Are Democracy And Capitalism Compatible Essay

2440 words - 10 pages

In contemporary times, the rise of capitalism as a dominant economic trend and its ravenous demand to accumulate sources from new markets, has led to the idea of merging political and economic power into one, which is democratic capitalism or otherwise illustrated as “a system where markets allocate income according to efficiency while governments redistribute income according to political demand."(Iversen, 2006). The advancements mentioned earlier, have given ground for questions concerning the possible compatibility of the political ideology which is democracy and the economic ideology capitalism and how would they affect one another. This mergence could be examined in recent times, whereas in the past around the start of the nineteenth century it was considered as inappropriate and unlikely to happen. This paper aims to demonstrate to what degree are democracy and capitalism compatible, by examining the various areas of conflict of the two ideologies, how has capitalism affected the democratic system in the United States and does actually global capitalism have an impact on the developing countries democracies.
One of the scholars who didn’t support the idea of a mergence between capitalism and democracy was the famous Karl Marx, who thought that it either wouldn’t happen or if it did it would have evaporated quickly. In his work he portrayed his opinion on capitalist democracy as ‘only the political form of revolution of bourgeois society and not its conservative form of life.” On the arena of politics it appears to be that there are numerous moments of clashes between both the economic ideology capitalism and the political ideology democracy and this is an opinion stated by various scholars including Karl Marx. According to wide range of ideologies from the mid nineteenth century democracy was perceived as an unavoidable menace. A different scholar named James Madison believed that “democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” (Przeworski, 2004)
Another view on liberal democratic capitalism is described by Bowles and Gintis who believe this is a system of conflicting rule which gives power to the few through property right and gives power to the many through citizen rights. (Bowles and Gintis, 1990). By examining the way capitalist democracy has functioned through history it becomes evident that there is a contradiction between the working class and minorities who fought for civil right and the capitalist class which used economic power and fought for property rights. The end result is best described by a scholar named Howard Sherman which is a “formal equality, as in the civil rights acts of the 1960s, but actual continuing inequality for workers, women, and minorities."(Sherman, 1990). In the works of H. Sherman, he examines the parallel growth of the two previously mentioned types of rights. From one point of view the citizen...

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