Capitalism: An Inevitable Conclusion
by Patrick Q. Scheper
Art vs. Science
There are two things, for the purposes of this discussion, which a process can be: it can be an art or a science. To understand the difference, first it will be necessary to define "process" as it is used here. A process, as used in this essay, is a way of performing an action towards a goal (whether intended or unintended.) It can and does include almost anything, from painting a picture to running a government. It includes walking down the street, getting out of bed, solving a physics problem, writing an essay, thinking, performing tests on a new product, acting, medical research, and almost anything else that an individual does. A process is not an object or entity, but something done by an entity. That is to say, a car in and of itself is not a process, but the way its gears work, the way the engine propels it, and the manner in which the driver controls it are all processes.
Economic and political systems are processes. They are ways by which people relate to each other, engage in trade, make agreements, and seek services and goods that would not be available to them acting solely as individuals. Economic and political systems are not entities themselves, but rather the results of choices made by entities (individuals) and the processes associated with them.
As mentioned before, a process is either an art or a science. Some are a combination of both, but all processes are predominantly one or the other. The difference lies in their source of validity. A science is a process that is valid universally according to absolutes (axioms and natural laws) and will always have guaranteed outcomes. These processes are true and always will be regardless of opinion or desire for them to be otherwise.
It is best to use an example. Physics is a science. It is a process of studying the way things in the universe interact with each other by means of forces (gravity, friction, subatomic forces, etc.) There are certain truths that cannot be avoided and are independent of the individuals or object involved. Take gravity. Gravity is a basic truth of physics in that it and its effects cannot be ignored. A man can jump off of a cliff, but gravity can and always will bring him back down. One might ask, "What if a man jumps off a cliff but then jumps into a hot air balloon? Is he able to ignore gravity?" The answer is no. He simply has found a way to work with the given absolutes of gravity and other forces and stay "in the air." However, in order to do so, he had to first acknowledge that gravity was there, and then look at how to act accordingly in order to achieve his goal. More importantly, gravity will always be there and unless that man continues to actively alter his environment, it will eventually bring him to the ground. This is what is meant by something being a science. It is a process or set or processes that are governed or set forth from one or more absolutes. Those absolutes cannot be ignored and all actions within the process must be done in a manner that is consistent with those absolutes.
An art, however, is a process that is valid only in the mind of the individual. It does not come from universal truths and is not valid according to axioms or natural law. Its only validation comes from personal emotions and preferences. For example, painting is an art in that the final product of the process (a painting or perhaps a mural) is valid and agreeable based solely upon an individual's perspective and is not universally transferable to other individuals. Jon likes the works of Monet, Jane does not. Neither is wrong. It is simply a matter of opinion. Artist A uses marble for his sculptures, Artist B uses limestone. Neither process is wrong, it is entirely dependent on the individual. It is possible to have multiple processes working together or one inside another. Some may be arts, some sciences. It is important to note though, that the axioms and absolutes of the science will always be true and the art of a process cannot violate the science of it. Returning to the Physics example, suppose two scientists are performing experiments. One performs the experiment very quickly and repeats it often to verify results. The other only performs it once or twice, but does so slowly and deliberately. Assuming that neither violated the science of the process (i.e. did not ignore the basic laws of Physics) the results of both experiments are equally valid. The different ways in which the scientists performed the experiments are results of the art of the experiment. The art of each process is their individually preferred style of work. However, it is important to note again that if a process is an art inside a larger process that is a science, the science takes precedence, as its absolutes cannot be ignored. If either scientist in the example ignored gravity or Newton�s Second Law and his results showed this, then his way of performing the experiment needs correction.
Economics (and therefore Capitalism) as a Science
The next question that needs to be asked is "What is capitalism? Is it an art or a science?" The question is better asked, "Is economics an art or a science", as capitalism is an economic theory. However, as we will see, it is really the only correct economic theory that can prevail. Economics is the study of how people relate to each other when it comes to trade and production. As this is the case, economics is really part of political science, or the study of how people relate to each other in an organized society. Political science is a science (as the name implies) and is part of the broader science, philosophy. Philosophy is a science in that it is grounded in certain absolutes (which, ironically, some of the most well-regarded philosophers have ignored.) This essay is not intended to defend these absolutes, as there are plenty of other works which adequately do so. This essay accepts the fact that there are absolutes. Existence, the primacy of existence, the primacy of the individual over society, and identity are the most notable. From these absolutes, natural laws can be found and universally validated. The most important of these, for the purposes of this essay, are the "natural rights": life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. From these come other laws and rights, like the right to free speech and property rights.
If philosophy is a science based in absolutes, than its resulting branches must also be sciences and grounded by the absolutes and laws derived from them. Therefore, economics is a science and all economic systems must be consistent with natural laws. The only truly consistent economic system is a capitalist one as it is in its most basic of definitions a system whereby everyone is allowed to act according to natural law and pursue his own interests so long as his actions do not prohibit another�s ability to do so. Economics is a science, and capitalism is a valid and universally true scientific process. In fact it is the only true scientific process that can be used in the field of economics.
Correct Science Always Prevails
Because capitalism is scientifically correct, it will always prevail. Any attempts to build an economic system or process that ignores the basic laws derived from the absolutes of philosophy and ignores natural rights and laws, will inevitably come to destroy itself, just as the man who jumped off the cliff and ignored gravity met his demise. Economics is a process, in that it studies the means by which people interact and exchange and create resources. Capitalism is a specific process that defines how an economy should work via individual freedoms. Capitalism, as it adheres to the basic absolutes of philosophy, is scientifically correct. Other economic systems have been proposed and put into place throughout history, either voluntarily or through coercion. These systems have failed, are failing, or will fail if they are inconsistent with reality and its absolutes.
Socialism and communism ignore the primacy of the individual and as a result disregard property rights and a person�s right to his life and its products. As we have seen in the Soviet Union and other communist countries, these economic systems will destroy themselves. A society where the factors and outputs of productive efforts are completely or partially controlled by the states cannot exist in perpetuity, as natural laws will eventually come to topple the system. The basic human nature to protect one�s property from being forcibly taken against one�s will and an individual�s primacy over society will always (though sometimes very gradually) overcome even the most ruthless coercive efforts.
Just as natural rights prevailed over communism and are beginning to open up former communist economies to free market processes, so too will natural law prevail over "active governments" and economic regulations set up in quasi-free market countries like the United States. Government regulations, agencies, and laws that inhibit the free market will never work in the long run. Examples can be seen in the fact that private industries always correct government errors (i.e. FedEx, private schooling) and even those seemingly uncorrectable errors will simply be outdone by more efficient market forces. 401(k) plans are eliminating dependency on social security for many and private charities always seem to pop up to correct poor planning and misuse of funds by the welfare state. FedEx was set up and marketed on its ability to outdo the inefficient United States Postal Service. The internet, information technology, and Silicon Valley have rendered many government regulations useless if not downright impossible to enforce. When a proponent of the free market gets discouraged by government regulations and coercive authority, he need only to look around to see that capitalism always prevails, even in the face of extreme regulations and anti-competitive laws. Communism, socialism, regulations, and all other free market hindrances are akin to the man who jumps off the cliff. Capitalism is the gravity that will cause his fall.
Capitalism, as can be seen, is consistent with the scientific principles of economics. As this is the case, it will always prevail. Though obstacles are set up and the freedoms are often restricted by coercive governments, the correct solutions and proper conclusions dictated by the absolutes of this world will lead to their destruction. The question is not whether or not capitalism will prevail and markets will be liberated, the question is when and how quickly. Government regulations can inhibit free market processes and stifle innovation, but they cannot prevent their eventual and inevitable victory.
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Essay about The Industrial Revolution, Capitalism, and Socialism
810 WordsOct 26th, 20124 Pages
The Industrial Revolution brought about great changes in how goods were produced and consumed, but it also brought about social and political changes. Some were positive, such as machines relieving much of the toil previously placed on worker’s muscles. But there were also negative changes.
As workers moved to cities to work in factories, and progress in medical and sanitation practices improved, urban crowding became a huge issue. Additionally, where industry was taking over production in markets that had previously been dominated by small business owners, these skilled workers, weavers and the like, were now being forced to take jobs working for capitalist ventures-- often working in the industry coinciding with their master skill, but…show more content…
Those in defence of capitalism say that it forces producers to develop new or improved products and to develop ways of working more efficiently. On the other hand, those against capitalism state that it causes economic inequality, exploitation of the working class and causes overall social disruption.
The rise of capitalism was a driving force in the development of communism. The disparity of wealth, overcrowding of urban centers, undermining of skilled workers and the appalling living and working conditions of the working class have lead to wars and a forming of a socialist or communist point-of-view.
Socialism is the underlying motivation behind communist movements in history. Socialists believe that it is unjust for a small amount of people to own the biggest portion of the wealth in society. This idea lead to the concept of a communist society, in which the existence of private property is eliminated in favor of government-owned property being shared among all it’s people. The government would provide jobs and care for all people equally. The idea was that through communism, there would be no social classes, thus eliminating alienation for any of the people in the society.
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