This wonderful but sad photograph (click to enlarge) came from Goggle Images as do most of those that accompany my posts. For me, it highlights the cruel underside of the shiny capitalist coin.
Instead of the mansions, luxury motor yachts and beautiful people highlighted in glossy magazines, things normally associated with capitalism, it shows a derelict area with a homeless man begging on the pavement. This man is definitely not a symbol of achievement in the market economy.
Capitalism is a system that is based entirely upon a selfish, greedy, survival of the fittest, winners-are-grinners foundation. However, by its very nature, only a few are able to have it all. The inequality that it generates make it more a scourge than anything else.
What are we to make of the extreme contrast that typify each side of the capitalist coin? How do we fit together the glaring contradictions? How do we justify a few having all the material possessions that life can offer and having more money than they can ever spend and a vast army of people just surviving or struggling to make ends meet, to put food on the table, to pay the rent or the mortgage or health bills. Of course the unfortunates who live from hand to mouth and have to sleep under bridges or on park benches don't even get to do that.
More harrowing photographs could be shown of Africa and India, etc, places where at this very moment there are children dying from starvation and preventable diseases and lack of clean water and shelter. In many of these poor nations, capitalists are hard at work, stripping the resources at bargain basement prices, exploiting the cheap labor, polluting the environment. No room here for conscience, only for profit.
How do the people who are incredibly wealthy live with themselves while there is such gross inequality? How do those who run multi-national companies that make billion dollar profits live with themselves? How do rich nations live with themselves?
Quite easily it seems!