Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 22, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY


Capitalism Ain’t Really All About the Green, Man.

After taking Power: Class, Gender, and Race with Zillah Einstein and Contemporary Sociological issues, I have basically heard every argument for and against capitalism in our society. The conclusion that I have come to is that capitalism cannot be sustainable. Capitalism is about gaining a profit through competition.  The focus is on the individual’s wants and goals, which in excess can put people in hostile relationships with each other, and with the environment.

This was exemplified in my Biology Lab when we did an experiment called “The Commons Game”.  We all were family fisherman with varying expenses that needed to be paid through these fishing profits. The profits made depended on how many families fished sustainably and how many families over exploited the ecosystem. The want to make a higher profit than the other families fueled the beginning of this game. But as we slowly crashed the fish ecosystem, people continued to exploit out of the need to survive. Within twenty rounds, my class was able to completely crash the entire ecosystem. Pretty impressive.

What I am trying to point out is that competition and profit, though sometimes a good thing, has to be monitored if we stick with the system of capitalism. However, even if it is monitored, capitalism could never be considered sustainable.