Capitalist Society Essay
Capitalism is a very complex system that is discuss by many authors, scholars and economists. Robert Heilbroner is a famous American economist who creatively discusses the system of capitalism in Twenty First Century Capitalism. He reveals the abstruse capitalism system and its role in society. Heilbroner begins by comparing traditional society with modern capitalist society and differentiate capital with wealth, which facilitate the reader to understand the basic definition of capitalism. He then illustrates the most crucial aspect of capitalism, that is, the two realms of capitalism. According to Heilbroner, the two realms of capitalism are state and economy or government and business. The relation between these realms is interesting in its nature, because one aspect of their relationship make them beneficial for society and another aspect turn them into dysfunctional in society. Realm of the state and the economy are beneficial when they rely on each other, as they support each other they results in peaceful state and economy of a society. At the same time, they have power to proceed independently. As soon as they split, they are dysfunctional for society because state might block the path of the economy to grow freely and economy can independently survive without supporting the government resulting in weak society. Western societies are the living example of capitalism. They present very languish condition of moral and social values, however, they proudly presents their materialistic life. This unbalance situation is because of the contribution of capitalism in modern society. The insatiable feature of capitalism results into accumulation of capital, which diminish the value of the human being and enhance the value of money and materials that we produce. Another negative aspect of capitalism is that it turns the necessities into commodities. It is important to understand the meaning and duties of the two realms of capitalism before learning their relationship. Meaning and difference between state and the economy is very clear. State of a society is the system that has power to control and enforce laws and regulations on different institutions of society, whereas, economy of the society deals with labor, capital, natural resources and the production, distribution of goods and services. Heilbroner reference Adam Smith to describes duties of the two realms. Adam Smith illustrates the picture of economy in Society of Perfect Liberty as: “Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man or order of men. The sovereign [we can read “the state”] is completely discharged from a duty, in the attempting to perform which he must always be exposed to innumerable delusions, and for the proper performance of which no human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufficient – the duty of superintending...
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