America's faith in unfettered capitalism is intellectually and emotionally stunted. "America's faith in unfettered capitalism is intellectually and emotionally stunted." Discuss.

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting quote that you must be analyzing right now.

One of America's great strengths has been capitalism because it allows the individual to progress to the degree that the individual is willing to compete. Likewise, it is a concept that allows people to just live, work, and play in a society if they don't want to push the envelope for great success, but just live a good life.

The good life is threatened right now as so many things are on the verge of great change. Taxes inevitably have to go up to pay the government's bills. Gas will go up as it has been. Employers are cutting jobs and not giving raises. Loans are harder to come by. America is a little afraid. We have had a good life and not had to worry about opportunities being available. We are emotionally a little stunted...

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think the American public has accepted the idea of unfettered capitalism since Teddy Roosevelt took on monopolies and engaged in some much needed trust busting. (Would that TR were with us today.)

We've seen the disastrous results of unrestrained capitalism in the last eighteen months and will be living with the wreckage for some time to come. The arrogant Robber Barons of old are still with us, morphed now into slick shysters in well tailored suits who hide behind legions of lawyers while pulling the strings of the politicians they have purchased.


pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, there are not many people in the US who actually believe in unfettered capitalism. That's a caricature of most people's thinking.

Second, I think that our desire for more capitalism is based on our idea that the US is a place where people should have more freedom to do what they want and more of an opportunity to get ahead in life.  It is based on the idea that more capitalism gives us these chances.

I cannot say if that is correct, but I do really see those ideas as intellectually and emotionally stunted.

krishna-agrawala | Student

The use of the adjective "unfettered" used to qualify "faith in capitalism" tends to attach avoidable negative feelings. Anything described as unfettered tends to create an impression of being unruly. I will not go so far in criticizing the America's faith in capitalism. America and Americans are right in supporting and following the capitalist system, that has served them and others well for a long time.

However, there definitely some lack of willingness, among general population, to recognize and accept limitations of capitalism. However, at the level of governments there is sufficient awareness of the limitation of capitalist systems and from time to time The USA has adopted methods and system that are not exactly in accordance with the classical principles of capitalism.

A rigid belief in and adherence to classical capitalism would represent a stunted intellectual and emotional growth. However that is not the brand of capitalism followed by the USA. The Capitalism in USA has evolved and grown in response to the changing needs of the time.