The driving force of Capitalism (IM 834)

A 300-year history of an idea: “Greed is Good”, has been considered as the DNA of Capitalism. In 18th century, Adam Smith, father of Economics, described Capitalism as an economic system based on self-interest.

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

(Smith, p. 14, Modern Library edition, 1937).

Smith further added, If I’m poor you will be poor too since I cannot buy any products or good from you. If I’m rich, you will be enriched too since you can now sell me something.”

One of the most important and underrated questions for centuries is: What is the driving force of Capitalism? Anti-capitalists frequently accuse Capitalism of being a system driven by Greed and Selfishness.

But is it unethical or immoral? Isn’t greed a human nature? By nature, man is greedy, which is why  socialism never works. The irreplaceable question is: Is greed and selfishness the driving force of modern capitalism?

Human Self-interest is not only the driving force of capitalism, it is, in fact, the driving force of every human actions. The choice of food, the habit of brushing teeth taking medicines, travelling, and all human activities are the result from self-interest.

The fact that America is one of the biggest capitalistic country in the world does not make it the greediest country. In fact, America is number one in donations and other social activities.

It’s unfortunate that Capitalism is considered as greedy economic system, but this is the one and only future of economic system which is driven by the combination of  freedom, empathy, and self-interest.

 

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