Essay on The Battle of European Socialism vs. American Capitalism

2280 Words Apr 4th, 2014 10 Pages
“The Battle of European Socialism vs. American Capitalism”

Let the battle begin, on the left we have European Socialism and on the right we have American Capitalism! Round One: What is Capitalism? Capitalism is regarded as an economic system and a political strategy distinguished by certain characteristics whose development is conditioned by numerous variables. So how is Capitalism viewed in the United States of America? American Capitalism can be viewed in multiple fashions: they currently possess a very dominant economic system in the world, private ownership has been noticed as the main means of production, there is also the hierarchy of private owners and free wage-earners, which is
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By the 17th century, “Thomas Hobbes and John Locke had posited an individual whose essence consisted of proprietorship over his own person. Owning himself, he owed nothing to society. He was free insofar as he existed independently of others' wills” (Macpherson). Persons who were economically dependent on others were therefore not free. An unceasing struggle for authority raged between men, and the market became a battlefield. Social relations were seen as market relations among proprietors of various selves, some their own. The struggle of owners for dominance was said to be the natural condition of man. To safeguard that natural striving, and especially to ensure the security of its outcome, government was instituted. Protection of individually-accumulated capital was the most fundamental function of government; a function said to be required not by common decision but by the very nature of man. Macpherson calls this conception “possessive individualism”
The very philosophy of individualism facilitated the adoption of slavery. To Locke, as we said earlier, the central tenet of individualism was man's domain over his own labor, even to the point of selling it. “That right carried no social—or moral—obligation other than the expectation of buying cheap and selling dear. Enslavement was thus regarded as another expression of an individual's unceasing drive to accumulate property. And because this drive was

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