Modern American Capitalism: Ideologies and Issues

Modern American Capitalism: Ideologies and Issues

Modern American Capitalism: Ideologies and Issues

Modern American Capitalism: Ideologies and Issues

Excerpt

To those who survey the contemporary some of the 1960's, rivalry for power among nation alignments is abundantly evident. The "Western Nations," the "Soviet Bloc," the "Neutralists," the "Afro-Asian Group," the "Fourth Force," all are highly descriptive terms recently added to the vocabulary of international economies and politics. Concomitant with the creation of a new vocabulary has been a substantial enlargement of the traditional concept of power. Until quite recently power was to a large extent equated with military capabilities.

In the 1960's the power rivalry is obviously not limited to military troops and weapons. To the many recently born uncommitted nations an economic and political system may be judged as much in terms of the average income of its peoples, the system's method of income distribution, its rate of capital formation and economic growth, and its achievements in the arts, science and education, as in terms of its military weapons and armed forces. Transcending these more measurable features of economic and political systems is their potentiality for orderly and rapid economic development. Two characteristics the newly created and emerging nations have in common are poverty and the lack of a fully developed social order. Hence, a social system that promises to ameliorate both -- and quickly -- is compatible with the aspirations of a large share of the world's population.

Judged solely by these standards it would seem that history has already awarded the contemporary rivalry to private capitalistic enterprise. In all the statistical rankings of nations, according to their accumulated wealth or per capita income, those that have fostered capitalism occupy the top positions on the list. The United States alone produces one-third of the total industrial output of the world; its real national product per man-hour is . . .

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