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The Effect Of Capitalism On The Society Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 1708 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The effect of capitalism on the society and culture has been an issue of great discussion since the time it emerged in Europe as a form of economic system in late 18th century. This issue of impact of capitalism on the society is an exception in terms of economic perspectives.

In many ways, the cultural impacts outdo all other factors of the system. For the past two hundred or so years, Western civilization has been shaped by the impact of capitalism on the society. The impacts of capitalism on the culture are highly varied and therefore have created room for those who support the idea and also the detractors to challenge its bad effects.

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It is true that some aspects of society and culture can be seen to be as a result of capitalism. However, defining how and why an issue is said to be as a result of capitalism is quite necessary. Some of the major ideas connected to the study of the impacts of capitalism on the society and culture are beneficial, human, economical and desirable. The capitalist society has its backup on individual consolidation and ownership of the production means where the production of goods is directed by beneficial intention to fulfill human needs (Chapman, 2010).

The first effect of capitalism is that of promoting culture of work. Capitalism intends to encourage all people to participate in activities that appear beneficial to them. This is what is perceived by many people as capitalism’s most important attribute. Actually, this is a very important factor in the manner in which the system of capitalism has succeeded. A particular level, profit motive and competition that is encouraged the capitalist’s market system stimulates the system.

The motive to act is the main factor in various products that are made by the capitalist’s societies. In a manner that the capitalist system is functional, however, the reward is not usually proportional the process of contribution. In a number of ways, the capitalism system is a case of winner taking it all hence encouraging stiff competition. In this case, the person at the top is getting a fair share of the reward that was collected everyone. The winner pockets more than what he collects, with the hope getting more than what he has collected propelling the competition forward. It is obvious that could be perfectly fair because any one can become a winner. No one is discouraged or discriminated from participating. In this competition, the case is that an individual who collects a lot is proportionally rewarded with the biggest share. In that perspective, it appears fare. It is apparent however that the amount obtained by the winner is determined by the value collected by everyone else. The winner takes more than what he contributed as n individual and gets part of what the rest of the participants contributed. In the same way, working hard does not mean that one will win the contest because there are some elements of chance involved (Rosenberg, 1990).

Working hard is likely to increase the chance of anyone winning the competition. In the perspective of such a competition does a modern capitalism process enhance progress and create opportunities. It is also by the same fashion that capitalism promotes some form of “work ethic”, although not exact because it is hard for an individual to know exactly the amount of reward he or she has or the amount held by his competitor. At the end of the day, everyone believes that the amount of reward being given is the same amount they had collected. This makes the first place winner believe that he has collected he has collected all the prize not realizing that any gold has been taken from their contribution.

Apart from promoting the culture of work, capitalism can also promote the culture of desire. College textbooks define economics as “the study of individual choice in using limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants.” The market is limited by the number of thing that people want. This consequently creates a natural trend in the market system for those individuals who sell in the system to work so that they can increase the human need, leading to the development of the extra stronger needs hence expanding the market (Rosenberg, 1990).

Whereas marketing is a direct expression of the idea, it actually encompasses the whole culture and reflects individual attitudes, general entertainment, education system, government policy and religious values.

The coming up of the culture of desire led as a result of market capitalism has indeed been among the biggest transformation in the American society since its independence. A number of Native Americans believed in strict lifestyles with the Puritans being the most conspicuous example of this. The same Puritans never allowed dancing to take place and put on black attire and practiced cultural self denial. Of course, the Puritans were relatively in small groups particularly during the time of founding of the country.

Initially, the average American was comparatively reserve in the early times. It is apparent that America was not a capitalistic nation in the early times because people were self-sufficient. A number of communities and individuals provided for themselves their needs and wants in a direct manner without any regard to the market system. During the early times, America was mainly a family farming nation until the mid nineteenth century (Marable, 2000).

Consumer culture and advertising had become significant in the early twentieth century when the American capitalist economy started thriving. Later on consumer culture and advertising increased with the adoption of radio although it was not realistic until mid 20th century with much concern on the use of television and movies.

In terms of analysis, it is obvious that a rational need for a particular commodity has been enhanced by the industry itself. However, it is the overall consumerism culture that has a bigger influence. All the social and media practices that improve the desire are generally embraced by the capitalistic culture due to the promotion of the need itself even when it is not directly related to the a certain product, enhances the culture of consumerism and a significant portion of advertising is not related to the promotion of a particular product, but generally about promotion of the culture of desire (Friedrichs, 2009).

Emotional needs motivate animals to participate in acts needed for survival and procreation in the natural world. Human needs have developed for millions of years in an environment with fewer resources with strong motivations required to provide action in the face of risk.

With the upcoming of human civilization, people have managed to alter the environment make resources that were hard to obtain in the ordinary world much easier to get. This has been taking place very fast over the last ten thousand years or so, with the capacity of people to obtain these resources faster has continued to increase with time. The same stimulating factor is present in the man’s brain today as it was millions of years ago when the hominids were working hard to survive (Marable, 2000).

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This is for instance the reason why people nowadays have a strong affiliation to fatty food. Fats are historically scarce resources for people to get and are extremely high in terms of energy provision. The need for fats made people to look for resources that were very beneficial to their survival in a natural perspective and to choose the resources against alternatives when there was a decision to be undertaken (Friedrichs, 2009).

It is very important to remind ourselves that economics is the study of individual choice in connection to limited resources. Fatty foods in America today are not scarce resources. In terms of making a decision, people are mainly forced by their needs to choose fatty foods over others even if the choice for such is not rational. Such acts have resulted in the capitalistic market economy concentrating on marketing and production of fatty foods which they can sell easily to people because of the instinctive desire they have. The culture resulting from marketing feeds on these works and needs to make them more (Pells, 1998).

Traditionally, many religions have come up because of the effort to limit the overloading of the normal needs for selfish gains. The setting free and deepening of human passion and the need creates the desire, and that the same demand moves the goods off shelf to satisfy those needs, hence making profit for the sellers. Commercialization of sexuality, because sex is a basic human need, is the initial result of capitalistic market structure.

There is a direct marketing of sexuality. However, sexual cues are also highly linked to non-sexual goods in capitalistic economies. By relating sexual signals with goods like cars for instance, the biological need is stimulated. People tend to believe that some products can be achieved by behaving in certain manner.

Perhaps the marketing of sexuality to teenagers is the most controversial good of the capitalistic system. Since sex is among the highly primal and strongest forms of need, sexuality is one of the very effective tools hence highly sexually active culture is very open general consumerism. Therefore, capitalism encourages a highly sexually charged society (Pells. 1998).

During the puberty stage, people are highly influenced by the marketing of sexual nature. This form of marketing aims at influencing the preteens and teenagers with very sexual media. This is not just in the perspectives of adverts, but all forms of media including stories, books and music. People are highly influenced by things they see and would want to imitate them and see the consequences of the same things when applied in real life situation. Without capitalism, the society would have experienced a different form of life that is full of limitation. Capitalism has enabled people to choose independently what they want for themselves without considering the moral perspectives related to such systems of lifestyles.


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