Homework Assignment Essay

Homework Assignment Essay.

1. Decide whether each of the following descriptions most closely corresponds to being part of a command system, a market system, or a laissez-faire system. LO1 Command System – A woman who wants to start a flower shop finds she cannot do so unless the central government has already decided to allow a flower shop in her area. Market System – Shops stock and sell the goods their customers want but the government levies a sales tax on each transaction in order to fund elementary schools, public libraries, and welfare programs for the poor.

Laissez – faire System – The only taxes levied by the government are to pay for national defense, law enforcement, and a legal system designed to enforce contracts between private citizens.

2. Why is private property, and the protection of property rights, so critical to the success of the market system? How do property rights encourage cooperation? LO2 In the market system, private individuals and firms, not the government, own most of the property resources.

It is this extensive private ownership of capital that gives capitalism its name. This right of private property, coupled with the freedom to negotiate binding legal contracts, enables individuals and businesses to obtain, use, and dispose of property resources as they see fit. The right of property owners to designate who will receive their property owners to designate who will receive their property when the die helps to sustain the institution of private property. If private property was not protected the strong could take from the weak without compensation.

Property encourage cooperation by encouraging investment, innovation, exchange, maintenance of property and economic growth. 3. What are the advantages of using capital in the production process? What is meant by the term “division of labor”? What are the advantages of specialization in the use of human and material resources? Explain why exchange is the necessary consequence of specialization. LO2 Advanced technology and capital goods are important because the most direct methods of production are often the least efficient. The only way to avoid the inefficiency is to rely on capital goods.

There are huge benefits to be derived from creating and using such capital goods Division of labor is the separation of work required to produce a product into a number of different tasks that are performed by different workers; specialization of workers. The advantages of specialization is it makes use of differences in ability, fosters learning by doing, and saves time. All these advantage reasons for specialization increase the total output society derives from limited resources. Specialization promote exchange through geographic specialization. Whatever the product is to that is exclusive is traded with another company of a different geographic region. Both geographic get the desired product without having to pay the high cost it would take to make the product themselves.

Homework Assignment Essay

Theories of Materialism and Idealism Essay

Theories of Materialism and Idealism Essay.

Materialism and idealism are two theories that greatly differ but are essentially straightforward to grasp in terms of contrasting and comparing the two. Karl Marx, a nineteenth century German philosopher and socialist saw materialism as a theory in regards to all reality being based on matter. Materialism is based on more of a scientific and factual approach. For example, the idea of a table was developed by humans because of their experience with other tables, not from consciousness. Idealism, is a theory that refers to the mind or the spirit of God being the origin of all material things on Earth.

Using the table example, a materialist would argue that social being determines consciousness, whereas an idealist would argue that consciousness determines being. Materialism regards all phenomena even that of the mind, is due to a material agency.

Idealism regards ideas as the only reality. The majority of people do not live a life free of materialism. To do so people must be happy with a life free of indulging their bodies and minds with things that pleasure the senses.

Very few people are without materialism, which would mean that money and other physical possessions mean very little to them and it is essential that they have to choice to be able to freely choose this without being pushed on by certain societal forces.

The most popular form of idealism is the idea that individuals can do anything that set their minds to. For example, one can overcome poverty if they put their mind to it and try really hard. Poverty is not a social phenomenon caused by societal limitations or illness in the family, rather a personal choice. In this paper I will be discussing Karl Marx’s history materialism theory, Alfred North Whitehead’s scientific materialism theory, and how the two coincide in terms of aspects of human creativity; but also the differences of their notions through an idealistic approach.


Marx’s theory of historical materialism is greatly influenced from Hegel’s viewpoint of history being composed of opposing forces. Hegel believed that the world is merely made up of appearances, and that true reality is an idealistic view of the world. However, although Marx did side with Hegel in terms of his notion of the world consisting of opposing forces – he did not believe that the world hides these “true realities” that Hegel insisted upon (idealistically). The way Marx analyzes history and it’s development over the years, is based upon the means of production and the relationships people enter as they use these means of production (socially). At first, Marx considered the capitalist way of production to be the most revolutionary the world has ever seen due to the fact that the means of production in a capitalistic society change more than the social relationships people enter in this type of society; referred to as relations of production.

In capitalistic societies, people sell their “availability to work” as opposed to the goods they are produce. Essentially, the amount of labour going into the products does not mean much in a capitalistic society. The compensation of what is being produced by the labourers is what is most important as the labourers receive money for their capacity to work, in order to survive; these people are called proletarians. And the ‘opposition’ in this case, are called capitalists; whom are the people that normally own the businesses and own the labour power.

Marx, I guess you could say, had an eye opening experience when he realized that over time capitalistic societies would eventually spend less money on labour and invest more into new technological advancements. Keeping this in mind, the rate of profit will drastically fall even if the economy grew because labour is the source of all profits. If the rate of profits decreases enough, a recession will soon be the outcome. To conclude, in such an economical crisis, the price of labour will also fall, which will lead to more money being invested into new technologies instead of labourers.


When discussing human history, Marx and Whitehead had different takes on what constituted human development and perfection. For Whitehead, the driving force of human history is reached by self-regulation and reason where the habits of mind are close to the habits of body. Through self-regulation one can reach human perfection. On the other hand, Marx argues that history is all habits of the body, and the relations between body to body. It is more of a factual based critique where the “possible” is projected from the actual. To Marx, the mind is a habit of the body created by other bodies relations with other bodies. Marx and Whitehead can be compared by the way they both begin their critiques of human history with experience, and eventually return to it.

Both of them rely on internal relations as they analyze. Internal relations sees activities always bearing qualities if they, themselves, are qualities. Through internal relations they are adjectives of their social context. Marx and Whitehead both see eye to eye as modern physics sees everything as a developmental process and ongoing activity. Everything is connected to everything through an environment. Marx’s views on production in the economical world can be directly compared to Whitehead’s mode of thought. The driving force behind the world process (Whitehead’s “creativity”) is the production ability (Marx’s view). To understand what is wrong with wage labour is to understand the process of production. Wage cannot and should not measure living labour. Marx see’s capitalism as a violation of person and things, as it treats them as objects.

Whitehead and Marx see capitalism as metaphysically deficient. The world is a process that sees every individual as unique, but capitalism sees every individual’s creativity as the same, which leaves no room for development. For Marx and the capitalistic notion, human labour is treated as an object when the surplus value separates people’s activity as being truly human. The push labour upon people, it slowly takes away from the individual’s creative nature. Capitalism does not allow for new possibilities of creative to arise.

This quote from Marx’s book _Das Kapital_, explains Marx’s view of how capitalism may expropriate human creativity has to do with the enslavement of other’s in order to bring present creativity through the past labour of individuals. “Present creativity sparked by future envisionment has been reduced to the abstract monetary expression of the generalized past labour of my brothers and sisters. Their creative lives have paid my wage and mine has paid theirs. We are the price of….one another’s enslavememnt” (_Das Kapital,_ Marx Pg.124). Human beings are not free and creative under capitalism, as it does not acknowledge human beings this way. In a capitalistic society, people are only seen in the light of production – what they produce.

Whitehead goes into detail about capitalism simply just pushes the world to a stop, and the process of development and creativity eventually seizes to exist. Whitehead’s thought tends to find similarities and truths through examination of things that may oppose each other but tend to find a way of belonging together. Marx tends to separate any method from the material, however both Whitehead and Marx’s thought graduate to legitimate concepts.


Scientific Materialism is a notion that twentieth century philosopher Alfred North Whitehead defined as the belief that physical reality is all that exists. In this philosophical concept, there is not much room for religion as it is solely based on faith in the unseen. Many scientists are opposed to religious faith, and end up ridiculing such beliefs. However, Whitehead stated that “modern science, as it developed in the West, was based on a faith in the existence of rational, discoverable laws” (Whitehead, Pg. 17-19, 27). The opposition between the actual and religion is a topic that is always looked at when these two “philosophies” are talked about. What Whitehead tries to repair is the gap made by materialism which splits the concepts of value and purpose from scientific explanation. Whitehead believed that religion was a cultural phenomenon, and that materialism has gotten out of control in modernity. For Whitehead, everything is essentially everywhere at all times.

Every location involves an aspect of life in every other location, which is basically a series of events that are connected and essentially form a timeline, or a constructed series of processes. This concept is what distinguishes the metaphysical component of the world. The process, and series of events are what constitute the world, rather than the substance. Process and reality is a concept that makes the world what it is according to Whitehead. “Actual Occasion” is a concept in which Whitehead believes is not an long-term substance, but a process in which everything eventually becomes. This concept can be contrasted with Kant’s philosophy on how the world emerges from the subject. With this in mind, Whitehead’s notion is one that is the complete opposite of Kant’s, where the subject emerges from the world. Scientific materialism consists of interaction between things is spatial and not developmental, where the identity of something does not depend on other things for its existence.

Many questions are brought up when dealing with scientific materialism, and even the comparisons between materialism and idealism in the light of how change comes about, and how form gets into the world to begin with? These questions are crucial when dealing with materialism, which needs to explain the emergence of the formation of matter, and idealism which explains how ideas (substances) even get into the world. For whitehead, the characteristics of life are absolute self-enjoyment. The ideal community is having relations with others, which is something both Whitehead and Marx believe. No one will willingly do something that is bad, if what is good is true. The creative activity that Whitehead speaks of, is similar to Marx’s view of human perfection and activity as well.

The process of self-creation is the transformation of the potential into the actual, and the satisfaction of such a transformation includes self-enjoyment, which is what humans strive for. Self-enjoyment is a certain immediate individuality where each and every experience is unique, and done for its own sake (no end in itself). When Whitehead talks about the human experience and how to conceive things that are real, he means that all of our experiences are completely subjective and that our bodies are associated with the presence of our minds, which is where Whitehead and Marx bump heads, if you will (Whitehead, Nature Alive). As I mentioned, Whitehead believes the habits of mind are close to the habits of body, whereas Marx believes everything is made up of the habits of bodies, and relations between bodies.

To further understand Whitehead’s theory of scientific materialism, one must fully understand self-enjoyment and what is ideal. Purpose, also referred to as the AIM, limits the field of potential and is present throughout the past, present, and future experiences – they are present but not always achieved. In terms of the idealistic approach of Whitehead’s scientific materialism notion, there are two kinds of observations he goes over; which are traditional empiricism (sense perception), and direct aspect of our experience (Whitehead, “Nature Alive 1”, Lect).

The evidence for AIM or purpose, comes from bodily feelings. Human beings are natural, as the know and actualize the good (Whitehead, “Nature Alive 1”, Lect). This can be directly related to Marx and his economic interpretation of history which actualizes the good. (Whitehead “Nature Alive 2”). Whitehead and Marx share their views of nature as a set of internal processes, rather than an externally set of substances, which is the most common theme shared between the two and their outlook of nature.


Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy can be very complicated at times, but he presents a system that explains how tangible aspects of human experience can provide an explanation as to how we understand reality. Process and reality can be looked at as a way of becoming. There are many phases in this philosophy that attempt to formulate Whitehead’s notion. However, Whitehead’s speculative philosophy is known as the philosophy of organism in which Whitehead views reality as unified parts that play important roles in sustaining certain processes. Actual entities or occasions are what Whitehead describes as the realities of the world. Actual occasions are solid facts in which our emotions and thoughts are based upon, hence the name “Actual”.

The other elements of human experience are called “prehensions” (mental understanding) of actual entities – a system of relationships that connects all actual entities. Prehensions are ways of understanding and analyzing the world. Prehension is not a way of thinking, but to prehend something is to have a idea or a concept of a particular thing. This is a process of an actual entity becoming itself by appropriating elements from other existing entities. This can be referred back to the process of becoming, which in the case, the becoming of an actual entity is because of the process of prehensions that take place.

In conclusion, although idealism and materialism differ greatly from a philosophical and religious standpoint, Marx’s and Whitehead’s materialism theories overlap in aspects that have to do with human creativity and how relations with others and one’s self helps transform the potential into the actual. Although Marx’s notion of human creativity and perfection is mainly covered in respect to his economic view of societies and capitalism, both notions tend to share similarities and differences when looking at the world and what it has to offer.

Going back to Whitehead’s view of the driving force of human ideals and perfection that is reached by self-regulation where the habits of one’s mind tend to have a sturdy grip to the habits of the body. Whereas, Marx did believe that human history and the actualization of perfection are all habits of the body and the relations from body to body, which goes back to the possibilities of people being in direction relation with other people. Both philosophers have unique ways of looking at human history and creativity, which was inspired by others as well, but in the end still have the potential of attempting to discover how things connect, develop, and progress in the world.


Schilpp, Paul Arthur, editor: _The Philosophy of Alfred North White,_ “The Library of Living Philosophers,” (LaSalle: Open Court Publishing Company, 1951)

_Process and Reality_ (New York: The Macmillan Company 1929. New York: The Free Press, 1978.)

Marx, Karl: _Das Kapital_. (Capital Volume III, 1894)

Whitehead, Alfred North: _Nature Alive_ (Lecture 1 & 2)

Whitehead, Alfred North, _Modes of Thought,_ (Lectures VII and VIII)

Whitehead, Alfred North, _Adventurs of Ideas._ (Chap. II)

A.H. Johnson, _Whitehead’s Theory of Reality,_ Boston: The Beacon Press, 1952, p.116

Theories of Materialism and Idealism Essay

Sociology and Modernization Essay

Sociology and Modernization Essay.

Modernization is the process in which social and economic change is obtained through industrial revolution, urbanization and other social changes that alters people’s lives. Modernization promotes individualism over the unity of traditional communities and encourages rationality over traditional philosophies. Modernization can have both positive and negative effects on society and can often bring about controversy.

The German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1937) formed the theory of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. Ferdinand Tönnies saw modernization as the progressive loss of human community (Gemeinschaft).

He also believed that modernization caused people in modern societies to drift apart and personal relationships became more impersonal as people became more self-absorbed (Gesellschaft). Ferdinand Tönnies theory suggests that … modernity turns society inside out so that people are essentially separated in spite of uniting factors (Macionis, J., 2006, page 457). Large cities provide an excellent example of Ferdinand Tönnies theory of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. People pass one another by the hundreds on busy city streets every day; yet, they remain strangers because they ignore each other as they pass.

Even loyalty and trust becomes issues between friends as individuals put their personal needs above others. Peter Berger’s work was greatly influenced by Ferdinand Tönnies theories.

Peter Berger (1977) identified four major characteristics of modernization to describe his theory about how modernization manifests itself.

1.The decline of small, traditional communities: rather than life revolving around family and community it now revolves around technology and individualism. People born into modern societies may have the tendency to overlook such a decline in small, traditional communities because they would have never lived in or possibly even seen a small, traditional community.

2.The expansion of personal choice: rather than following the traditional standards of life i.e. religion, faith etc. people have the option to take control and choose their own lifestyle. Berger described this process as individualization.

3.Increasing social diversity: rather than conforming to familial or religious beliefs people are afforded a more rational, scientific outlook and a combination of socially diverse beliefs and behavior through social blending. This diversity is a result of an industrial society’s wearing away of the strong family ties and religious beliefs that once united people from various backgrounds.

4.Orientation toward the future and a growing awareness of time: time is of the essence for people focused on individual gain and an improved lifestyle. “Modern people are not only forward-looking but also optimistic that new inventions and discoveries will improve their lives” (Macionis, 2006, page 446). Schedules in modern society are based on the time on the clock rather than the rise and fall of the sun. Today time and money go hand in hand. “According to Berger, one indicator of a society’s degree of industrialization is the share of people wearing wristwatches” Macionis, 2006, page 446).

The French sociologist Emile Durkheim (1893-1964) shared Ferdinand Tönnies’s interest in social changes due to modernization. Emile Durkheim believed that… “Modernization was marked by an increasing division of labor, or specialized economic activity” (Macionis, 2006, page 457). Durkheim viewed pre-industrial societies as being held together by mechanical solidarity. Therefore, members of a society who perform the same type of work are basically the same and belong in the same category. “Durkheim’s concept of mechanical solidarity is virtually the same as Tönnies’s Gemeinschaft (theory) ((Macionis, 2006, page 457).

As a society becomes more modernized the division of labor becomes noticeable. This division of labor is believed to help unite the modernized society. “To Durkheim, this change means less mechanical solidarity but more of another kind of tie: organic solidarity, [sic] or the mutual dependency between people engaged in specialized work” (Macionis, 2006, page 458).

Durkheim’s view of modernity differed from Tönnies’s in a more complex and positive manner. According to Macionis, J. (2006):Durkheim viewed modernization not so much as a loss of community as a change from community based on bonds of likeness (kinship and neighborhood) to community based on economic interdependence (the division of labor).

Max Weber (1921-1978) viewed modernization as “replacing a traditional worldview with a rational way of thinking” (Macionis, 2006, page 458). Modern societies value efficiency over tradition; therefore, modern people will adjust to anything that will allow them to attain their objective. Weber labeled this adjustable and unquestioning modern society as disenchanted because people are no longer enchanted by tradition. “The unquestioned truths of an earlier time had been challenged by rational thinking. In short, said Weber, modern society turns away from the gods” (Macionis, 2006, page 459). Weber’s main concern with modernization was that science would cause people to stop questioning the meaning and purpose of human existence. Weber’s concern leads to the theories of Karl Marx.

Karl Marx viewed modernization as a capitalist revolution. The Industrial Revolution turned over a powerful and productive control of society to the upper classes. “Marx agreed that modernity weakened small communities (as described by Tönnies), increased the division of labor (as noted by Durkheim), and encouraged a rational worldview (as Weber claimed)” ((Macionis, 2006, page 459). Marx implies that capitalists in their quest of power tear at the fabric of society by drawing farmers and people from small towns into large cities to work in specialized positions in factories. Marx saw this as a way for capitalism to thrive and the upper classes to line their pockets.

Is modernization likely to continue in the United States (U.S.) and is it a worldwide trend? Marx theory of modernization implies that modernization is the foundation of the Industrial Revolution as well as the capitalist economy. Modernization may not continue in some sections of the United States military. “The Air Force’s modernization of the attack warning systems within Cheyenne Mountain will cost more than $700 million from fiscal years 2000 through 2006. DOD officials have stated that they no longer need to continue operating in this hardened facility considering that the threat of an intercontinental ballistic missile strike in today’s environment is low” (Agostino, D., 2007).

However, as long the modern society of the United States associates success with money modernization is likely to continue. As modernization continues capitalism will thrive because more and more small town people will commute or move to larger cities for better paying jobs. Modernization is a trend that is sweeping over the entire world. Just like westernization caught on with the youngest generation of the time modernization catches on with today’s younger generation as well. Tourism is a full-size modern trend. Many countries have modernized natural land marks ad cultural areas as tourist attractions. For instance, Chili has modernized their hot spring areas to attract money from tourism.

Travel industry experts agree that the trend toward modernization of Chile’s good fortune of having natural hot springs, combined with the most sophisticated techniques from spas around the world, has created demand among foreign tourists. Since 2002, tourism in Chile has grown by 13% annually and in 2006 the industry generated US$1.50 billion in hard-currency revenues.

What are the consequences of modernization? Consequences of modernization may be viewed differently based on an individual’s point of view of the changes that modernization brings. One person might say that the upper classes will continue to prosper in this modern capitalistic society while lower classes will struggle more as traditional families will have to work even harder to get ahead. Another person might believe that modernization is the key to bringing societies closer through the blending of society as a whole through industrial technologies such as computers, internet cell phones and so on.

Computers and internet connections provides more information than ever before and new, but it also threatens people’s personal privacy in return. Modern industry has increased productivity through the use of machines rather than manpower, but it has also left many people out of work. Many scientific discoveries have been made since the onset of modernization from medicine that saves lives to weapons that take lives. Nuclear power is one such discovery that brings widespread controversy.

Zhang, B. (2007) noted that… “Since the end of the Cold War, the nuclear balance of power has shifted tremendously in favor of the United States”. The United States nuclear arsenal consists of high tech equipment such as nuclear missiles stealth bombers and the like. While the United States strategic nuclear force continues to grow stronger Russia’s nuclear force is in decline. With The United States in the lead of modernization of nuclear warfare Americans might find that a good thing while the Russian society may sense that as a threat.

China’s nuclear forces are at a minimum so they may be considered the least likely threat for nuclear war. However, According to Zhang, B. (2007):The tendency in Washington to dismiss China as an inconsequential nuclear actor must be set aside in favor of a clearer appreciation of China’s significance, both current and potential. Over the coming decade, China could very substantially increase the size, sophistication, and overall capability of its strategic force.

As China’s nuclear force progresses with the modernization of nuclear weaponry the United States will be in the position where strategic relations and a shared understanding will have to be made with China or China or China could present a nuclear threat to the Unites States. “A shared understanding of the proper strategic balance of power between the two countries will discourage an arms race and help stabilize the most important bilateral relationship of the world in the twenty-first century” (Zhang, B., 2007). The bottom line is that modernization can have both positive and negative effects on society and communication is the key to evading unintentional disasters.

In conclusion: Modernization has been defined. Sociological theories have been provided from Ferdinand Tönnies, Peter Berger, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl Marx about how modernization manifests itself in U.S. society. It has been noted that modernization is likely to continue in the United States (U.S.) and it is a worldwide trend. Examples of the consequences of modernization have been provided and it has been proven that modernization has both positive and negative consequences.

Based on the research provided perceptions of modernization reveal that modernization is an ever changing system that has taken a path of its own, once a society starts down that path there is no way of knowing exactly what will happen. Modernization brings both positive and negative consequences into a society. The Industrial Revolution brings one invention after another. Some are good and some are bad depending on a person’s perspective. Modernization gives capitalism the upper hand in the world of economy while exploiting the working class society. This brings about the decline of small, traditional communities which will eventually weaken the fabric of these small communities. Consequently, Karl Marx’s theory that capitalists in their quest of power tear at the fabric of society is probably the closest to revealing the true perception of modernization.


Colorado, E. (2007). Hot Fun. Latin Trade (English); Vol. 15 Issue 9, p52-55, 4p. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from http://web.ebscohost.comD’Agostino, D. (2007). Defense Infrastructure: Full Costs and Security Implications of Cheyenne Mountain Realignment Have Not Been Determined: GAO-07-803R. GAO Reports; p1, 13p, 1 chart, 1 diagram, 1 graph. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from http://web.ebscohost.comMacionis, J. (2006). Society: The basics (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Zhang, B. (2007).The Modernization of Chinese Nuclear Forces and Its Impact on Sino-U.S. Relations. Asian Affairs: An American Review; Vol. 34 Issue 2, p87-100, 14p. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from http://web.ebscohost.com

Sociology and Modernization Essay

The Invisible Hand Essay

The Invisible Hand Essay.

The Invisible hand is a term created by the renowned economist Adam Smith in his popular book The Wealth of Nations. It means that when individual’s pursue their own self-interest they are led by an invisible hand that promotes the society’s interest more than what they intended. It is an important property of a competitive market economy. This idea was created in 1776, the same year of the American Declaration of Independence. It wasn’t random, because at the same time when people were fighting for freedom and independence, Adam Smith was talking about emancipating trade from dictatorship.

Adam Smith had conviction that government interference in the market place could be harmful to the society.

One must not come under the illusion that the world is beyond our control. At the end of the day the invisible hand is a product of the mass population and it can be affected according to the different ideologies that govern countries such as capitalism, socialism and communism.

If socialism is implemented then the effect of the invisible hand will visibly wane. Almost three centuries ago the English pamphleteer Mandeville in a didactic poem The Fable of the Bees laid down what became, a century later, the principle of capitalism.”

Private vices make public benefit. Blind and greedy profit-seeking, Mandeville laid down, advances the public good through the invisible hand. In terms of performance, history has proven Mandeville remarkably right. But morally his principle was never acceptable. And the fact that capitalism has become the less acceptable the more it succeeded—as the great Austro-American economist Joseph Schumpeter pointed out repeatedly—has been the basic weakness of modern society and modern economy. This by the way is why the rhetoric of profit maximization and profit motive are not only antisocial. They are immoral.

It basically is a fact that cannot be falsified even though many economists have recently been trying to trivialize the concept. If an entrepreneur seeks what is in his/her best interest then that business person will inadvertently hire labor and personnel in an effort to maximize profits. Self-interest can be an effective principle of social organization. People often engage in productive economic behavior (working, saving, conducting comparison shopping, providing high-quality goods) outof selfish motives. An invisible hand can lead selfishness to be socially productive.

Smith identified three ingredients to his theory they are freedom, self-interest and competition. Freedom is classified as the right to produce and exchange products. Self-interest is to do what is best for one’s-self. Competition is the right to compete in the production and exchange of goods and services. Adam Smith argues that it was market forces that ensured the production of the right goods and services. This would happen because producers would want to make profits by providing them.

There are concepts that are behind the invisible hand in a free market. Consumers look for the best deals in the market, simultaneously the business people try to maximize profits. The business people may try to decrease prices in order to lure customers. Eventually everyone will be happy since everyone got what they wanted. These market forces determine how much will be produced, what gets produced and how it will be produced. Maximizing profits uses the technique of maximizing utility. So, allowing the market to operate freely, without any intervention, allows the natural market forces to take over and create the optimal market situation.

With the economic crisis (The Great Recession) currently affecting people’s lives it is imperative to analyze how the invisible hand looms over the shadowy dismal situation. As the president, Barack Obama cares about being elected a second time in office. This is normal but the way he seems to be doing out raises concerns. He is using bail out money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to help weak institutions hold on. This cannot help since for example helping an old person from cancer with medicine will only delay the outcome but not end it. If we were under a Republican party, they would let the losers fails and let the economy fix itself (the invisible hand), it would be hard but it would curtail the damage the current party is doing by drowning the country into bad debt.

The correct policy to stimulate the economy is to let the crises run its course and hope for the best. We cannot keep losing tax payer dollars to firms such as GM thanks to their recklessness while the Japanese take over the automobile industry.

However, the main problem with the concept of the invisible hand is that it only applies to free markets. There are market failures and the free market economy is not always the most efficient. Monopolies are a reason for this. And finally if the income distribution becomes unfair the government will have to step in and mend the flawed invisible hand, but not in the extreme way we are currently witnessing.


Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations. W. Strahan and T. Cadell, London, 1776.

“Bernard Mandeville Fable Of the Bees”. May/06/2009 .

“Invisible hand”. May/06/2009 .

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The Invisible Hand Essay

How and why does Changez change? Essay

How and why does Changez change? Essay.

Mohsin Hamid’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” focuses on the consequences of the “9/11” attack in America on individuals and society as a whole. The main character, Changez, changes significantly as the story unfolds. At the beginning, he is depicted as a ‘lover’ of America and is determined to become wealthy, even though he is not entirely at ease. After the destruction of the World Trade Centre and the subsequent racist assaults, his attitude changes dramatically and he becomes embittered and disillusioned.

Eventually he abandons his career and returns to Lahore, becoming an anti-American activist but still appearing to hanker after the capitalist lifestyle.

Therefore, Changez slowly alters as his name suggests. Initially, Changez is a strong supporter of the capitalist system, as epitomised by America. He is thrilled to be studying at Princeton University, which is “a dream come true” for him as it leads him to feel “everything was possible”. Hamid portrays Changez as a hard-working individual as shown by the fact that he is proud he is “yet to receive a single B” and will graduate “Summa cum laude”.

Despite his skin colour, he is “confident” he will obtain “any job (he) wanted”. He is thrilled to work at Underwood Samson which represents “the achievements of the most technologically advanced civilisation our species had ever known”. This company represents as the epitome of capitalism as it profits at the expense of other businesses. Hamid also uses its name to signify that it represents the United States. At this point, Changez believes this employer “had the potential to transform [his] life [and] [make] [his] concerns about money and status things of distant past”.

He feels “empowered” working “on the forty-first and forty-second floors” of Underwood Samson, which is significant since tall towers and sky-scrapers are used by Hamid as a symbol of America’s supreme self-confidence about the success of capitalism, and its right to dominate the world. For Changez, it is a “revelation” to possess an “expense account”, as he earns “more than [his] father in a day”. The fact that he perceives himself as “James Bond, only younger, darker and possibly better paid,” illustrates how Changez is able to excel over the typical American regardless of his race.

As her name indicates, Erica is used to symbolise America to illustrate the obsession that Changez has with the country. He describes her as “so stunningly regal was she” to show that he is impressed by America’s superficial attractiveness. The fact that “her hair was piled up like a tiara” symbolises the power that America holds “firm”. The way Erica “shimmers” provides Changez with an “enormous satisfaction” as it exemplifies his fascination not only with her, but also the country itself. Hence, Hamid creates a character who is infatuated with Erica and the American capitalist system as a whole.

Despite Changez’ adoration of America, he still manages to see the faults within the country. At Princeton, he “was one of the only two Pakistanis in [his] entering class”, which shows he realises how there is subtle racism, especially since “the Americans faced much less daunting odds” than foreigners. The fact that the students “parted with money” as “meals [were] costing perhaps fifty dollars a head”, is used to underscore Changez’ shock at Americans’ profligacy and the important of wealth in this country. Changez also feels concerned at the way the students are rude to the Greek elders.

The fact that Changez recognises there were “many of whom [he] would have regarded as upstarts in [his] country”, illustrates the people living in America are automatically granted a higher status than other races regardless of wealth. Even at Underwood Samson, Changez sees the flaws in his adopted society. At the Royalton Bar, he thinks his colleagues are “marvellously diverse”, and “yet [they] were all not”, it indicates that not only Underwood Samson but also America is not multicultural. Changez is also “annoyed” at the way Jim condescendingly assumes he is poor because he is Pakistani.

He notes that Jim’s house reminds him of “The Great Gatsby”, indicating that Jim believes that wealth can make him accepted and successful in America. Changez is also “ashamed” of how the “cities were largely unplanned” which displays how disorganised an advanced and developed country is. Compared to Pakistan, where “four thousand years ago, the people of Indus River basin, had cities that were laid out on grids and boasted underground sewers, while the ancestors of those who would invade and colonize America were illiterate barbarians”.

Thus, this illustrates how Changez feels resentful at how America possesses power while Pakistan has fallen behind. Furthermore, Changez “bridled” when Erica’s father criticises Pakistan has “got some serious problems with fundamentalism”. The fact that her father uses a condescending tone “struck a negative chord with [him]”. He also notices something “broken” inside Erica, just “like a crack in a diamond” which subtly implies how not only she herself is flawed, but also America. Ultimately, even though Changez is infatuated with America, he is still capable of seeing it weaknesses.

After the “9/11” attack on The World Trade Centre, Changez’s doubts intensify. His change is shown when he “smiled” and is “remarkably pleased” as he watched the twin towers collapse, because America’s arrogance is being challenged and the country is “brought to its knees”. Changez “was not at war with America”, but a “part of [him] [desired] to see America harmed”, which shows he is slowly becoming anti-American. Leaving his trip in Manila, Changez is upset that he is the only target at the airport, and at this point he “was made to strip down to [his] boxer shorts”.

The fact that he also feels “uncomfortable in [his] own face” indicates that Changez is slowly drifting away from his America identity. Changez is inspected at the airport while his colleagues abandon him, and eventually he rides home alone. The fact he is to ride home “very much alone” illustrates that his relationship with Underwood Samson as well as America is deteriorating and he is headed in a different direction. He also hears rumours about “Pakistani cabdrivers being beaten to within an inch of their lives”, which enrages him. He then becomes increasingly shocked at the racism.

Changez is verbally abused by a man in a car park which eventually causes him to “[unlock] [his] boot” and “[retrieve] a tire iron, and [he] felt, at the moment, fully capable of wielding it with sufficient violence to shatter the bones of his skull”. Ultimately, Hamid portrays Changez becoming violent against America. When he witnesses footage of America troops attacking Afghanistan, “a fellow neighbour and friend of Pakistan”, he begins to “tremble[s] with fury”. In Pakistan, he worried about the welfare of his family, and shocked and angered by the poverty he now sees in his own country.

Changez realises that there has always been a “crack” lying in Pakistan, but he never noticed it until he returned from the American lifestyle. His beard, a symbol of Islamic fundamentalism “was, perhaps, a form of protest on [his] part” or “a symbol of [his] identity”. Thus, Hamid illustrates that Changez is gravitating away from America, towards Pakistan. His growing rejection of capitalism is further highlighted when he is “late for work” one day for the “first time”. In Chile, Changez becomes increasingly uncomfortable exploiting the Chile people.

Meeting Juan Bautista is a turning point. This man, who represents John the Baptist who recognised Jesus’ true destiny, points out that Changez is a “modern-day janissary”, who is betraying his own people. Therefore, the protagonist leaves Underwood Samson and returns to Pakistan. Ultimately, Changez creates a dramatic change in his life after the “9/11”attack. At the end, Changez is ambivalent about his attitudes to America. In Pakistan, Changez becomes a radical lecturer who advocates for a separation between Pakistan and America.

The way he encourages his students to “[participate] in demonstrations for greater independence in Pakistan’s domestic and international affairs” shows how he is attempting to create a generation which is proud of its country. As shown by the inclusion of the stranger, he is being watched by the Americans as a potential terrorist but he is ambivalent about his position. Changez downplays his role as an activist, but suggesting the American media exaggerated his protests, as his “brief interview was played for days” and now concede that his remark was “intemperate”.

He still seems to admire America and have nostalgia for his life back there as he maintains his “subscription” to the “Princeton Magazine” in the hope of seeing Erica’s “blurred image”, and tries to communicate with her. Here we see that “[his] inhabitation of [America] had not entirely ceased”. The fact that the text is structured around the conversation with a silent stranger creates suspense because it is not clear who is endangered or if there is anybody in danger as there was a time for both of them to “dirty [their] hands”.

Hamid uses this structure to show that Changez is ambivalent about America. Clearly, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” presents a protagonist who is initially infatuated with his country despite the “cracks” he can see. However, later on he realises the flaws that the country possesses and eventually abandons it, but is still left vacillating hatred and admiration. Readers can see how difficult it is for someone in Changez’s position seemingly caught between two worlds.

How and why does Changez change? Essay

John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie Essay

John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie Essay.

Despite the fact that many had viewed John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie as “Tycoons of Industry” or “Robber Barons”, these two industrial giants begged to differ. “Robber Baron” was a name given to industrial giants in the late 19th century who were believed to have become wealthy through unethical means, such as questionable stock-market operations. Rockefeller once stated “…and only through such successive steps and by a great aggregation of capital is America today enabled to utilize the bounty which its land pours forth, and to furnish the world with light.

” He believed it was necessary during the time of the great depression for him to increase his capital. In doing so he consulted with other companies within the business to bring out some order. This was Rockefeller’s view of the situation, but many others of his time, or people of the working class did not perceive the situation as he did. They believed Rockefeller and aggregation of capital worked together to cheat them out of their money in a time of crisis.

Another famous industrialist, Andrew Carnegie argued that capitalists are the benefactors of the world. Carnegie believed that the poor should follow such capitalists or men of wealth because it produces the most beneficial results for the community. Carnegie stated, “The man of wealth thus becoming the mere trustee and agent for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom…doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves…” Once again, a great capitalist such as himself portrayed his position in a positive aspect. Carnegie believed the working class should entrust their money to such capitalists to his belief that the capitalists’ wisdom is far greater than that of the working class. Because of such belief, the capitalists would provide a better community for all with their wise judgment.

Andrew Carnegie provided a sense of closure for the American people. This is rather interesting because it contradicted the beliefs about capitalists of his time. He stated that capitalists were modest and did not live ostentatiously although most capitalists of his time did flaunt their wealth. It seems that the statement given by Andrew Carnegie provided a sense of security and a newfound trust within capitalists. He tried to prove that he was not at all a “Robber Baron” of his time. He portrayed capitalists such as himself as men of wisdom and not shrewd men that hand swindled their wealth.

John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie Essay

What is the purpose of economic theory? Essay

What is the purpose of economic theory? Essay.

An economic theory can be expressed as the ideas and principles that aims to describe how economies operate taking into account elements of micro and macroeconomics (Cambridge University Press, 2013; LNPU, 2010). On one hand, microeconomics pertains to how supply and demand functions in individual markets and consumer behaviour. In contrast, macroeconomics is the study of how the entire economy works as a whole for example, why there might be a specified percentage of inflation or unemployment (Rodrigo, 2012).

In addition, economic theories comprise of a kaleidoscope of economic variables and how they inadvertently influence one another in order to augments an economy’s state to reach its desired outcomes (Ouliaris, 2012).

On the other hand, it is important to note that economic theories are based on ceteris paribus or ‘all other things being equal or held constant’ (Bierens and Swanson, 1998). Therefore, it could be said that not all economic theories may work successfully and could be subjected to unknown variables that may have an effect on consumers, firms and governments when applied to real world economics.

A classic example of such theory can be observed with Karl Marx’s theory of value and surplus value which were primarily evident to overthrow capitalistic approaches to a free market economy into a more centrally planned economy approach where a central body would instigate quotas to bring about efficient production and distribution of goods and services which could be apparent in countries such as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the Republic of China (ROC) (Marx, 1982).

These theories would be taken in an example to analyse if economic theories are necessary to consumers, firms and governments in order to make rational decisions. According to CAUSA Foundation (2009) Marxist economic theories roots around a central concept that wealth should be redistributed evenly throughout all social classes and that a free market system exploits labour by creating profits through the reduction of wages.

Therefore, Karl Marx attempted to understand, criticise and revolutionise the capitalistic system into a more labour orientated economy where the gap between proletariats (working class) and bourgeoisies (middle class) would be diminished with two theories, namely the labour theory of value and the theory of surplus value (Sleeper, 1983). Firstly, the labour theory of value is a concept of exchanging value rather than adhering to a price set accordingly by the market’s supply and demand (CAUSA Foundation, 2009).

In this instance, ‘value’ is regarded as abstract labour hours which is derived from the calculation of labour hours that was expended from the point of extracting raw materials to the finished product (CAUSA Foundation, 2009). In the real world, this would suggest that price is determined by the amount of labour hours that went into the production process of a product which differs comparatively from the ‘invisible hand’ theory (free market theory) where prices are regulated by the forces of supply and demand in the market.

Furthermore, in the labour theory of value, the price of a product could differ if the labour involved is complex or simple such as assembling a watch as opposed to building a chair respectively. To illustrate, one complex hour of labour would constitute to five abstract hours while one unskilled hour would only correspond to one abstract hour (CAUSA Foundation, 2009). Thus, the labour theory of value could be described as converting simple or complex labour hours into prices. On the other hand, the theory of surplus value illustrates inequalities in the division of revenue between a proletariat and capitalist (Sleeper, 1983).

In this theory, Marx states that the working day comprises of two periods in a capitalistic economy (CAUSA Foundation, 2009). These periods could be classified as necessary labour and surplus labour. The former period is required of the worker in order to cover their living expenses such as food, clothing and shelter while the latter would be profits belonging to the capitalist (CAUSA Foundation, 2009; Marx, 1982). Karl Marx strongly opposed this division of revenue as it meant that the proletariat would only receive a small portion of their wage while the surplus of this wage turns into profits for the capitalist (Marx, 1982).

Karl Marx suggests that workers should receive their complete share of wages. Hence, no profits would be made so as to create a utopic society though this had a direct impact on consumers, firms and governments which operated in accordance to Marxist theories which would be elaborated on in the following paragraphs. In a real world example of the USSR, consumers could not receive goods and services they demanded as production of goods would be centrally planned with a specified quota requirement so as to maintain an equilibrium between the production and distribution of goods (Noebel, 2006).

Therefore, it could be said that there was an inefficiency to converge supply with consumer demands. In addition, due to the price of a product being solely based on labour hours, a competitive business environment may not be evident and the quality of a product could be comprised as vast amounts of labour hours may not necessarily constitute to quality assured products (Sleeper, 1983). As a result, these products may not be appealing to consumers though they may not have any substitutes.

According to the Concise Encyclopaedia of Economics (Prychitko), this economy closely resembles a monopoly, where the goods or services sold could be described as homogeneous and consumers do not have any substitutes. Therefore, it could be said that having a centrally planned economy restricts consumers from receiving the goods and service they require, quality assured goods and substitutes. On the other hand, consumers could potentially benefit from a centrally planned economy as products would be generally cheaper as the cost of raw materials may be forgone since price is determined by labour hours according to the theory of value.

In the aspect of firms in the USSR, there could have been a majority of poorly motivated staff as every staff member received identical wages irrespective of position and did not obtain any additional incentives if they worked arduously as compared to their peers (Grossman, 1977). Thus, this could potentially impact the quality of goods produced from firms. Additionally, it is imperative to note that the USSR primarily entailed state-owned firms and did not incorporate the private sector until they implemented the New Economic Policy where only a small number of private firms were permitted alongside nationalized industries (Gregory, 2004).

Furthermore, these firms were only allocated a specific amount of goods which they could produce and distribute which were usually quoted by a central body. As a result, instead of allowing the supply of a product to be determined by the demand of the market, the central body over and under produced goods which lead to an inefficiency in production (Berliner, 1957). Also, due to the lack of incentives and profits from these businesses, a second economy emerged.

This economy might have been the black market where goods and services are exchanged illegally though this was permitted by the central body through bribes and corruption (Grossman, 1977). It is worth recognising that market economies may provide supplementary benefits and opportunities for economic growth as opposed to centrally planned economies. This could be illustrated with reference to the agricultural industry in the USSR where only 4% of arable land is privately owned yet produces 25% of the total crop output for the entire USSR (CAUSA Foundation, 2009).

In terms of the USSR government, it could be difficult for governments to provide precise quotas on the production of goods that would correspond sufficiently to the market’s demand which might precede to an inefficiency in production with possibilities of over and under production of goods (Erikson, 1991). On the other hand, it could be argued that if the government supplies goods in the quantity it is demanded, the issue of scarcity could be tackled effectively though in reality this may not be feasible (Erikson, 1991).

Another advantage for the government would be that they could effectively control the distribution of wealth and income so that the gap between proletariats and bourgeoisies diminishes (SSAG, 2007; Sleeper, 1983). Last of all, having a centrally planned economy would facilitate the government to formulate an accurate long term plan as economic variables could be closely monitored and influenced by a central body. In all three aspects it could be said that in the centrally planned economy of the USSR, firms and consumers might not be able to influence the economy.

Thus, the government could have absolute control of how the economy functions, though in the example of the USSR, the government may have primarily focused on macroeconomics (SSAG, 2007). On another note, the theory of a free market permits consumers and firms to influence how an economy functions as consumers dictate the supply of goods in a market while firms react to the changes in consumer behaviours and control prices in accordance to the laws of supply and demand (Joyce, 2001).

Thus, the implementation of various economic theories could have an impact on consumers, firms and governments to a large extent depending on the type of economic system they operate in. Therefore, it could be evident that an economic theory may be necessary for consumers, firms and governments if they are in the free market system though in a centrally planned economy, the requirement of an economic theory would only be limited to the government as they control and monitor the economic environment and its variables closely.

Economic theories are not necessarily employed by governments, they could also be employed by consumers and firms. In terms of consumers, they would need to understand the theory of supply and demand when they make investments or purchases. For example, if prices are relatively high due to the market being niche and contemporary which can be often seen in the technological sector, it could be wise to hold a purchase of a product until the market obtains more manufacturers which might cause a reduction of prices in products.

Hence, the price of a product could decrease when the market saturates as opposed to when a product is first introduced to the market. Consequently, this theory would only be applicable to free markets as the theory of supply and demand is controlled by the government in a centrally planned economy. Similarly, firms are required to comprehend the theory of supply and demand to evade an over or under production of goods which could potentially lead to a drop in revenues.

In addition, they would have to understand the relationship between the income of their target markets and the demand for a given product at a specified price in order to find out if the demand for their product will augment or decline in response to changes in income respectively (Starkey and Dolan, 2006). In a free market, it is essential that firms understand consumer behaviour and employ various economic theories in order to promote consistent growth and gain market share. These theories correspond to free market economies as a central body dictates the quantity of goods and services supplied in a centrally planned economy.

In conclusion, it could be evident that economic theories could significantly influence the economic progress of a nation which could be observed with Marxist theories. There could be advantages and disadvantages with any given theory as they are fabricated to comprehend how a specific economy functions (Starkey and Dolan, 2006). It is important to take into consideration that an economy is a dynamic environment and could be subjected to a kaleidoscope of economic variables which may vary at different periods of time thus, the evolution of economic theory from classic economics to socialist and neoclassical economics.

Additionally, economic theories could be an essential tool for consumers and firms to make rational decisions if they operate within a free market system as the centrally planned economies are generally influenced by a central body rather than consumers and firms. References Berliner, J. (1957) Factory and Manager in the USSR [online]. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. [Accessed 17 April 2013]. Bierens, H. and Swanson, N. (1998) The Econometric Consequences of the Ceteris Paribus Condition in Economic Theory [online].

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University. [Accessed 12 April 2013]. Cambridge University Press (2013) Cambridge Business English Dictionary [online]. [Accessed 13 April 2013]. CAUSA Foundation (2009) Marxist Economic Theories. In: CAUSA (2009) Expansion of Communism [online]. Connecticut: World University Federation, pp. 109-126. [Accessed 14 April 2013]. Erikson, R. (1991) The Classical Soviet-Type Economy: Nature of the System and Implications for Reform. The Journal of Economic Perspectives [online]. 5(4) pp. 11-27. [Accessed 17 April 2013].

Gregory, P. (2004) The Political Economy of Stalinism: Evidence from the Soviet Secret Archives [online]. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. [Accessed 17 April 2013]. Grossman, G. (1977) The ‘second economy’ of the USSR. Problems of Communism [online]. 26(5), pp. 25-40. [Accessed 17 April 2013]. Joyce, H. (2001) Adam Smith and the invisible hand. Available from: plus. maths. org/content/adam-smith-and-invisible-hand [Accessed 16 April 2013]. LNPU (2010) Economic theory: subject, methods, function. Economic policy. Available from: softacademy.

lnpu. edu. ua/Programs/Theory_of_Economics/1. htm#1 [Accessed 13 April 2013]. Marx, K. (1982) Capital [online]. London: Sonnenschein. [Accessed 17 April 2013]. Noebel, D. (2006) Understanding the Times: The Collision on Today’s Competing Worldviews [online]. Gardiner: Summit University Press. [Accessed 17 April 2013]. Ouliaris, S. (2012) Economic Models: Simulations of Reality. Finance and Development [online]. [Accessed 13 April 2013]. Prychitko, D. The Concise Encyclopaedia of Economics [online]. [Accessed 17 April 2013]. Rodrigo, C.

(2012) Micro and Macro: The Economic Divide. Finance and Development [online]. [Accessed 13 April 2013]. Sleeper, R. (1983) A Lexicon of Marxist-Leninist Semantics. Western Goals [online]. pp. 249-302. [Accessed 17 April 2013]. SSAG (2007) Economic Systems [Lecture Notes]. 5 October. Available from: www. ssag. sk/SSAG%20study/EKO/Economic%20Systems. pdf [Accessed 17 April 2013]. Starkey, J. and Dolan, E. (2006) Introduction to Microeconomics: An Ecological Perspective [online]. 3ed. California: Horizon Textbook Publishing. [Accessed 17 April 2013].

What is the purpose of economic theory? Essay

Capitalism and Communism Essay

Capitalism and Communism Essay.

An ideology begins with the belief that things can be better, and then evolves into a plan to improve the currant state of a society. During the 20th century, the world witnessed the confrontation of two political, social, and economic ideologies: capitalism and communism. Capitalism appeared when Scottish economist Adam Smith published “The Wealth of Nations” during the late 1700’s. Almost a century later, as a reaction to capitalism, Karl Marx published “The Communist Manifesto”; a book that harshly criticized capitalism and predicted its fall.

Capitalism and communism are two extremely different systems. They mainly differ by their economic and social visions of how society and the economy should be managed.

Smith postulated that the amassment of gold and silver in a country’s treasury doesn’t mean much, but in fact it’s the actual amount of trading that is done that defines a “Rich Nation”. Smith reasoned that government interference in economy related issues only retarded growth. As an example, if the government agrees on granting monopole over a sector to a certain company, you banish competition and with it all efforts to advance and create new and cheaper products.

Smith also postulated that without government intervention the market itself will regulate the economy through supply and demand. Facing this system that encourages private ownership of industries and free trade was communism.

Communism is a very revolutionary ideology. Marx postulated that the capitalist regimes would be eventually over-thrown by the proletariat in what he called the “Class Struggle”. Unlike capitalism, communism theoretically promoted a society where there was no class distinction, where the government would be handed down to the proletariat (working class), and where ownership of land, means of production, and riches by the working class government will be equally redistributed over all citizens. The individual life of a person in a communist society differs greatly from one in a capitalist system, mainly because of the economic system.

The capitalist model encourages private ownership of industries, competition, innovation, and free trading. This form of economy allows an individual to dream and pursue his education in an attempt to reach a higher social or economic standard. Most of the major scientific breakthroughs were accomplished and invested in by individuals who were competing with others, and ultimately were seeking wealth. When a person is born in a capital system he is allowed to determine his future and to struggle to reach his own envisioned utopia. On the other hand, the communist system predefines the life of an individual, and restricts it to a task that he has to accomplish in order to secure the better good of society. A member of the proletariat leans towards becoming an automated machine that has no sovereignty over his future, or as a matter of fact over his own life.

It is safe to postulate that the capitalist system reflects human nature, better than the communist system.

Capitalism survived many major depressions, thanks to its flexibility. It is today the most prominent economic system in the world. Communism on the other hand was never literally applied. Different types of communist systems existed: Maoism, Leninism, and Titoism. Most of these systems never reached a real utopist communist society, but as a matter of fact became tyrannies, a fact that led to there inevitable decline.

Capitalism and Communism Essay

J.B Priestley and his audience Essay

J.B Priestley and his audience Essay.

J.B Priestley is someone who has seen enough of the world to make his own judgments. Therefore he has written this play “An Inspector Calls” to get these views of his across to the rest of the audience. He believes in socialism and doesn’t support the view of capitalism. He tries to promote socialism and show capitalism as an act of egotism.

The two main views of society he has portrayed and contrasted capitalists and socialist. We know this through characters of the book to begin with I will look at Mr.

Birling as a capitalist. This character was shown to be a very arrogant and proud man. He believed he had more authority and rights than/over everyone else. He is

‘Self made man’.

His objectives of life are to make money, and profit for himself,

“It’s my duty to keep labour costs down”.

Money for him isn’t an issue. It’s an important part of his life.

Even in situations like the sort he finds his image essential.

‘Look, inspector – I’d give thousands’

Mr. Birling can seem to be hollow at times in the sense that he doesn’t always perform in the way he portrays himself to his surroundings. He finds a reason to believe that the inspector’s onset maybe a hoax, He than begins to proceed as though the inspectors arrival had no effect on him. But as soon as the phone rings he begins to panic.

Mr. Birling doesn’t like to argue. He is optimistic about the future yet we know what he predicts will not come true.

‘The worlds developing so fast it’ll

make war impossible……….’


‘The Titanic…. unsinkable absolutely unsinkable’.

The inspector’s comment to Mrs. Birling about young people – ‘They’re more

Impressionable’ (pg 30) – adds weight to our feelings that the older generation is

Fixed in its attitudes and that if society is to become more caring it will have to be through the efforts of the younger generation.

The inspector is just someone who is making the characters in the play realise what they are doing wrong in life, not to cause havoc. This is shown when Sheila ( Mr Birling’s daughter) takes the blame of Eva Smith’s death [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA9lpcBIiL8] all on to her own accord, the inspector assures her and asks her to stay and listen to Gerald’s (Sheila’s fiancé) part of the story, so she doesn’t feel herself entirely to blame.

Sheila is an example of a capitalist who has realised her mistakes, owned up to them and is prepared to adjust her life after the events taken place in the dining hall that afternoon. She is very intelligent but spoilt. She is naïve and is very distressed by the news of Eva’s death caused by stress which drove her to committing suicide. She thinks that her father’s behaviour was unacceptable. She readily agrees that she behaved very badly and insists that she never meant the girl any harm.

‘I’ll never ever do it to anybody again’

Sheila had gotten used to the fact of going into a shop and behaving in such a cruel manner, and get somebody (Eva Smith) permanently excluded from their job just because of jealousy, how self-centered of her. Now after somebody had made her see her mistakes she decided her actions were not acceptable, and this sort of approach to life is intolerable.

J.B Priestley wanted to show that there are people out there who haven’t recognised their error’s in life and that maybe this play will help them to do just that.

Priestley shows just how wrong capitalism is that it can even lead to death of innocent citizens. So this means there is chance of another war, if capitalism isn’t erased from this world. He shows that people are out there who predict the future like Mr Birling and say things like ‘the Titanic is unsinkable… and the world’s developing so fast it’ll make war impossible’, we know that these predictions made were wrong. But who are we to say that there won’t be another war. It makes you think what might happen In the future if entrepreneurship isn’t stopped, doesn’t it? This is what Priestley wanted, his capitalist audience to feel guilty, and wanting to change themselves for the better.

Mr Birling represents Priestley’s hatred of businessmen who are only interested in making money. He (Birling) will never alter his ways and it is left to the younger generation to learn from their mistakes.

Mr Birling’s family may seem cheerful, but if you inspect them internally you’ll notice how ruined their family really is. Mr Birling has feelings of guilt but doesn’t show them because of his bold image he has to keep up with,

‘We hard headed businessmen’

He is hurt by the fact that when his son Eric (an alcoholic), was in trouble (with Eva and the money problem he had) he didn’t approach his father with this problem and ask for help, like any other son would have done. This makes Mr Birling upset and angry.

‘You damned fool – why didn’t you come to me

when you found yourself in this mess?’

Eric is bad-mannered and coarse towards his father and makes him feel as though they never had a father and son relationship.

‘Because you’re not the kind of chap a man

Could turn to when he’s in trouble’.

Priestley also shows that money can’t buy happiness. Mr Birling has all the money but does he enjoy time with his family? Is his family falling apart?And is it his entire fault?

Capitalism also has this effect on people, that it can tear families apart just as it’s done to The Birling’s.

Inspector Goole’s final speech is J.B Priestley’s personal opinion which is that he is concerned that there are many people like Eva Smith who are poor and their lives depend on the way we deal with daily life.

‘One Eva Smith has gone-but there are millions and millions of Eva Smith’s and John Smith’s still left with us ‘.

The reason for capitalism is people like Mr Birling who have no sympathy for others and don’t care about the rest of the world or poverty; they only care about money and image this is why capitalism and wars are still going on today. If there was more socialism there would be peace. This is J.B Priestley’s major motive of writing this play ‘An Inspector Calls’ is to promote socialism. (Which I hope he has)

J.B Priestley and his audience Essay

Great Depression in Canada Essay

Great Depression in Canada Essay.

In late 1929, the Grat Depression started in United States and reached in Canada unexpectedly rapidly, up to 27% of unemployment forces man businesses to close and bring millions of losses. The Canadian government came with a series of solutions, some are At the Depression, the provincial and municipal governments were already in debt after an expansion of infrastructure and education during the 1920s. It thus fell to the federal government to try to improve the economy. When the Depression began Mackenzie King was Prime Minister.

He believed that the crisis would pass, refused to provide federal aid to the provinces, and only introduced moderate relief efforts. New Deal[edit] The Bennett Government initially refused to offer large-scale aid or relief to the provinces, much to the anger of provincial premiers, but it eventually gave in and started a Canadian “New Deal” type of relief by 1935. By 1937, the worst of the Depression had passed, but it left its mark on the country’s economic landscape.

Atlantic Canada was especially hard hit.

Newfoundland (an independent dominion at the time) was bankrupt economically and politically and gave up responsible government by reverting to direct British control. World War I veterans built on a history of postwar political activism to play an important role in the expansion of state-sponsored social welfare in Canada. Arguing that their wartime sacrifices had not been properly rewarded, veterans claimed that they were entitled to state protection from poverty and unemployment on the home front.

The rhetoric of patriotism, courage, sacrifice, and duty created powerful demands for jobs, relief, and adequate pensions that should, veterans argued, be administered as a right of social citizenship and not a form of charity. At the local, provincial, and national political levels, veterans fought for compensation and recognition for their war service, and made their demands for jobs and social security a central part of emerging social policy. [19] Blaming it on Bennett: A 1931 political cartoon suggests that Liberals had failed to take responsibility for their own errors.

The Liberal Party lost the 1930 election to the Conservative Party, led by R. B. Bennett. Bennett, a successful western businessman, campaigned on high tariffs and large-scale spending. Make-work programs were begun, and welfare and other assistance programs became vastly larger. This led to a large federal deficit, however. Bennett became wary of the budget shortfalls by 1932, and cut back severely on federal spending. This only deepened the depression as government employees were put out of work and public works projects were canceled.

One of the greatest burdens on the government was the Canadian National Railway (CNR). The federal government had taken over a number of defunct and bankrupt railways during World War I and the 1920s. The debt the government assumed was over $2 billion, a massive sum at the time, but during the boom years it seemed payable. The Depression turned this debt into a crushing burden. Due to the decrease in trade, the CNR also began to lose substantial amounts of money during the Depression, and had to be further bailed out by the government.

With falling support and the depression only getting worse, Bennett attempted to introduce policies based on the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the United States. Bennett thus called for a minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and other such programs. This effort was largely unsuccessful; the provinces challenged the rights of the federal government to manage these programs. The judicial and political failure of Bennett’s New Deal legislation shifted the struggle to reconstitute capitalism to the provincial and municipal levels of the state.

Attempts to deal with the dislocations of the Great Depression in Ontario focused on the “sweatshop crisis” that came to dominate political and social discourse after 1934. Ontario’s 1935 Industrial Standards Act (ISA) was designed to bring workers and employers together under the auspices of the state to establish minimum wages and work standards. The establishment of New Deal style industrial codes was premised on the mobilization of organized capital and organized labour to combat unfair competition, stop the spread of relief-subsidized labour, and halt the predations of sweatshop capitalism.

Although the ISA did not bring about extensive economic regulation, it excited considerable interest in the possibility of government intervention. Workers in a diverse range of occupations, from asbestos workers to waitresses, attempted to organize around the possibility of the ISA. The importance of the ISA lies in what it reveals about the nature of welfare, wage labour, the union movement, competitive capitalism, business attitudes toward industrial regulation, and the role of the state in managing the

collective affairs of capitalism. The history of the ISA also suggests that “regulatory unionism,” as described by Colin Gordon in his work on the American New Deal, may have animated key developments in Canadian social, economic, and labour history. [20] The failure to help the economy led to the federal Conservatives’ defeat in the 1935 election when the Liberals, still led by Mackenzie King, returned to power. The public at large lost faith in both the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada.

This caused the rise of a third party: the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (a socialist party that achieved some success before joining the Canadian Labour Congress in 1961, becoming the New Democratic Party). With the worst of the Depression over, the government implemented some relief programs such as the National Housing Act and National Employment Commission, and it established Trans-Canada Airlines (1937, the predecessor to Air Canada). However, it took until 1939 and the outbreak of war for the Canadian economy to return to 1929 levels. Liberals return[edit]

The onset of the Depression led to a Liberal defeat in the 1930 elections. In opposition, it was William Lyon Mackenzie King’s policy to refrain from offering advice and to let the Conservative government under Bennett make its mistakes; Mackenzie King’s policy preferences were not radically different. Though he gave the impression of sympathy with progressive and liberal causes, he had no enthusiasm for the New Deal of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt (which Bennett tried to emulate), and he never advocated massive government action to alleviate depression in Canada.

In 1935 the Liberals used the slogan “King or Chaos” to win a landslide. Promising a much-desired trade treaty with the U. S. , the Mackenzie King government passed the 1935 Reciprocal Trade Agreement. It marked the turning point in Canadian–American economic relations, reversing the disastrous trade war of 1930–31, lowering tariffs, and yielding a dramatic increase in trade; more subtly, it revealed to the prime minister and the president that they could work together well.

[21] After 1936 the prime minister lost patience when westerners preferred radical alternatives such as the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation) and Social Credit to his middle-of-the-road liberalism. Indeed, he came close to writing off the region with his comment that the prairie dust bowl was “part of the U. S. desert area. I doubt if it will be of any real use again. “[22] Instead he paid more attention to the industrial regions and the needs of Ontario and Quebec regarding the proposed St. Lawrence Seaway project with the United States.

As for the unemployed, he was hostile to federal relief and reluctantly accepted a Keynesian solution that involved federal deficit spending, tax cuts and subsidies to the housing market. [23] Mackenzie King returned as prime minister, serving until his retirement in 1948. During all but the last two years he was also secretary of state for external affairs, taking personal charge of foreign policy. Social Credit[edit] Social Credit (often called Socred) was a populist political movement strongest in Alberta and neighboring British Columbia, 1930s-1970s.

Social Credit was based on the economic theories of an Englishman, C. H. Douglas. His theories became very popular across the nation in the early 1930s. A central proposal was the free distribution of prosperity certificates (or social credit), called “funny money” by the opposition. [24] During the Great Depression in Canada the demand for radical action peaked around 1934, after the worst period was over and the economy was recovering. Mortgage debt was significant because farmers could not meet their interest payments.

The insecurity of farmers, whose debts were increasing and who had no legal protection against foreclosure, was a potent factor in creating a mood of political desperation. The radical farmers party, UFA was baffled by the depression and Albertans demanded new leadership. The prairie farmers had always believed that they were being exploited by Toronto and Montreal. What they lacked was a prophet who would lead them to the promised land. [25] The Social Credit movement began in Alberta in 1932; it became a political movement in 1935 and suddenly burned like a prairie fire.

The prophet and new premier was radio evangelist William Aberhart (1878–1943). The message was biblical prophecy. Aberhart was a fundamentalist, preaching the revealed word of God and quoting the Bible to find a solution for the evils of the modern, materialistic world: the evils of sophisticated academics and their biblical criticism, the cold formality of middle-class congregations, the vices of dancing and movies and drink. “Bible Bill” preached that the capitalist economy was rotten because of its immorality; specifically it produced goods and services but did not provide people with sufficient

purchasing power to enjoy them. This could be remedied by the giving out money in the form of “social credit”, or $25 a month for every man and woman. This pump priming was guaranteed to restore prosperity, he prophesied to the 1600 Social Credit clubs he formed in the province. Alberta’s businessmen, professionals, newspaper editors and the traditional middle-class leaders vehemently protested Aberhart’s crack-pot ideas, but they had not solved any problems and spoke not of the promised land ahead. Aberhart’s new party in 1935 elected 56 members to the Alberta Assembly, compared to 7 for all the other parties.

[26] Alberta’s Social Credit Party remained in power for 36 years until 1971. It was re-elected by popular vote no less than 9 times, achieving success by moving from left to the right. [27] Social Credit in office[edit] Once in office in Alberta Aberhart gave a high priority to balancing the provincial budget. He reduced expenditures and increased the sales tax and the income tax. The poor and unemployed got nothing. [28] The $25 monthly social dividend never arrived, as Aberhart decided nothing could be done until the province’s financial system was changed, and 1936 Alberta defaulted on its bonds.

He did pass a Debt Adjustment Act that canceled all the interest on mortgages since 1932 and limited all interest rates on mortgages to 5%, in line with similar laws passed by other provinces. In 1937 backbenchers passed a radical banking law that was disallowed by the national government (banking was a federal responsibility). Efforts to control the press were also disallowed. The party was authoritarian and tried to exert detailed control over its officeholders; those who rebelled were purged or removed from office by the new device of recall elections.

Although Aberhart was hostile to banks and newspapers, he was basically in favor of capitalism and did not support socialist policies as did the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Saskatchewan. [29] By 1938 the Social Credit government abandoned its notions about the $25 payouts, but its inability to break with UFA policies led to disillusionment and heavy defections from the party. Aberhart’s government was re-elected in the 1940 election, carrying 43% of the vote. The prosperity of the Second World War relieved the economic fears and hatreds that had fueled farmer unrest.

Aberhart died in 1943, and was succeeded as Premier by his student at the Prophetic Bible Institute and lifelong close disciple, Ernest C. Manning (1908–1996). The Social Credit party, now firmly on the right, governed Alberta until 1968 under Manning. Recovery[edit] The Canadian recovery from the Great Depression proceeded slowly. Economists Pedro Amaral and James MacGee find that the Canadian recovery has important differences with the United States. [30] In the U. S. productivity recovered quickly while the labor force remained depressed throughout the decade.

In Canada employment quickly recovered but productivity remained well below trend. Amaral and MacGee suggest that this decline is due to the sustained reduction in international trade during the 1930s. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Crown-in-Council attempted to uplift the people, and created two national corporations: the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC), and the Bank of Canada. The former, established in 1932, was seen as a means to keep the country unified and uplifted in these harsh economic times. Many poor citizens found radio as an escape and used it to restore their own faiths in a brighter future.

Broadcasting coast to coast in both French and English, the CRBC played a vital role in keeping the morale up for Canadians everywhere. The latter was used to regulate currency and credit which had been horribly managed amongst Canadian citizens in the prior years. It was also set up to serve as a private banker’s bank and to assist and advise the Canadian government on its own debts and financial matters. The bank played an important role to help steer government spending in the right direction. The bank’s effort took place through the tough years off the depression and on to the prosperity that followed into and after the Second World War.

Both of these corporations were seen as positive moves by the Canadian government to help get the economy back on track. 1937 was an important year in the recovery from the Great Depression. The Bank of Canada was nationalized in that year, and the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC) became the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) in that same year. Both corporations were successful aids in the cultural and financial recovery of the Canadian economy during the Great depression. It took the outbreak of World War II to pull Canada out of the depression.

From 1939, an increased demand in Europe for materials, and increased spending by the Canadian government created a strong boost for the economy. Unemployed men enlisted in the military. By 1939, Canada was in the first prosperity period in the business cycle in a decade. This coincided with the recovery in the American economy, which created a better market for exports and a new inflow of much needed capital. See also[edit] Book icon Book: Great Depression Canada in the World Wars and Interwar Years Cities in the Great Depression#Canada List of riots and civil unrest in Calgary References[edit]

Great Depression in Canada Essay