Capitalism: Tamed but Triumphant Today the Monitor Begins Three Days of Coverage Marking Nine Decades of Its Publication. Wednesday's Issue Will Include a Special 90th Anniversary Section. Series: Celebrating 90 Years

By David R. Francis, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 23, 1998 | Go to article overview

Capitalism: Tamed but Triumphant Today the Monitor Begins Three Days of Coverage Marking Nine Decades of Its Publication. Wednesday's Issue Will Include a Special 90th Anniversary Section. Series: Celebrating 90 Years


David R. Francis, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


A century that began with a surge of raw capitalism is ending with capitalism victorious. It dominates the world.

Communism, which sprang to importance with the Russian revolution of 1917, has gone down to defeat. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, a symbol of the end.

Socialism, a nonauthoritarian half sister of communism, which also promotes state-owned enterprises, still lives - but barely. It is fading fast in the developing world where it has held on in some countries for years. The robber barons who flourished in the first decade or so of the 1900s have been tamed in the industrial world. Their monopolies have been destroyed or shaken by antitrust laws and other government regulation. In the United States, the inadequate Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was bolstered by the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914. Back then, John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil, which controlled 85 percent of the US domestic oil trade, felt the might of federal trustbusters. Today it is Microsoft that is under the gun. In Russia, a few robber barons flourish after picking up state enterprises at rip-off prices. To outsiders, they have the primitive air of the frozen mammoths that are uncovered occasionally in the tundra of Siberia. One reason capitalism has thrived is its vitality. It creates wealth and jobs like no other economic system. Another reason is that capitalism gradually became more humane. The enemies of free enterprise had less to complain about. Child labor, for example, has greatly diminished, certainly in the richer nations. In the US, Congress in 1916 outlawed the interstate trade of goods produced in factories where children under age 14 worked. At the time, 13 percent of the textile industry's workforce were children. Two years later, the Supreme Court said Congress had exceeded its powers. But better treatment of children continued. Jolts to the system Trade unions grew more powerful, fighting for better wages, improved safety, fewer work hours, and other benefits. In the early part of the century, the Wobblies, the nickname for the Industrial Workers of the World, scared capitalists with their radical socialist and anarchistic views. But they faded away in the conservative society of America. They were replaced by the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the CIO merged in 1955, a time close to the peak of union power in America. Since then greater industrial efficiency, anti-union managements, the rise of service businesses, and prosperity have shrunk the proportion of workers represented by unions in the US - to less than 15 percent of non-farm workers today. The economic misery of the Great Depression of the 1930s, with output dropping 30 percent in the US, brought further moderation to the rigors of capitalism. The system needed repairs. Washington politicians may nowadays talk about an end to the era of Big Government. Yet the heritage of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal remains. Both Republicans and Democrats talk about saving the Social Security system set up under FDR. That law also introduced unemployment insurance and disability payments, both unassailable. Bank deposits are safe because of FDR's federal deposit insurance. The Glass-Steagall Act separated commercial from investment banking - a separation that has been partly dribbled away in the past two decades. The Tennessee Valley Authority was created. Government regulation was expanded over electric power and transportation. Workers won the right to bargain collectively under the Wagner Labor Relations Act of 1935. At least as important, the Depression changed thinking on the role of government. Influenced by the famed British economist John Maynard Keynes, politicians over the next few decades saw the use of monetary and fiscal policies as necessary to stave off major slumps. These policies worked. The Federal Reserve, created in 1913 to deal with financial panics, learned from its mismanagement of the nation's money in the Great Depression. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Capitalism: Tamed but Triumphant Today the Monitor Begins Three Days of Coverage Marking Nine Decades of Its Publication. Wednesday's Issue Will Include a Special 90th Anniversary Section. Series: Celebrating 90 Years
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.