Do social classes owe anything to each other? Essay

Submitted By alinitamaria95
Words: 1551
Pages: 7

Do social classes really owe each other anything? From early Democracies like Sparta it was quite clear that inequality was a huge issue for many. This is because humans are simply flawed, and greedy. They cannot handle when someone has more than them, some humans even believe that everyone should be equal. In a capitalist economy like the one in the United Sates this idea of equality is almost impossible, because capitalism needs a working class to do the “dirty work”. The problem with this is that inequality among classes creates factions, and conflict among people. This brings us back to the idea of how to lower tension between the social classes, and the fact that maybe social classes do owe each other something. Andrew Carnegie presents in the “Gospel of Wealth” some very good ideas of how this moral responsibility could be enforced, and even why it is that the rich have this responsibility over the poor.
Going back to the example of Sparta, which was a classical democracy. From the very beginning it was very clear in this society that equality is very important. For Lycurgus this meant that no one was above any other person in the land, the women were respected, and in his eyes this form of equality created virtuous people. Regardless of this form of extreme complete equality, where there was no exaggerated luxury, Lycurgus set the right path for future ideas. When one thinks about it, even though a lot of the people in Sparta didn’t like the idea of not being able to be as rich as they wanted to, Lycurgus’s laws maintained a general

peace and unity in the land. Again, human nature is very flawed, and it is normal for human beings to want more and more.
Now in capitalism some are at an advantage, and many are at a disadvantage. This difference between people is what Madison argued caused factions. Of coarse factions will always be present because people will always disagree, but for the purpose of this paper social classes seem like a faction of there own. In which the rich have their priorities, the poor have their worries, and the working class has their struggles. These separate groups of individuals are all more or less driven by the same passions. As Madison stated a way of fitting factions was by eliminating the causes and controlling it’s effects. Although when one thinks about it, the tension between these social classes is because of the inequality that exists within them. It is obvious that you cannot destroy the liberty of the rich simply because they were fortunate enough to be wealthy, like Madison mentions this would be going against all democratic claims. The problem continues as to how we can create a society that will be better “oiled” and more understanding of each other.
The different classes or factions as referred to above must first understand that capitalism needs competitive markets where different classes will compete for the resources available. If capitalism doesn’t have these then it simply will not function. It is true people don’t tolerate the idea that one man is better than another, but they still fully understand that this is still very possible, this meaning that all men are not created equal. In order for the social classes to respect each other more, capitalism would need to rebel from the negative connotation that Karl Marx gave it. He described capitalism as “a socio-economic system…that uses exploitation of the labor force” this simply means that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In fact Henry George even said, “As wealth increases, so does poverty.” Even though it is true that one has the responsibility to take care of one self, there should be some sort of moral duty and moral responsibilities that the classes owe to each other. We will get as close to a perfect society as soon as the community is able to respect one another, show compassion, and even appreciation.
Continuing with the idea of moral responsibility and the classes owing each other…