A crash course in changing the world.
EDOARDO SIMONE PALUAN 03/11/09
Is the Capitalist system failing, (bound to fail)?
Capitalism and the social awareness of something which is becoming a myth.
is an economic system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by
private owners for profit, rather than by the State”
I will start off this debate by posing a question to the class; do you believe you should get what you deserve? I believe the answer is really quite obvious, of
course. If you work for an hour, two hours, or three hours, you would expect to
be payed accordingly.
Coming back to the essence of the debate: ‘Is the Capitalist system failing the
majority (bound to fail)?’.
I believe that debating such a topic would be highly unfruitful, who am I to
say if Capitalism works or doesn’t work, who am I to say that a certain system
would be better than another one? Esteemed professors and PHD graduates have
not managed to find alternatives to every single flaw they found with
humanity’s ways to control its wealth, I will certainly not presume I can.
There is something upon which I can debate on, being an Italian, and I hope I
can contribute to this infinitely big debate in a very small manner, but at
least in a manner which doesn’t pretend to sway you all on my side of the
debate. What I hope to achieve in explaining my views is that you have missed
something very important, all of you, the ones arguing for the motion and those
arguing against the motion. As a beginning I would like to know from you when
was Capitalism first invented? Some may say it was in the 20th century,
some may say in 1776 when Adam Brooks wrote down the laws of the market, but in
my opinion Capitalism dates way back. In my opinion it dates back to the
Renaissance. Before the Renaissance, there were rich families, kings emperors
who used their money to make castles and to raise troops, so calling this
Capitalism in my opinion would not be correct. Capitalism is the acc**ulation
of capital. During the Renaissance many of the famous Italian families; The
Medici, the Sforza, the Estensi and dozens others, acc**ulated huge amounts of
money. To give you an idea of how glorious and prosperous Italy was you only
have to look at Venice, which had an annual income greater than that of Paris
and London put together. What I am trying to get to is that Capitalism was
already a living reality during that period of time. Yet, when I ask people in
which century would they live in if they were to travel in the past, they all
respond either in the Roman times, or in the Renaissance. How is this possible?
One was an Empire and the other was a system based on Capitalism, the same very
monster which millions of people are trying to flee from.
Is this diversity in opinion caused by a change which has occurred? Could the
Renaissance form of Capitalism have changed so much that now we only behold a
distorted system which is nothing comparable to its noble predecessor? I
As a matter of fact I believe that this monster has taken such a powerful grip over us that we cannot even imagine a world free of its evil, because we believe it is a
power to do good. I am referring to money. What is money? Money is the way in
which everything we create or have can be given a rating according to its
value. It is a way to express something in a global currency involving numbers.
Thank God! It would be highly confusing to say I want a new cell-phone I will
pay you in a dozen bottles of deodorant, or I will buy those eggs from you by
giving you a pair of shoes. With money we manage to give the person we are
buying from something which they need, because money can be converted into
anything. In itself Money is a great invention. What we have made of it makes
it an abhor to human intelligence.
Money has become the centre, the focal point the only goal to which humanity aspires. Money is nowadays acc**ulated to what purpose? To make more money. We work , with
what goal? To gain more money. We invest, with what goal? To make more money.
We build horrid things which spoil the landscape and which are ruining the
lives of thousands, for what? To make more money. People everywhere are measuring their huge
deposits, millions and millions of dollars, just sitting there in a bank
acc**ulating over the course of the years.
Money has become a monster, a monster which is growing evermore and which
knows no end, because there is no limitation to the amount of money which you
can possess. You gain more money, you sack employees by the thousands when
money is needed, with the risk that these employees commit suicide. We see it
every day in the news, a society which glorifies money, to the detriment of the
human spirit. We have placed money above man in the ladder of importance. This
I believe is deeply immoral and socially wrong. We are placing something which
we ourselves created to help us, into something which is destroying us and is
suffocating us. I see around me bridges, roads, hotels, houses, I see around me
something disgusting, something which is a revulsion to the eye. If I go in
Piazza Duomo or in any of the major
Piazzas in Italy, I can see the grandeur of Capitalism, Churches, majestic
statues, buildings which make you feel proud of what you are and which elevate
the spirit. If I look at Capitalism now, I see a wh*** set of numbers,
sometimes green sometimes red, which don’t leave anything precious, anything
worth looking at for the future generations, save a set of green and red
During the Renaissance mecenatism was at the order of the day, painters, sculptors and geniuses extinguished the huge stacks of money which the powerful families got
hold of, to the favour of a never
equalled proliferation of the Arts and of Culture. The human and his
intellect was placed in the centre of attention, the notion of what was
beautiful to the eye, and not what was beautiful to the purse was sovereign.
Nowadays anything we do has got an economical end to it. Name me one profession
nowadays which do not base themselves upon the continuous creation of money. It
is a mentality based upon the ever flourishing acc**ulation of money. Imagine
how many beautiful things could be made if instead of keeping towers of money
in banks which collapse every twenty years or so. I can sense it in you now,
the native human thought of creation an urge to spend and invest in something
which may not be profitable, but yet still worthwhile. We cannot believe that something may yet well
be worth investing in unless it has a profitable outcome. I ask you now, do you
think that Lorenzo De Medici had any restrictions on the amount of money he
dedicated to his army of painters, thinkers and sculptors? At that time there
was a real competition between rival families, a competition which led to the
creation of all things beautiful. Now we are in competition to own the greatest
number paper banknotes.
After this short debate in which I hope to have expanded the effects and the
drawbacks of any system which is economically based. I would like to finish off by coming back to
what I asked at the beginning of the
debate: do you believe you should get what you deserve? You all said yes, what I would like to know
is what have you done to deserve sitting here in a private school and getting
an education which other much more deserving children around the world deserve
far more? I believe that this should be enough o reflect upon
I will start this debate off by quoting a text which I directly found on the internet:
“Capitalism is the 20th century’s victorious economical and
political ideal, having proven that a Communist way of life is impossible. Capitalism
is a form of economic order characterized by private ownership of the means of
production and the freedom of private owners to use, buy and sell their
property or services on the market at voluntarily agreed prices and terms, with
only minimal interference with such transactions by the state or other
authoritative third parties. In the centre of this system there is an
everlasting notion of profit.
Communism on the other hand, is an ideology based on the communal ownership of all property and a classless social structure, with economic production and distribution to
be directed and
regulated by means of an authoritative economic plan that supposedly embodies the
interests of the community as a wh***.”
So far so good, you might say. If you do then you haven’t listened properly, or you have no knowledge whatsoever of the difference between an economical system
and a political one. As a matter of fact, in the definition of the word
CAPITALISM we are saying that it is a form of economic order. The definition of
the word COMMUNISM is as said an ideology based upon the communal ownership of
all property and a classless social structure. This would be the POLITICAL
I have started this debate off like this because I would like you to recognize
that COMMUNISM is not an alternative to CAPITALISM, simply because it can’t be,
and all of you who believe it is, are comparing an economical system with a political
one, which is wrong, it would be like comparing salt to sugar, or black to
white, in short your non-recognition of the impossibility to compare COMMUNISM
to CAPITALISM would mean that you are ready to debate over something which is
In doing so, this debate is closed even before it has begun.
Lets focus our attention on the subject matter,
“The Capitalist system is failing the
majority of people”
Yet again we are faced with a very hard statement to prove correct. Why? Because we are all fairly rich and we are all
enjoying the benefits of Capitalism. I myself would have to disagree with this
statement if I were to analyse only my situation. Unfortunately for the opposite side the
debate is based upon what we think works