Anthropology Of Capitalism Essay

the past six hundred years a culture and a society, dedicated for the most part
to development and trade as the ultimate source of well being, began to expand
all over the world. In a great number of ways this development, capitalism,
became the most successful culture and society the world has ever seen.

Capitalism ascended as a successful social means. It was successful as it
provided a more effective means of creating a surplus. This was an important
feature for mankind. It proved to be an easier and more cost effective means of
creating a surplus. Capitalism also allowed for the world system to function
with their own states. This system of functioning encouraged the international
market economy, which in turn established the success of capitalism. Such a
market bestowed incentives which increased productivity all over the globe.

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Simultaneously a world separation of work made it easy for costs and benefits to
be unequally distributed. The effects of such a division of labour were
profound. It created a multilayered economic hierarchy. The hierarchies were
divided into many sections, with each sector owning it’s own defining feature,
and all were linked to one common feature. This was the exploitation of social
classes. The wealthy employed labourers and often underpaid their labourers so
that they might be able to reap maximum profits. Such racist inequalities and
exploitation were used to justify the hindered commission of the proletariat.

The world system continues to undergo a cycle of expansion. This trend has
gained the support it requires from the notion that all societies, in order to
be successful, need to conform to a western way of life. Capitalism continues to
be increasingly effective. This is largely due to the belief the workers hold
that the harder they work the more the stand to gain. Such workers also affirm
that it is hard work that will grant them such wealth, often this leads
tofrustration, once the worker comes realize they may never reach the status of
the elite. Often times myths are used as a method of erasing such beliefs, as
they do not address the real problems at hand. No matter what is done it seems
there will always be a gap between the rich, or the employers, and the poor, or
the employees.

Bodley, John. Cultural Anthropology. Mayfield Publishing, Toronto, 2000


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