The following is an essay I wrote for my high school history class on why the capitalistic system is immoral and industrialization is destructive.
The term “communism” refers to German philosopher Karl Marx’s economic system of absolute socialism. It involves the elimination of a social-class system and a formal government. In a communist society, all property is shared among the people. Communism is opposed to capitalism, which is Adam Smith’s economic system of a free market with no government intervention on the economy. Capitalism has been responsible for major social and economic problems throughout history. The dismal conditions and inequalities of the Industrial Revolution were a direct result of capitalism. Capitalism is intended to create prosperity through competition; however, the Great Depression was a result of the capitalistic system. As capitalism has caused major social and economic problems, communism provides a more ethical alternative to capitalism because it provides regulations to prevent inequalities, controls recessions and stop plight
Rampant inequalities throughout history have been caused by and associated with capitalism. For example, in 1929, 5% of Americans held 33% of all income made nationally while 60% of Americans made only $2000 a year. This meant that the majority of the population could not support the economy because they were too poor to purchase the produced products. In addition, Marx stated that the production of profits preceded the welfare of laborers for the bourgeoisie. Capitalistic philosophers like Smith and Ricardo supported this view, opposing minimum wage laws and better working conditions, fearing that they would disrupt the free-market system and the production of wealth. The capitalistic system stemmed workplace-reform, while the regulated economy of communism would have brought about such reforms far more quickly. Capitalistic philosophers state that the development of inventions like the steam engine and the factory system are products of the free-market system. This is true. However, the advent of the factory system was the cause of urban disarray as evidenced by the textile mills of Manchester. Manchester’s rapid evolution into an industrial city was responsible for its problems. Frequent epidemics caused by unsanitary conditions were a sight to be acknowledged. The city was devoid of police protection, indoor plumbing and public education. Communist countries like Sweden remedy this problem by providing socialized education and utilities funded by tax money. These services prevented the plight of the poor without damaging liberty. Finally, Adam Smith states that an unregulated economy allows for social mobility. However, this does not account for the fact that the inefficiency of capitalism slows social mobility. Parents like Hannah Richardson were paid so little money that they sent children like William Drury to work in brutal conditions to fill that deficit. Because the children work in factories, they cannot go to school and receive higher paying jobs and thus, tie their families down to poverty. Drury’s testimony at the 1840 Parliamentary Commission on Coal Mining proves this. He stated that his had to forgo school to make his family a living. Acknowledging that capitalism and the pursuit of profit were the cause of these problems, a communist economic system is far more ethical than the free-market.