on about, poverty its the default condition. No one created poverty, we humans were all poor at some point. Now 96.7% are not, that’s because of capitalism directly. Capitalism improves the quality of products and services while reducing prices making those products and services available to everyone over time. That’s how you generate wealth.

    • avatar
      Apostolos

      where I look around me I see 96.7% being poor
      It’s time to leave stupid statistics made by people who protect their own ideologies and look at countries where their own native systems were ruined by capitalism and were transformed into banana republics that can feed nobody and also look at how the climate is ruined by the very capitalism that ruined societies that had their needs and priorities set for hundreds of years
      Africa is a common example but South America can be used as a good example too as well as India
      Communities that flourished based on their own systems and could feed their people now they can’t feed almost 70%
      Wealth might grow in terms of numbers but these numbers are concentrated at the hands of few people
      What statistics can you use? GDP? It is the average which means that 1000 people with 1 dollar and 1 person with 1000 dollars will make it look like each person earns 500 dollars but it’s not the truth

    • avatar
      Gustavo

      Look up: “The World’s poorest people are getting richer faster” on human humanprogress.org

    • avatar
      Gustavo

      the world bank and the United Nations Secretary-General. Now tell me your sources.
      You are full of rhetoric but don’t actually provide any facts.

    • avatar
      Apostolos

      The world Bank doesn’t qualify as a source neither does the UN
      Basically the baker down the street has more accurate sources than the world bank
      My sources are the very people who live in different countries in combination with the history of these lands
      A combination of historical data can provide you with the information of how these countries had more stable economies during former years and more stable societies which proves that the lifestyle they followed would cover their basic needs in compare to today’s times
      And for your information, once again I will tell you this, statistics work only as an average between people which does no justice in understanding the condition of the poor people
      Before you speak about rhetoric learn how to see the flaws of your searching system

    • avatar
      Apostolos

      I am wasting my time as well. You provided me an article that says nothing at all
      Just someone saying “world poverty is reduced”
      But you never actually sat down to think who is saying that and what the hell are they talking about. And to prove to you how bizarre is what you just posted I will ask you this question. It says that in 1820 world poverty was more than 90%. OK how do they know that? They had “world Bank” back then or did they have a world economic sensus? Lol only based on that you can see how made up all these numbers are

    • avatar
      Gustavo

      just the fact that you don’t understand how they calculate the 1820 numbers shows a) you haven’t read the article so saying I have only “provided a title “ is at least ridiculous and b) you absolutely know nothing about statistics.
      It’s okay to be ignorant, we all are at some point about some subject, but you should educate yourself before lecturing other people. Have a good day

    • avatar
      Apostolos

      dude instead of trying to insult me in order to use emotions just answer me this. They made a claim, they want to sound smart but they are the ones providing no information and no actual facts. I am still waiting to see how they know what was happening around the world in the 1820’s and also I want to know how he got things reversed about the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution happened in Britain specifically because the wages in England were very high. So the industrial revolution actually lowered instead of raising the salaries in Britain. Not that much of a help
      I am still waiting the 1820’s statistics or else all this is a bullshit census that they basically made up trying to look impressive. Their words, they have to prove them

  59. avatar
    Boris

    It is people who pollute atmosphere, not capitalism. Only with capitalism poor people got an opportunity to become rich just by obtaining skills and doing job or being talented without having any birth right for that. Global poverty became an item only when capitalism appeared, because capitalism provided resources to discuss solutions for this problem. Before capitalism global poverty existed but there was no name for this phenomena, because it was a norm. Global pandemics? Were there really no global pandemics before capitalism? There were. However, there was no treatment for them. Capitalism also pushes many companies to develop medicine and to develop faster ways to obtain the medicine.
    Discussion is always a good thing. However, what I see in this group for some while is that topic for the discussions tend to become more and more dumb, this discourages me from following the group.

    • avatar
      Christos

      most of millionaire’s children are millionaires by birth right. The same for poor.
      When you blend capitalism with government’s social and welfare policies is like you are unable to understand the difference between a sociopolitical element like liberalism and a economic policy called capitalism.
      Democracy, oligarchy or aristocracy are not necessarily bound together with capitalism. Social mobility can be ensured by a polity.
      We are not leaving on the cold War to ideologise each and every grain of sand

  60. avatar
    João

    You shouldn’t be placing such a question.
    Do you know any system you may say it’s not capitalistic? I don’t…

  61. avatar
    Andy

    Andy Puzder wrote:
    Capitalism versus socialism. We can sum up each economic system in one line:
    Capitalism is based on human greed. Socialism is based on human need.
    Right?
    No. Wrong.
    So wrong, it’s exactly backwards. And I’ll prove it to you.
    Been on Amazon lately? Each of the thousands of products Amazon offers represents the work of people who believe they have something you want or need. If they’re right, they prosper. If they’re wrong, they don’t.
    That’s how the free market works. It encourages people to improve their lives by satisfying the needs of others. No one starts a business making a thing or providing a service for themselves. They start a business to make things or provide services for others.
    I speak from personal experience.
    When I was the CEO of the company that owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurant chains, we spent millions of dollars every year trying to determine what customers wanted. If our customers didn’t like something, we changed it–and fast, because if we didn’t, our competitors would (pun intended) eat us for lunch.
    The consumer–that’s you–has the ultimate power. In effect, you vote with every dollar you spend.
    In a socialist economy, the government has the ultimate power. It decides what you get from a limited supply it decides should exist.
    Instead of millions of people making millions of decisions about what they want, a few people–government elites–decide what people should have and how much they should pay for it. Not surprisingly, they always get it wrong. Have you ever noticed that late-stage socialist failures always run out of essential items like toilet paper?
    Of course, this isn’t a problem for those who have the right connections with the right people. Those chosen few get whatever they want. But everyone else is out of luck.
    Venezuela, once the richest country in South America, is the most recent example of socialism driving a prosperous country into an economic ditch. Maybe you think it’s an unfair example. I’m not sure why, but okay. We’ll ignore the fact that leftist activists celebrated it as a great socialist success–right up until it wasn’t.
    But what about Western European countries? Don’t they have socialist economies? People seem pretty happy there. Why can’t we have what they have–free health care, free college, stronger unions?
    Good question. And the answer may surprise you.
    There are no socialist countries in Western Europe. Most are just as capitalist as the United States. The only difference–and it’s a big one–is that they offer more government benefits than the U.S. does.
    We can argue about the costs of these benefits and the point at which they reduce individual initiative, thus doing more harm than good. Scandinavians have been debating those questions for years. But only a free-market capitalist economy can produce the wealth necessary to sustain all of the supposedly “free stuff” Europeans enjoy. To get the “free stuff,” after all, you have to create enough wealth to generate enough tax revenue to pay for everything the government gives away.
    Without capitalism, you’re Venezuela.
    In a 2015 speech at Harvard, Denmark’s prime minister took great pains to make this point: “I know that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with… socialism, therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”
    So when you point to Denmark as a paragon of socialism, you’re really singing the praises of capitalism.
    The more capitalism, the less “socialism” you need. Look at America since 2017. A policy of lower taxes and less government regulation (that’s more capitalism) has led to a robust economic expansion, something thought impossible just a few years earlier. Unemployment, notably among minority groups typically most at risk for poverty, is at a generational low. Economic expansion gets people off welfare and into work (that’s less “socialism”).
    None of this requires a degree in economics. Common sense is all you need. That’s why it’s so frustrating to see young people praising socialism and criticizing capitalism. It’s bad enough that they’re working against their own interest–better job prospects, better wages, personal freedom–but they are also working against the interest of the less fortunate.
    Capitalism leads to economic democracy. Socialism leads to the economic dictatorship of the elite. Always. And everywhere.
    So beware what you ask for. You just might get it.

  62. avatar
    Jose

    We have many garbage problems because the industry, including the Chinese one, produces low quality articles, not very durable, it is necessary to increase the quality standard of the products, making them more durable.

  63. avatar
    Pjotr

    Do I have to answer rhetorical questions?
    Yes.
    Yes to both questions

  64. avatar
    Evidenta

    that’s why the pro-Europeans are all from the PD

    • avatar
      Evidenta

      blame on you, socialists!

  65. avatar
    Evidenta

    Indeed, Capitalism allowed your stupid ass to survive.

    Big Mistake, ol’Cap.

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