Laissez-Faire Capitalism vs. Modified Market Capitalism
by Rit Nosotro
Which has Biblical support?
Contrast Laissez- Faire Capitalism with Modified Market Capitalism.
Over the years capitalism has been influenced by religious and evolutionary thought just as it has taken on different forms and variations. Some forms of capitalism bear absolutely no resemblance to each other while others are quite similar. Two forms that are quite opposite in their approach to capitalism and philosophy are Laissez- Faire capitalism and Modified Market capitalism. Before beginning a discussion of these forms of capitalism, however, a definition of capitalism itself would be helpful. Capitalism is defined as being an economic system based on private ownership of capital. With this definition it is easier to proceed to the definitions of Laissez-Faire and Modified Market capitalism.
Laissez-Faire is defined as being an economic doctrine that opposes governmental regulation of or interference in commerce beyond the minimum necessary for a free-enterprise system to operate according to its own economic laws. A true believer in Laissez-Faire capitalism would believe in the separation of economy and state. The place where complete Laissez-Faire capitalism fails, however, is in mankind’s own greed and desire for riches. This often results in those who are stronger repressing those who are weaker. One could say this shows evidence of an influence of Darwinism in the formation of Laissez-Faire capitalism. The process of natural selection or “survival of the fittest” can be applied to business to justify immoral and illegal business practices, and this was done in America in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. In Christianity, however, we bear responsibility to our fellow man and not just ourselves.
Modified Market capitalism, by contrast, controls the human desire for riches and greed through more regulation than the “let alone” philosophy of Laissez-Faire capitalism. By taking into account the fact that those who are stronger will try to oppress those who are weaker, Modified Market capitalism controls the economy and thus, society, with stronger regulation. In fact, there is no country in the world that practices Laissez-Faire capitalism. All governments regulate the merges and monopolies of companies.
Darwinism has run rampant in business throughout history. “Robber baron” capitalists such as John D. Rockefeller have often either forsaken Christianity or adjusted it to contain their evolutionist ideas of “survival of the fittest”. Rockefeller once even said “growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest…the working out of a law of nature…” Even today, Darwinism persists in business. In 1996 Corporate Darwinism by Robert Blake and Robert Rogers attempted to apply Darwinism to business by saying that the larger will swallow the smaller in the corporate world and all corporations evolve according to very specific patterns. However, Darwinism in the corporate world inherently destroys the economy and social structure of the country or area in which it is practiced. Ruthless capitalism creates a drastic imbalance of wealth and widens the gap between the rich and poor. It can also create an attitude of acceptance about problems such as racism, war, and sexism. Ruthless capitalism combined with Darwinism goes strictly against Biblical teachings such as “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.” (Proverbs 23.19) and “…or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me…” (Jeremiah 9:23) Also the parable of the good Samaritan illustrates how instead of always seeking for our own financial advancement we have a duty to help out those in need. This happened in the form of organizations such as the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.
Religion, however much the secular world may try to erase it, will always have an impact on economics in world culture and community. From the ruthless, Darwin based, capitalism of the pre-Depression era in America to temperate capitalism practiced on Biblical principles, religion retains its inextricable ties to economics.
Multiple Choice Questions
1. Capitalism is _____.
a) an economic system based on private ownership of capital
b) a social system
c) a religion
d) a new branch of Catholicism
2. Laissez-Faire capitalism is ____.
a) capitalism with many regulations and rules
b) a French term for bread sales
c) an economic doctrine that opposes government regulation or interference in commerce
d) an economic doctrine that favors government regulation
3. Modified Market capitalism controls which of the following:
a) human desire for riches
c) the economy and commerce
d) all of the above
4. How many countries in the world practice Laissez-Faire capitalism?
Anderson, Kerby http://www.probe.org/docs/bib-econ.html
Bergman, Jerry Ph.D. http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3ac2495d2220.htm
Blake, Robert and Rogers, Robert Corporate Darwinism
Capitalism Magazine www.capitalism.org copyright 2003- 1996
Landauer, Jeff and Rowlands, Joseph http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/Politics_LaissezFaire.html copyright 2001
Werner, Lucas C. http://www.geocities.com/agorazyprexa/capitalism.htm
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