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Economic Systems: Capitalism -- Research Starters Sociology

By: Azria, Seth M.;

2009 / EBSCO


The theories of socialism and capitalism have been battling for supremacy for the last hundred years. For Karl Marx, capitalism was a system that promoted of class domination and oppression. The Marxist version of socialism as tested in the Soviet Union, Cuba, China and other places has failed. Complete lack of individual freedom caused unspeakable human suffering and economic ruin. The failure of this dramatic approach has not killed the approach itself. On the other hand, the basic principles of capitalism of voluntary exchange, free trade between nations, and the self-directed market via the "invisible hand" have been accepted by most as fundamental to a successful economy. However, unrestrained capitalism seems to have wrought evils of its own. The preponderance of the world now engages some mixture of capitalist and socialist principles and the debate continues as to the optimal mix. That is, markets should be free, but how free? In terms of global capitalism, most agree that free trade is generally preferable and the debate usually turns to how free?