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Coexistence Of Capitalism And Democracy, Tension Between Capitalism And Democracy

1761 words - 7 pages

We live in a globalize society, where economy and politic are intertwined, creating tensions in our society. Question is, what caused these two spheres to combine together, how they are combined together to create tensions and when did the combination happen? According to Eric Hobsbawm, in "The Age of Empire", he argues that fusion between economies and politic appeared in modern empire or he refers as the "New Imperialism" during 1875 to 1914, marking World War I and Russian Revolution as a turning point. He said "A world economy whose pace was set by its developed or developing capitalist core was extremely likely to turn into a world in which the advanced dominated backward and the era from 1875 to 1914 may be called the age of empire because it developed a new kind of imperialism". (Hobsbawm: p.56) Despite the fact that the notion of "Empire" can be trace back all the way to Roman Empire, the difference between old empire and new imperialism is that in old empire, capitalism did not exist or if it did, it existed in small scale bounded by the empire's territory. However, in new imperialism, capitalism appeared in a large scale that was not limited to the empire's territory but expanded beyond its territory and became an external and international affair between states, which required political attention. In addition, According to Hobsbwam, it was during this period that economy and politic was combined together, which inevitably lead to tensions between the two spheres. However, it seems that this fusion have appeared in else where as well, which leads to my argument that the fusion and tensions between economy and politic appeared during the European conquest in Africa prior to World War I. And to make this argument, I am going to discuss the basic principles of economic and political system that were practiced during the European conquest in Africa; Capitalism and Democracy and how the combination of economy and politic played a significant role during the European conquest in Africa. The finally, analyze the tensions between capitalism and democracy and how the tensions were relevant during the period of conquest.Before making any statements, basic principles of capitalism and democracy must be drawn out. First of all, the concept of capitalism emerged from a political ideology known as "Feudalism". One of the main characteristics of capitalism is the notion of "private property" and the notion of "contract". Under these principles, any men were allowed or have equal rights to own a property. Also the notion of contract allows a property less to enter into a contract with a property owner in order to make wage based on labour provided by the property less. This transformation from feudalism to capitalism triggered the idea of individualism, which leads to expansion of individual rights. In theory, this transformation also allowed emancipation of working class, where labour is free to leave feudal responsibility and servitude to find own...

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