Why do people often use the term ‘Predatory Capitalism’ when referring to Capitalism? This is because free-market capitalism, in the Industrial Age of the mid-late 19th century unfortunately started to become tied up with Darwin’s ideas of ‘the survival of the fittest.’
Which Way Will America Go?
Darwinism effectively states that ‘Only the strong survive in a continuous struggle for dominance while the rest are shunted aside as losers in the tooth and claw battle for life.’ This ‘survival of the fittest philosophy has to a large degree become tied up with the world of corporate profit-making.
Darwin seems to have been correct but in a very limited context. Cooperation among species is a far greater impulse than the impulse to dominate and destroy. If Darwin was correct in absolute terms, there wouldn’t be civilizations. We’d have wiped them all out centuries ago.
Socialism, in a way, strove to come up with an antidote to what it believed was the predatory nature of capitalism, or feudalism’s wealthy overlord and serf relationship.
This would be a system where all would be equal and no one would dominate the other-a system where essentially the equality of the group has to power over the individual, or in other words, collectivism. This often sounds good on paper but in the end, the collectivist governments become the overlords and the people their serfs.
‘Equality is achieved for the people but the oligarch leaders of the government and their friends become the advantaged ones.
In this ‘equal’ system the natural human striving to improve one’s station in life and overcome challenges to become greater for the sake of one’s own development and for that of their children is not given full freedom and the reward of monetary accomplishment, and instead is often frowned upon.
The initial good intentions to set up a level playing field ends up removing incentive, personal growth, and most of all the freedom to rise above mediocrity and the status quo.
So, what is the answer?
People should not be left behind, trampled over by the impersonal machine of predatory big business profits, or from a suffocating government that over regulates and unfairly taxes its citizens.
Mercantile economies go back thousands of years. They have built civilizations. Have people suffered under the free market system? Yes, they have. But it is not Capitalism itself that is the problem it is Predatory Capitalism, Crony Capitalism, and Darwinian Capitalism that are to be blamed.
The answer is not to turn to Socialism to ease the burden and responsibility of individual choice and action, and to level the playing field so all of us are equalized. Nor is it to continue along the path of a ‘tooth and claw’ Darwinian Capitalism that rewards only those at the top of the heap.
The gain for profits in many respects has grown out of control causing massive inequality and outsourcing of American jobs at the expense of people’s lives and the lifeblood of their communities.
Corporations and governments must now begin to change course and practice free-market capitalism in such a way as to benefit all involved. The employee must become a ‘stakeholder’ in American life rather than just a cog in the wheel of big business and big government. The people must be empowered.