Michael Parenti Essay
Michael Parenti has written the article, “Capitalism’s self-inflicted Apocalypse”, published on Wednesday, January 21, 2009. The article explores capitalism’s shortcomings in addressing historical forces. It states that these forces hitherto cause endless troubles in capitalistic economies. “Healthy Inequality” is an article written by George F. Will and published in the Newsweek in October 28, 1996. This article states that the most discussed economic malady is a habitual benign phenomenon
According to Michael Parenti, after capitalism had defeated communism, many thought that this was the most indomitable system of governance that would last to the end of history. However, this was never the case as the system was yet to come to a consensus with several historical forces that caused endless problems. These include prosperity, democracy, and capitalism itself.
Michael Parenti articulates that democracy and capitalism are entities that cannot exist together unless wedded together, as in US, to become capitalist democracies. In fact, the relationship between capitalism and democracy has been hostile all through. Louis Brandeis observes that in US, we can only have democracy because so much wealth is held in the hands of a few.
On capitalism and prosperity, the articles stipulates that most of the world is capitalist and neither prosperous nor democratic. Capitalism is a man-eat-man society and breeds a few millionaires leaving behind a million paupers. This is the notion that capitalist corporate investors prefer investing in poor populations as the poorer the man, the more he works for lesser wage.
Political thinkers have observed capitalism as a self-devouring beast. According to Debs, a system protects the haves from the have-nots. Capitalism also provides services that cannot be developed by private developers. Karl Marx, the authors of many econmical studies, concluded that for maximization of profits, wages must be kept down. Presently, there is a growing tendency of overproduction of goods by the private sector and under-consumption by the working class, which is why it is viewed as a self-devouring beast.
According to George F. Will, economics at the moment perform the duties that involve complaining about their issues that cannot be resolved and that suffering is good for them. Issues that are decried as social dysfunction and injustice are a recurring and benign phenomenon. According to Greenwood and Yorukoglu, who are economists, date that onset of the discontents in productivity and inequality was the 1974. The labor productivity curve had been in an ascending order since the medieval ages. However, in the 1974, the curve started to decline while charted investment in IT began to steep ascent. On the other hand, price of IT recorded a steep decline.
The main points in the article “Capitalism’s self-inflicted Apocalypse” include the antagonistic relationship between democracy and capitalism. Both of these two cannot exist together in an economy. Capitalism creates wealth to a few and makes many poor. Prosperity and capitalism are not directly related variables in the economy. The article states that capitalism is a self-devouring beast. It states that capitalism provides only those services that cannot be availed by a private developer. Capitalism seeks to protect the haves from the have-nots. Its also observes that a capitalist system is capable of devouring itself. It is a system capable of self-destruction created by moneyed players.
According to healthy inequality, economists today have moved to assure the complainers that nothing can be done against their complaints and that anguish is good for them. According to Jeremy and Mahmet, what is complained of as a social dysfunction and injustice, which is a blend of slow productivity growth and wideniing income inequality, is indeed a chronic and benign phenomenon.
I concur with the article “Capitalism’s self-inflicted Apocalypse”. Ever since capitalism overthrew communism, many thought it was the new and last order in economies. However, capitalism is on its way to self-destruction. It is true that capitalism cannot address historical factors such as democracy and prosperity. Capitalism cannot exist with democracy in an economy, as the two are immiscible. Prosperity in capitalist economies is not a walk in the park and that is why many have termed the capitalist economies as man-eat-man economies. Karl Marx might have created a self-devouring system. A system that kills the less privileged while strengthening the rich in the society. A system that protects the haves against the have-nots.
According to Michael Parenti, capitalism raises venal perpetrators and rewards the most unscrupulous of them. A system that protects the haves and kills the have-nots through creating a suffocating environment for them. This is done through creation of monopoly in the free market, thus exploiting customers by high prices and workers by low wages. It creates inequality, as the benefits of the economy are not equitably distributed. People in a capitalist economy tend to be caught in theoretical bubbles, thus ignoring economic fundamentals leading to irrational behaviors. A free market is supposed to have easy mobility of production from the unprofitable sectors to the profitable ones. However, this mobility is more impractical in a capitalist economy. Because of the wealth distribution inequality, in a capitalist society with no government welfare great poverty is bound to occur. This will lead to homelessness, disease, shanties etc; hence forced migration. A major point that makes Michael Parenti successful in his arguments is one on limited government control. In this kind of situation cartels may freeze the economy slipping the whole economy into anarchy.