Paul Bowles’ Capitalism
Paul Bowles’ Capitalism is a great contribution to the topic of capitalism. His book presents a series of historical events, people’s opinions and countries development on the topic of capitalism. According to Bowles (2006), capitalism is the most enduring economic system of all times. The author strongly argues that the most prominent and successful economies of the world operate under the capitalist regime. Of the same opinion are world organizations such as the international monetary fund (IMF) and World Bank. In the view of these organizations, a global capitalist system would bring about prosperity for all global players. In his book, Bowles points out the fact that although capitalism has enjoyed world dominance, the system is still not well understood. For this reason, the book is a significant breakthrough in literature as it helps the reader understand the various aspects of capitalism both as an economic system and as an ideology.
As a whole, the book is a guide that allows its readers to think about capitalism, not only as an ideology but also as an economic system. Throughout his book, Bowles addresses various key questions. The first question that the book addresses relates to the central and unchanging features of capitalism. It also seeks to show how capitalism varies from place to place and over given periods of time (Bowles, 2006). In addition, Bowles tries to answer whether or not the system improves people’s lives (Bowles, 2006). In another instance, the author attempts to answer if capitalism is a system which is natural and free or unjust and unstable (Bowles, 2006). He also tries to explain the impact of today’s capitalism and whether it will destroy or liberate the lives of people.
Throughout the book, the reader notes that Bowles is well versed with facts and concepts on the topic. He skillfully explains the meaning of capitalism while using simple language that can easily be understood by both laymen and experts. For this reason, the book tackles an existing need among people to understand the topic. For many years, people have tried to understand the topic of capitalism and how it is different from one country to another. Others have tried to understand how the system has changed or developed over the years. In turn, the book addresses an important aspect of history by showing how it has shaped society to what it is today.
Bowles clearly states that it is impractical to initiate an analysis of the topic without first knowing its history and evolution. And for this reason, he argues that capitalism can and should be analyzed as a system throughout the book. He also explains why it is crucial to review its history. As a result, he categorically and chronologically provides a history of the system of capitalism, throughout history and its development over time. By so doing, the author is able to successfully deliver his message to the readers, as they can connect the past, present and future of the system.
The authenticity of the book is further heightened by the fact that Bowles incorporates the views, opinions, and concepts of previous theorists and experts within the field of economics to present his arguments. In order to explain capitalism as a system that is natural and free, Bowles borrows from the theories of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman. From Adam Smith’s theory, he explains that markets are natural for humans and they are mostly beneficial to individuals due to self interest. Further, he uses Milton Friedman’s theory on markets to expound on the idea. Using these theories, he is able to show that capitalism is the most economically productive system known in history. While some states are better enforcers of the system, others are not and this contributes to their failure. Lastly, he explains how capitalism is equal and just, and as a friend of the environment.
It is worth pointing out that the book is able to represent both the good side and bad side of capitalism effectively. As pointed out earlier, Bowles was able to present the system as natural and free; however, he also presents it as unjust and unstable. To back up his views, he borrows from the Keynesian and reformist criticism that express capitalism as unfair and unbalanced. In the same way, Marxist and radical critics are also utilized to further portray the system as inequitable. In the same section, he addresses the view that that capitalism is associated with crises, anti-nature and gender inequality.
In the same view, the author was keen to address the current state of capitalism. At this point, he presents the world as a stage. In addition, he discusses important factors relating to the nation’s state as important actors in globalization. In this respect, Bowles addresses the view that globalization weakens the nation’s state, the ‘globaloney’ view, the new imperialism view, and the view that regionalism is more important. Using these points of view, the author is able to inform the reader of the various aspects of capitalism, as well as their role and contribution to the success and prosperity of a nation.
All in all, all factors considered, Paul Bowle’s book is a great contribution to the understanding of the concept of capitalism. It is a great milestone and achievement that makes the concept to be easily comprehended by the reader. Generally, the book is a classic text that offers a succinct, concise and thought provoking introduction to the topic of capitalism with the view of enlightening the reader further on the topic. It provides a complete cover of the topic using simple and easily comprehensible language to ensure that the audience does not miss out on the important parts. The author presents his work in a professional manner indicating that he possesses great knowledge and expertise in the subject matter. Further, the combination of the contribution of renowned theorists and scholars in the field further makes the text authentic and informed. In this regard, the book is a useful guide and a masterpiece on capitalism.
Bowles, P. (2006). Capitalism. London: Longman Publishing Group.