• pbxman
    39
    When morality and ethics is a problem to a great deal of people is it safe to assume that capitalism rewards those individuals with no empathy or remorse who are good at emulating to have them?

    e.g. Stock brokers who invest in corporations who pollute the environment, sell weapons to terrorists or invest in medical companies who won't research any cure to diseases because they are making large profits out them, politicians who make business out of wars, or investors for private prisons who are making profits out of people going to jail during crisis times.
  • Sayon Liberty
    11
    A capitalist system provides incentives for behavior that can be considered psychopathic.

    Any system that allows exploitation for profit without providing a greater/easier/equal way to obtain profit not based in exploitation will do the same.

    If capitalism is a game that rewards but does not punish (a secret) lack of ethics and punishes but does not reward those with ethics then undoubtedly it is a safe assumption to say that Capitalism rewards "individuals with no empathy or remorse who are good at emulating to have them".
  • Marchesk
    4.6k
    The question is do these sorts of behaviors not occur in other economic systems?
  • Sayon Liberty
    11
    I imagine they would occur, unless there is an economic system that makes it as easy/easier to satiate desires (while abstaining from psychopathic behavior).
  • Devans99
    2.7k
    Capitalism is very short term focused at the moment. All about making a quick buck and with little thought for the long term. But long term > short term so it's all mistaken thinking - long term planning is required.

    If we had a 10 year share ownership rule (IE once you buy, you have to hold for 10 years and collect dividend) that would encourage share holders to think long term and companies would have to start to plan and execute better for the long term.
  • BC
    13.3k
    As a system, capitalism is remorseless. Of course, it is a system not a person; but actual persons who are not inconvenienced by excessive feelings of remorse run it. Psychopaths have their uses.

    Psychopathy exists on a continuum; some psychopaths are a lot more psychopathic than others. A CEO who is slightly psychopathic will probably be more successful than one who is too empathetic, because he will not be bothered too much by firing 3000 people before Christmas to improve the profitability of the company. A field commander who can order troops into a pointless battle (and likely death) has to have a little psychopathy to live with himself.

    The psychopath who is willing to sell nuclear parts to terrorists is on another level altogether, just like the serial killer isn't like the once-in-a-lifetime murderer.

    Very large, powerful organizations are more amenable to psychopathy than small ones. A storefront food shelf probably won't house a psychopath, but the hierarchy of the Catholic Church might (some of the hierarchy seem at least somewhat depraved). Corporations around the world are likely the happy homes of more than a few psychopathic types. And then there are your gangs, drug cartels, terrorist organizations...
  • Nils Loc
    1.3k
    Part of the problem is that the entire production process behind goods and services is usually hidden. As consumers we enjoy the fruits of the market in blissful ignorance. We're all partly to blame for allowing this to happen.

    There is a great series of food documentaries on Netflix called Rotten, detailing corruption in agricultural markets. In a section on garlic there is footage of a Chinese prison where inmates are forced to hand peel an absurd quota of garlic by threat of physical force. It was suggested that this garlic actually makes it onto American supermarket shelves via an American garlic cartel which has pushed most out of market by competitive pricing and its global network ties. Similarly there is some privately owned water draining basin in California which enables a monopoly by unfair access to the resource and is connected to the success of The Wonderful Company (they own Fiji water and POMwonderful for example).

    A lower price buts pressure on all competitors, which then pushes the bottom line often to the detriment of human labor.
  • ssu
    8.2k
    The question is do these sorts of behaviors not occur in other economic systems?Marchesk
    Exactly.

    Especially when you think about the historical alternative to capitalism, the autocratic central planned economies of socialism. If something structurally lacked empathy or basically ways to take into account the wants of the consumer, it has to be that universally failed system. But as the Soviet system exists just on the pages of history, it is totally unknown to many now.
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