Can Our World Survive Capitalism?: by Christopher Snyder
Capitalism is the best economic system on the planet for being efficient at the distribution of wealth by turning people's needs and desires into wealth. Without any governmental intervention, the distribution of wealth happens naturally, with people producing goods that other people want, selling at a reasonable profit and those people making the profit then buy goods that they need and desire. As products become popular, more people begin to make the items (usually of various qualities) and more and more people share the wealth. I would like to take a look at the negative consequences of Capitalism, and there are negative consequences. The sheer efficiency of capitalism is what has brought our world on the brink of no return with global warming.
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Capitalism probably started as many as 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture. People growing the crops needed some way of receiving compensation for all their efforts tending and harvesting their crops. This allowed people to do a little bit more than just survive but hunting and collecting food daily resulting in a slightly higher birth rate. This lead to a rise in population for the first time since our species took hold on the earth. Agriculture allowed people to stay pretty much in one area leading to the development of village life which eventually increased in size to cities. There is some speculation in scholars as to which came first, the use of tools or the advent of agriculture. However, agriculture likely began with a simple observation of the type of weeds growing in the tribe's trash and bathroom area being the same plant as was collected for a few dinners the last time they were hunting and gathering in that area.
As the use of agriculture grew, populations grew right along with it, spreading throughout the world like a creeping vine. As cities grew larger and larger, an infrastructure was needed which lead to an increasingly complex society. This lead to more and more products needed to be produced for the people living in those cities and capitalism was right there supplying the means and incentive for people to produce goods for selling in the cities. This can be observed today in even in the biggest cities such as Bangkok, Thailand with their widely spread out "fresh markets" supplying food to the average citizen in Bangkok. The money that is spent on these goods funnels out of the city to where the crops are grown.
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There were, of course times of difficulty, mostly due to the decrease in the supply chain of the ever growing complex economic system. The difficult times mostly began with a shortage of food due to drought or other natural disaster, driving up food prices and causing an increasing in the price of everything eventually. These difficult times lead to some unrest among citizens, eventually leading to some experimentation of other economic systems, such as socialism. Socialism does not provide the incentives that the widely used capitalism has naturally and those experiments did not last very long. Even in difficult times our world populations continued to grow, mostly because the difficult times were not everywhere but limited to where there was an insufficient amount of rain or where the natural disaster took place.
The world population continued to grow like this for 10,000 years, being fueled by agriculture and capitalism supplying the means of distributing the wealth to those producing the goods. The population, as we all know is growing exponentially and by the 1700s the world population is estimated to have been approximately 8 hundred million people. In the early 1900s the population doubled to nearly one and a half billion, then doubling again by 1960 to three billion, with a population today of over six billion people.
In the last 100 years we have seen such an increase in population, it is unprecedented in the natural world. In the past 100 years we have had additional help besides agriculture and capitalism to aid in our living and growing, we have added technology. Technology requires fuels and resources such as petrochemicals to keep it growing and inventing new and more complex technology. This technology is increasing our production and distribution of agriculture products, feeding our increased population growth and also spreading the wealth to others, now around the world and between continents.
This has all happened while we were looking, in front of our noses. It isn't a bad thing, just something that has occurred. We did not notice it mostly because it happened to slowly, until recently. We are noticing it now because it effecting everything around us, including the weather. There is no arguing any more, global warming is happening because we are burning our natural resources at an unprecedented rate because our population has grown that way.
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Christopher Snyder is the Founder and Managing Director of Asia Products LLC and currently is living in Bangkok, Thailand.
He writes on a variety of topics including current events, politics, and travel ideas. He manages an e-commerce store buying products to sell on http://www.asiaproductsllc.com. He is documenting some of his more interesting travels in his Asia Travel Ideas website : http://www.apllc-connect.com.