Capitalism Fails the New Generation


Jp Valery on Unsplash

Graphic of burning American money.

Jared Kim, Staff Writer

*The opinions expressed within the content are solely the author’s and do not reflect the website’s or its affiliates’ opinions and beliefs.*

Throughout America’s history, capitalism has guided people to abandon their homes in pursuit of a better life, wage wars and launch revolutions in search of economic freedom. The Cold War saw a clash between the ideas of communism and capitalism. Many from around the world, drawn by the allure of the American dream, have immigrated to the United States since the late 1800s. However, as history turns to the present, the attainability of the American dream has come into question. 

The younger and more liberal generation coupled with a worldwide pandemic has redefined how the world works. With a social emphasis on inclusivity and social equality, formerly accepted capitalist ideas have become obsolete. As a system that revolves around being economically competitive, capitalism will always have a winner and a loser; it inherently opposes social and economic equality among people. Additionally, as a free market, there are few safeguards against monopolization and unequal distribution of wealth. This doesn’t align with the modern values of social equality that are at the forefront of our generation. Capitalism and new ideas cannot coexist in a world that is becoming increasingly more progressive.

It is difficult to create a version of capitalism that people cannot easily exploit. Inherently, people become more susceptible to corruption and greed as personal wealth accumulates. This creates a cycle where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer until wealth is held solely by an aristocratic few. This wouldn’t be an issue if people didn’t treat others differently based on their wealth. However, capitalism doesn’t account for the human tendency to assert superiority. When people become economically superior to one another, they begin to desire the expansion and preservation of their wealth at the cost of those “below” them. Therefore, those with money and power find ways to make more at the expense of other people. This doesn’t necessarily make capitalism itself bad, however, it does highlight that the system is easily exploitable for certain people and not for others, promoting economic inequality. 

Change is certainly inevitable, but how we go about this change is critical in the way we move forward as a society. Violent overthrow or revolution as thought of by philosophers such as Karl Marx could arguably lead to a worse fate than capitalism, especially because these exacerbate the morally depraved traits of capitalism to a larger scale. The best way to achieve a better-functioning society is by gradually instilling values of peace and respect for others through education. By doing this, creating a more morally upright generation is more feasible. An upbringing focused on moral development would allow people to think more critically about the issues they may come across. For example, rather than having a culture that values violence and fighting through various forms of media, people could find enjoyment through more cooperative and beneficial means. Having a culture that values dramatized conflict will rarely lead to a more productive society. 

Some may argue that this could take from the free will of people, as an organized system of values would be instilled. However, being raised a certain way doesn’t necessarily limit people from adopting other behaviors. The main motivation behind revolutionizing education in this way is to allow for more equal opportunity, rather than taking away free will.

Capitalism is gradually dying as a political system, especially due to the introduction of progressive ideas like inclusivity and social and economic equality. Throughout the constant change occurring throughout the world, it is essential to reconsider the ideas that our society enforces. To truly follow the new values prioritized by our generation it is essential to think critically about every action we take.