A Balanced Economic State Essay Research Paper

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A Balanced Economic State Essay, Research Paper Adam Phillips Angel Kegley Dawn Nunn Brian Brisson SOCIALISM In a socialist society the means of production are owned by the workers rather than by a rich minority of capitalists or functionaries. Such a system of ownership is both collective and individual in nature. It is collective because society can control production unlike the economic anarchy of capitalism and because production is for the common good rather than for individual profit. At the same time it is individual because workers are no longer a ‘collective’ mob of alienated non-owners employed by a minority of owners. Work becomes a free and self-affirming activity for each worker and they receive the full fruits of their labor. The capitalists and their

servants no longer control production nor grow rich from other’s toil. Everybody is an owner. Socialism is genuine free enterprise. The personally empowering and cooperative nature of socialist ownership underpins similar changes in other aspects of life. Socialism means far healthier individuals and human relationships. It means full participation by each individual in the intellectual, cultural and political life of society. Socialism requires a revolution with three main stages: firstly the emergence of a workers’ movement committed to socialist revolution, secondly the achievement of political power and the expropriation of the capitalists and thirdly a period during which workers learn how to be owners and rulers and cast off the psychological and ideological dross of

the past. Socialism will not be an utopia simply created in people’s minds. It will be the product of economic and social development. In developed countries it is now possible for everyone to live a reasonably affluent life and be free of long hours of routine toil. This creates a better basis for cooperation and mutual regard. Historically, where equality would have meant shared poverty, it was inevitable that a minority would plunder, enslave and exploit the majority. At the same time rank and file workers are progressively acquiring through their experiences, the abilities to do without an elite. Their general level of education and training has advanced significantly over the last couple of generations. The work they do, while still totally oppressive, has an increasingly

mental and conceptual content. And they now have extensive access to cultural and intellectual resources and the diverse experiences of living in a modern society. So while socialism was impossible in the past, these emerging conditions make it inevitable in the future. CAPITALISM One will recall from the “Aquinas” document that Aquinas added some new dimensions to such ideas as wealth, trade, and the taking of interest. Wealth was no longer “unjust” if that wealth was used to maintain one’s station in life. Interest could be taken if the lender could prove that he had suffered some loss, or if it could be shown that the borrower was a higher then normal risk. This amendment to the idea of usury is how many of us think of interest, it is a payment to a lender because

there is a chance that the borrower will not be pay off the loan. Trade was looked down upon by Aristotle and Plato, but Aquinas recognized that trade was not “bad”, although he did say that it would be easy for a trader to abuse the system to gain great amounts of wealth.(Gray 46) One other point about Aquinas that I would like to comment on is the way in which his thinking about the complimentarily of faith and reason is evidenced in his idea about usury. Aquinas believed that faith informed people that the taking of interest was “wrong”. The Bible claims that it is “wrong” to take interest, hence one should not take interest. But Aquinas believed that faith claims could be further justified by reason. Aquinas then takes up the Aristotlelian argument that the taking