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Rhetorical Analysis: Capitalism and Socialism

Capitalism brings wealth, and not everyone can reach it, but in socialism, there is no wealth. Both capitalism and socialism were major influencing socio-economic theories, which reached their peak of manifestation in the 20th century. Capitalism is a system where the concept of ownership and free markets is at its core, whereas socialism strives to find the regulatory measures to ensure that the society is taken care of in every regard. The ideal version of both systems sounds appealing, but in practical implementation, there are always a number of drawbacks. This occurs due to biases and fallacies, which revolve around a particular system. It is important to note that pragmatically capitalism proved to be more efficient and resourceful than many examples of socialist nations. Socialism did not show any indications that it can be integrated successfully without turning a country into an authoritarian regime. Therefore, both systems have their flaws, but capitalism is more practical and efficient in bringing prosperity and reducing scarcity, which means that it is better.

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In order to understand the flaws of socialism, it is an important overview. Socialism is an economic, socio-political system economized by the fact that the process of production and distribution of income is under the control of society. The most important category that unites the various directions of socialist thought is public ownership of the means of production, which replaces private property. Marxism defines socialism as a socio-economic formation with a predominance of public ownership of the means of production (Lichtheim, p. 43). Socialism can be considered as a political ideology, putting forward as the goal and ideal the establishment of a society in which there is no exploitation of man by man and social oppression, and social equality and justice are affirmed. Destruction of private property is just a way to achieve your goals. The goal of socialism is to transfer the means of production from private ownership to the ownership of an organized society, the state.


Ethos is manifested in numerous studies, which admit that capitalism is more efficient and resourceful than major socialist systems. It is stated that there are significant differences in views of fairness, but the concept of efficiency is considered across various nations (Almas et al, p. 24). The situation is that competition is the centerpiece of capitalism, which is the main catalyzer of efficiency. Socialism inhibits such competitiveness among individuals and businesses, which leads to the downfall of economic prosperity and scarcity. The task is to understand that efficiency and a nation’s ability to ensure prosperity are more important than ensuring equality at the cost of making everyone poorer. The action is to recognize all the flaws and weaknesses of both systems and objectively choose which is more practical. The result is that adopting socialism always means to trade economic efficiency for the perception of fairness (Okun, p. 10). The concept of equality cannot be guaranteed because socialism tends to be easily transitioned into authoritarianism, which is the opposite of fairness.


Logos is based on the notion that the majority of socialist systems are highly authoritarian, which enforces the concepts of the economic framework in order to preserve power and image. It is due to the fact that without brute force measures, people in socialist systems tend to shift their preference towards more prosperous and freer capitalism gradually. It is stated that socialism is vulnerable to abuse of power, which implies that it lacks anti-dictatorship measures (Makovi, p. 131). In contrast, capitalism is mostly operated in conjunction with democracy because both value individual freedom. In addition, there are no plausible ways to ensure that fairness will be functional and not indulge authoritarianism.


Pathos is manifested in the overall desire for freedom and an individual owning what he or she has earned. In socialism, the system does not reward hard workers and risk-takers but instead takes plenty of their efforts in order to aid the working class. In addition, it is important to note that the latter example is based on the ideal version, whereas, in reality, socialism also possesses a power imbalance, as can be observed in capitalism. The capitalist system inadvertently leads to the notion that capital makes power to be concentrated and linked with money, which is why the topic of income inequality is a major issue. However, the socialist regime inadvertently transfers that power into the hands of government officials, who are ideally are mandated to ensure equality. In capitalism, economic freedom is ensured, and it is not related to economic crises (Bjornskov, p. 20). In other words, the system does not produce scarcity, but crises may occur due to other reasons.


In conclusion, it is important to understand that ideal socialism seeks to eliminate oppression and inequality in a society, whereas capitalism strives for efficiency and prosperity. Capitalism results in inequality, but socialism yields general scarcity in a nation. In addition, democracy ensures that a capitalist system will not become totalitarian because it can operate in conjunction with the given economic framework. However, socialism cannot prevent dictatorship and abuse of power, which is one of the major ways to enforce socialist regulations. In practice, capitalism, with its flaws, delivers its promises of prosperity, whereas socialism suggests outstanding and noble concepts of equality, which result in a nation driven by scarcity and authoritarianism.


  1. Almas, Ingvild, et al. “Cutthroat Capitalism versus Cuddly Socialism: Are Americans More Meritocratic and Efficiency-Seeking than Scandinavians?” Journal of Political Economy, vol. 1, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-42.
  2. Bjornson, Christian. “Economic Freedom and Economic Crises.” European Journal of Political Economy, vol. 45, no. 1, 2016, pp. 11-23.
  3. Lichtheim, George. Marxism: An Historical and Critical Study. Routledge, 2015.makeoverr Michael. “Two Opposing Literary Critiques of Socialism: George Orwell versus Eugen Richter and Henry Hazlitt.” International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, vol. 7, no. 2, 2016, pp. 116-134.
  4. Okun, Arthur M Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff. Brooking Institution Press, 2015.

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