Capitalism is based on competition and competition encourages corruption
Capitalism is arguably the most successful economic system to date. The system is highly individualistic and based on private ownership, private property, and private control of the means of production and their operation for profit. When the system is free of corruption, it is the most efficient system possible as everyone gets to bring their own unique value to the table and benefit accordingly.
Under capitalism, decision-making and investment is determined by the owners of wealth, property or production. Prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets. The “competition” factor in capitalism is why corruption is inevitable. When you have competition, there will always be groups of people who simply refuse to play fair.
Part of what makes capitalism such an effective and resilient system is how it mimics the natural world. The natural world operates in a very similar way to capitalism. There is competition for resources and the strongest thrive while the weakest either perish or get exploited by the strong. A system based on competition will always have winners and losers because no two opponents are ever equal. Someone is always stronger, faster, smarter, better connected, healthier, etc.
The competitive nature of capitalism is why there is so much talk in the media about the increasing gap between the rich and the poor. People blame politicians, discrimination, laws, taxes and many other things. However, the true cause is the competitive nature of the system itself and the corruption that comes with it.
Under capitalism, personal power comes from the accumulation of private property, capital, and influence over high-level decision makers. Thus, the more personal power you attain under the system, the more you can rig the system to benefit yourself and your friends. This is most famously seen in situations where large corporations and the wealthy finance politicians with the goal of passing laws in their favor.
One less obvious way “the winners” rig the system in their favor is through false information and manipulation of culture through the media. The media will tell you to spend, spend, spend. Fashion, cars, travel, food and technology is what the culture tells you to focus on. In other words, consumerism. Make sure you have the newest car, the latest gadgets and eat at the hippest new restaurants. When you do these things, you are essentially trying to buy happiness and status. And when you can’t afford it? No problem, we have a credit card offer for you. And it has miles, rewards and other perks! The more debt you get into the better!
Ultimately, those at the top sell “happiness” through the media as a way to increase their power and neutralize their competition through bad information. Yes, pop culture is full of bad information that only separates you from your money and personal power over time. How can someone be a threat when they’re drowning in debt and constantly trying to maintain their “image” of success and status? These “happiness” distractions perpetuated by pop culture keep a large segment of the population on a hamster wheel to nowhere.
Once a person believes they need to buy things to be happy they have basically lost the competition. And this is exactly what “the winners” want. They want to suppress as much competition as they can in order to keep winning. The more they suppress, the more they win. And the more they win, the more difficult it gets for anyone else to win. And so, the divide between the rich and the poor continues to expand.