While capitalism is prevailing in the modern society, the issue on whether an amoral profit driven capitalist system is good for the society or not has been raised. Some believe that an amoral capitalist system is the best way to organize individuals together to serve the society. However, others argue that a amoral capitalist system will harm the society instead of benefit it. In this essay, I will be presenting the view of two neoclassical economists, Ricky Griffin and Adam Smith, who support the idea on the amoral capitalism is good for the society. I will also discuss the opposing view presented by Arthur Miller that suggests a profit drive, amoral capitalist system will do harm to a society . Furthermore, I am going to compare and contrast the two view and concluded with Miller’s view Capitalism encourages business men to make profitable amoral decisions will not benefit our society.
While Griffin, Smith and Miller are holding two significantly different views, they both agree on capitalism is an amoral system. According to Griffin, profit is the only incentive for any business to operate under a capitalist system. Smith, father of capitalism, shows his understanding of amoral capitalism by saying, “We address our self, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but to their advantages. ” (Smith 119) This quote clearly illustrates that people would act out of their own interest instead of considering others under capitalism. Further, Miller compare this amoral capitalism with uncivilized animals when the character, Christ, says “This is a land of great big dogs, you don’s love a man here, out eat him! ...the world is that way...This is a zoo, a zoo!” (Miller p81) Although with a negative feeling and view, Miller believes capitalism is amoral just as much as Griffin and Smith do. Moreover, Miller suggests capitalism can force people to make amoral, profitable decision because capitalist system is an amoral profit driven system. Smith seem to a agree on Miller’s view on some degree.
Many capitalists assert the profitable decisions are efficient, and efficiency will benefit society. Adam Smith claims that “a society’s interests are best served by private enterprise--allowing individual within that society to pursue their own interests...” (Griffin p21) In the business context, “pursue their own interest” is best describe as maximizing the profits of their own companies. Griffin and Smith believe that encouraging business to maximizing profit will benefit society in two ways. First of all, business will try their best to produce large amount of goods and service for profits because profits are a very strong incentive to individuals within a materialistic society. Furthermore, due to the fact that every business is trying to maximizing profits, competition will arise between the businesses. In order for businesses to success, business men have to make very efficient decisions and outperform others. Therefore, by being an strong incentive and creating competition amount and businesses, maximizing profit help to society achieve a greater efficiency and create sufficient goods and service. And both Griffin and Smith imply that an amoral, self-interest, profit driven system is the salient support for individual to make profits maximizing decision.
Miller, on the other hand, disagree with Smith and Griffin. Miller argues that encourage business men to make only profitable decisions will not serve our society, because what is good for the business is not equal to what is good for the society. In Miller’s play, he expresses his opinion by using a central conflicts that is created by Joe Keller ships out hundreds and twenty cracked cylinder heads to sustain his business, but also results the death of twenty one pilots. Miller uses his play to demonstrate a profitable decision, ships out cracked cylinder heads, is not consist with the social interest of helping the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document