The fundamental purpose of Capitalism is to make a profit by selling an item for more than it cost to produce it. Problems occur when companies become so successful that they hinder competition within the fee market place and create monopolies. During the years around 1913, it was leftwing radicals who recognized Capitalism’s flaws and made it their moral responsibility to reform the system. Those who disregarded their views lacked the understanding of the moral issues associated with Capitalism. Leftwing radicals had distinctive strategies regarding the solutions to these issues, resulting in a separation into groups, such as Anarchists and Socialists. Despite the groups’ differences, they ultimately shared the main goal of enhancing the lives of laborers to release them from the control of Capitalism.
Radicals focused on the perspectives of the hardships of the lower and middle classes. Since a large profit is typically the goal of large corporations, workers received low wages for long and strenuous labor in order to maximize the wealth of the upper end businessmen. On February 14th in New York one of the worst snowstorms since “the Great Blizzard of ‘88”, caused the streets to be covered with snow needing to be shoveled . Workers were needed and got jobs at thirty-five cents and hour, which did not result in a deserved amount of pay after hours of brutal work and conditions. After a reduction of pay for “the private contractor who took twenty-five cents off the top” and “a dime to hire the shovel”, a worker may have a dollar left after an eight-hour day . However, he was paid with a ticket worth a dollar, which he could use only at a particular saloon . Once arriving at the saloon they were charged twenty percent to cash th...
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... us that the richest 10 percent of the U.S. population has more than two-thirds of all the wealth . Accordingly, the distribution of wealth is unequally spreading across the country causing a struggle among those near the bottom of the economy . Although the system provides advantages, it does have oppressive consequences. In the era of radicals such as Alexander Berkman, the magnitude of the negative effects was extreme because of the lack of laws for issues such as child labor. Consequently, leftwing radicals were justified to react strongly with a moral scrutiny of a system that at the time fabricated adversities for many.
Johnson, Allan. Privilege, Power, And Difference. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.
Jones, Thai. More Powerful Than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York’s Year of Anarchy. New York: Walker & Company, 2012.