Analyzing Capitalism and Democracy


For a political science class, I was asked to investigate the relationship between democracy and capitalism the good quality of democracy is heavily influenced by capitalism, but to what extent? In “Democracy for the Few”, Michael Parenti discusses the connection among “want” and “wealth” in a capitalist society. To Parenti, “want” is concerned with genuine human wants, even though “wealth” is merely the concern of profiteers, and capitalism allows the subordination of “want” to “wealth”. He explains how a capitalist society creates an endless cycle in which the wealthy continue to vigorously prosper, although average citizens (the majority of individuals) are exploited, underpaid, or otherwise neglected. “The prime 1 percent [of Americans] own among 40 and 50 percent of the nation’s total wealth” (Parenti eight). Parenti argues that capitalism allows for the undermining of labor’s worth given that the ultimate aim is profit.

Additionally, he is troubled by the nature of the “free marketplace” and the careless greed exhibited by large corporations rather of regarding themselves with human need to have, corporations focus only on their profit. “When asked what they had been doing about the widespread hunger in the United States, a single meals manufacturer responded with refreshing candor: If we saw proof of profitability, we might look into this'” (Parenti 15).Parenti criticizes capitalism (and the inevitable “wealth vs. want” issue it produces) in a democratic country because, even though democracy promises equality and fairness, the quite nature of capitalism spoils and corrupts democracy’s efforts. Since the incredibly wealthy have managed to grow their roots so deep in economic safety, any financial crisisin which the bulk of a country becomes vulnerablewill additional add to the energy of these tyrant corporations. “For the huge capitalists, financial downturns are not unmitigated gloom. Smaller sized competitors are weeded out, unions are weakened and often broken, a reserve provide of unemployed workers assists to further depress wages, and earnings rise faster than wages” (Parenti 12). Capitalism affords a grotesquely unequal distribution of money, and the majority of individuals afflicted with joblessness, homelessness, and/or starvation are basically items of its insufficiency.

In “Stupid White Males”, Michael Moore expresses his aggravation with the type of corrupt politics that are influencing our government and ruining America he believes the three fundamental principles of democracy had been violated in the 2000 presidential elections because the majority of individuals wanted Gore for president, but got Bush as an alternative. Bush has a lot of strong connections that had been able to manipulate the election outcomes. It is troublesome that large organizations neglect and abuse their workers, and it is worse still that these tyrants often fund political endeavors, which inevitably influence political choices, and thus secure their reign. It is curious that “the third largest contributor to Bush’s campaign was able to operate a loophole into Texas environmental regulations that allowed Alcoa [the globe largest aluminum manufacturer] to emit 60,000 tons of sulfur dioxide each year” (Moore 54). If we can’t count on the government to uphold truth and fairness, then the planet appears a scary and chaotic spot in which only the super wealthy can ever hope to attain safety and happiness.

Even though each Parenti and Moore make compelling arguments, Moore’s data seems only a bit a lot more disturbing due to the fact he is choosing apart and criticizing the really foundation by way of which the state of our lives depend: the government. Moore contends that the election of George Bush is a sham he maintains that Gore was the rightful winner of the 2000 elections. The Florida scandal robbed 173,000 men and women of their voting rights the manipulation of the absentee votes in which “344 ballets had no proof that they have been cast on or ahead of election day” and the sloppy design of the voting ballets “which created it effortless to vote for the wrong individual because candidates’ names and punch holes had been crammed unevenly onto facing pages” all contributed to the false election of Bush. In addition, Bush’s connections with Fox crippled Gore’s probabilities of winning because they prematurely announce Bush as the winner prior to it was confirmed “Nothing at all was far more psychologically devastating for Gore’s possibilities of winning than the sudden perception that HE was getting the spoiler by asking for recounts” (Moore).

I agree with each Dr. Parenti and Michael Moore they each highlight the faults and hazards within our government, and the threat these troubles impose on democracy. Dr. Parenti’s discussion of capitalism was maddening. He elaborated on the laborer’s burdens and the sort of “glass ceiling” that holds folks in their initial financial class. I have had jobs in which I felt entirely dispensable and beneath the mercy of my employer. No matter how certified and exceptional of an employee I was, questioning my pay and rewards threatened the safety of my job considering that so many other peopledesperate for jobswould be willing to settle for significantly less. It appears Dr. Parenti was proper: “unemployment is functional to capitalism. With out a reserve army of unemployed to compete for jobs and deflate wages, labor would cut much more deeply into earnings” (Parenti 12). In addition, the truth that “At a plant in Iowa, four,000 folks applied for 53 jobs” suggests that there is much more to the difficulty of unemployment in addition to human laziness (Parenti 19). Michael Moore explains how elections and other political endeavors can be manipulated by the wealthy: “The Schering-plough pharmaceutical business contributed $ 50,000 [to John Ashcroft] probably as a thank-you for the bill he had introduced that would have extended the companies patent on the allergy pill Claritin” (Moore 52). The Florida scandal, along with the rest of Bush’s devious political schemes, was absurd. Furthermore, we had to “appear to a nation five,000 miles away to uncover out the truth about our own election” (Moore 32). As an typical American citizen, I can’t aid but feel somewhat helpless when I read about these regrettable facts.

The tiny fraction of wealthy people holds the most influence in the political arena and on the economy. Huge corporations make big donations to political activities, and for that reason are in a position to manipulate political results, making certain their personal safety. It is a vicious, and seemingly unbreakable circle of tyrants. When this nation is mentioned to be a democracy, I frequently wonder for who?