This article will focus on some of the disagreements between capitalists and socialists, the debate will be located in a loose general framework between these two viewpoints and illustrate a couple of the most common propositional and counterarguments in the discourse. The core of the capitalist doctrine will be defined as the belief that the means of production and distribution should be owned privately in order to gain profit: private ownership and free enterprise are believed to lead to more efficiency, lower prices, better products and rising prosperity 1/2. Socialism will be stipulated as a theory which advocates that ownership and control of the means of production should belong to the community for the common good: under these premises the community is assumed to be both more just and humane3.
That capitalism is the presiding economic system of today's world is indisputable, however the fact that it is dominant does not necessarily imply that it also is the supreme. The 20th century has been marked by fierce debates challenging or justifying the validity of capitalism; world powers have disagreed and still disagree about the benefits and drawbacks of the system and the dispute's considerable consequences can amongst others be felt through the relics of the cold war4/5. According to many the question was settled with the dismantlement of the Soviet Union in the late 1980's, it ostensibly seemed that the capitalist system had proven its victory over socialism when compared to the economic failures and horrors of the former Soviet countries6. However, despite a dip in interest during the late 80's and 90's, the debate has not lost its relevance and was vividly revived with the 2008 financial crisis; due to the crisis' severe consequences of mass-unemployment there was a renewed urge in questioning the validity of the western capitalist economic system7/8. The debate's importance and actuality cannot be stressed enough as it has a force which can re-/shape the very fundamental cornerstones of our society.
8 Kunkel, B. (2011). How Much Is Too Much? Benjamin Kunkel, 9-14.
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