Unbridled competition in capitalist systems


The free enterprise ethic of capitalism encourages the production-for-profit motive by private individuals whose enterprises compete with one another. The argument for this is essentially one of the survival of the fittest, and the predominance of the strongest and best. However, the conditions of competition in the capitalist world are infinitely more sophisticated and complex than this basic argument suggests. They involve artificial and unstable exchange values expressed in money (currency) and in commodities. Intense competition on the home and world markets induces a concentration of capital to withstand the pressure, which leads to inefficiencies, wastage of resources, unfair practices in restraint of trade (such as restriction of the entry of new firms into the market), and speculation and general difficulties in regulating the market mechanism. The net results include poverty and unemployment (especially through the development of intensive plant, machinery and capital, but also through bankruptcies of small firms), which sharpen alienation and class conflict and the likelihood of revolution. Industrial competition between developing countries mars their development progress. International industrial competition intensifies regional or strategic alliances and its aggressiveness can be the outcome of policies of economic, if not territorial, expansion.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST