Can a capitalist government ever eradicate poverty?

Analysis of capitalism and criticism of capitalism

Capitalism, as Schumpeter said, is a “machine of mass production, which inevitably also means production for the masses.” Whatever one might think of this system: No other economic system solves the problem of providing the population with more and more consumer goods to take care of, better. As it stands, however, the increase in prosperity is accompanied by material inequality, fluctuating levels of unemployment and constantly recurring economic crises. First, the article turns to the main features of modern capitalism. In a second step, the change in shape of capitalism will be discussed. Subsequently, the polyphonic criticism of this economic system is examined. It was not only social criticism, but also cultural criticism. The article closes with an outlook on the future of this economic system and outlines conceivable but unlikely reforms, the realization of which would lead to an economic form beyond the existing one.

 

The content

Introduction • Basic features of modern capitalism • Phases of capitalist development • Capitalism under criticism • Future perspectives

 

The target groups

All those interested in economic and social policy • Lecturers, students of economics and social sciences

 

The author

From 1989 to 2004, Johannes Berger was Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim.

Keywords

Crises wage labor modern capitalism inequality economic growth

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1. Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany

About the authors

From 1989 to 2004, Johannes Berger was Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim.

Bibliographic information