Is capitalism a special form of slavery?

When you see all the poverty in Third-World countries while the elite grow fat, it’s hard to deny. It is us, the Western World, that takes resources from the poor countries, and pay next to nothing to the workers. Having 9,500 children dying each day of starvation, with few lifting a finger to help, is nothing less than barbaric on the part of capitalists. Child laborers are common, with nobody caring enough to stop this awful crime.

Meh. Not sure you are up to date. Things are getting better (incrementally):

"The rich are getting richer and so are the poor. Sort of.

When measured as a percentage of the world’s population living on less than $2 a day, the numbers of people in extreme poverty is now less than 10% for the first time in history, according to World Bank report released on Sunday. The Bank said in its statement on the website that the numbers provided evidence that a quarter-century-long sustained reduction in poverty is moving the world closer to the goal of ending poverty by 2030.

The Bank uses an updated international poverty line of $1.90 a day, which incorporates new information on differences in the cost of living across countries. The World Bank projects that global poverty will have fallen from 902 million people or 12.8% of the global population in 2012 to 702 million people, or 9.6% of the global population, this year."


Can capitalism be “at the service of human freedom in its totality”?

With the wealthiest defining and limiting the circumscription of economic freedom, we will always find abuse and injustice, in my opinion.

"Returning now to the initial question: can it perhaps be said that, after the failure of Communism, capitalism is the victorious social system and that capitalism should be the goal of the countries now making efforts to rebuild their economy and society? Is this the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress?

“The answer is obviously complex. If by ‘capitalism’ is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a “business economy”, “market economy” or simply “free economy”. But if by “capitalism” is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative.” (42)

If you want to read a brilliant discourse on capitalism I recommend G. K. Chesterton’s The Outline of Sanity, also What’s Wrong with the World.

It’s not capitalism that is evil, it’s the hoarding of capital that is, and the enslavement of people into big business and big government, which Chesterton called “hudge and gudge.” He’s quite witty and makes tremendously good sense. :wink:


It is capitalism that makes slavery unnecessary by creating the means of production that make slavery uneconomic.

We did not abolish slavery in the USA because we became better people than before; we abolished it because the steam engine and mechanization made it beside the point (and because the Rebs got their tails handed to them). If the down-to-nature collapse some people want were ever to occur, we would see slavery again.

It is capitalism that makes mechanization possible.


Capitalism is not slavery. Capitalism provides opportunities for anyone to succeed. This can even be true in poor countries.

If not capitalism, what would you recommend?

Humanitarianism, which is backed by the Gospels and often endorsed by Pope Francis.

Let’s see. That would be us, the evil capitalists, giving MONEY and assistance to underdeveloped countries in a humanitarian way and the governing heads of those countries pocketing the funds in the name of humanitarianism and letting the people starve and holding out their hands for more??? Just asking?

Capitalism, strictly speaking, is no system at all. It’s just what people would do if free to do it. The real question is the degree to which human conduct should be regulated; their freedom curtailed. Clearly, there are levels of curtailment with which all would agree, e.g., making Ponzi schemes illegal, market monopolies, unsafe banking.

But beyond the basics, then what? Total state control of the means of production? Total state ownership of capital? That’s what people really do argue about even though they usually don’t know it. To what degree do we put curbs on human nature.


Can’t exist when you have central banks that create the exchange mechanisms (extend credit, regulate margins, set interest rates, etc.) necessary to conduct business. They can do quite a lot of damage in determining winners and losers without any help from the governments.

Why do you attribute these things to capitalism? Why do you think they are unique to capitalism? And why do you think the world is capitalist?

Why is capitalism defined as the current US economy ignoring the fact that all manner of regulatory law has been enacted since it was ever first called capitalist? When would the US cease to be capitalist?

I think capitalism is the best tool for lifting people out of poverty. If there is exploitation in the economy it is not due to capitalism since exploitation exists in other systems.

I agree with you except in saying the Confederates got their tails handed to them. They fought nobly and lost to an army that was willing to burn down whole cities. They lost to a Union army that chose to act as merciless war criminals.

How Do We Evangelize?

Excerpt from *Go and Make Disciples:
A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States.
We cannot really talk about the “ordinary” life of the Church because all of it is the graced gift of the Holy Spirit. Yet there are familiar ways by which evangelization happens: by the way we live God’s love in our daily life; by the love, example, and support people give each other; by the ways parents pass faith on to their children; in our life as Church, through the proclamation of the Word and the wholehearted celebration of the saving deeds of Jesus; in renewal efforts of local and national scope; in the care we show to those most in need; and in the ways we go about our work, share with our neighbors, and treat the stranger. In daily life, family members evangelize each other; men and women, their future spouses; and workers, their fellow employees, by the simple lives of faith they lead. Through the ordinary patterns of our Catholic life, the Holy Spirit brings about conversion and a new life in Christ.

I think we can all agree, there may be a better alternative to capitalism, after all, in this world, GREED is the number one priority, something God is totally against.

Capitalism is the system that fuels the super greed related to the Christmas holiday, IDK about anyone else, but Id say God probably does not appreciate all the secular companies taking such advantage of a christian holiday for the sake of greed. Does anyone really believe God is totally ok with this?

It will be interesting to see what kind of system Jesus puts in place when he returns though!

After He returns, we will not be earthly beings, and will not need an economy. Economics is the management of scarcity, driven by human need, but the pneumatikon soma has no need.


It certainly can be, but it’s not always the case. In the words of Servant of God Dorothy Day “there can be a Christian capitalism as there can be a Christian communism”. Certain economic systems can be acceptable if they are modified to the moral guidance of Catholic social doctrine. Capitalism can certainly be an acceptable economic system, but “pure” capitalism/economic liberalism, meaning the principle that government can NEVER intervene in the economy in principle is wrong because it puts property rights above the lives of the poor. I myself admire the idea of laissez-faire, but only on a practical level, and I would definitely not say a certain tax would be wrong if it was the only way to give a person a decent life. However, that situation is merely a hypothetical, and no current capitalist system is completely unregulated. Another definition of capitalism is the Marxist one, in which it is described as a system based on the exploitation of the proletariat wage workers by the bourgeois owners. Any system that is inherently based on exploitation is of course wrong and practicing capitalism in this format is indefensible. So, to conclude: capitalism, depending on how you define or practice it, can be either justifed or a form of slavery.

And that alternative is?

Some form of socialism. I don’t think capitalism will last another couple of centuries. Our productive ability has already outgrown this economic system. We easily have the productive power to ensure that everyone on Earth lives a decent life materially, but capitalism prevents this from being realized. Capitalists aren’t going to produce more than the market can consume, which means that capitalism essentially enforces scarcity, and it’s not as if what the market is capable of consuming actually represents people’s needs. We need a centrally planned needs-based economy, and to get rid of the market altogether.

Capitalism is an economic system that inherently relies on the exploitation of the labour of others for some to make a profit, but it isn’t a form of slavery.

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