Capitalism requires that companies look to be financially and socially sustainable. As the earth loses nature to the expansion of humanity, capitalism seems to be hurting our global environmental sustainability. That being said, I do not believe this is core to capitalism. Rather, capitalism reflects the wishes and values of the consumers, and we as consumers are just beginning to change our views on global environmental sustainability. As this occurs, in order for companies to remain both economically and socially sustainable, they will also have to become environmentally sustainable. After all, capitalism requires that we have a planet that can sustain us and our trade. Without the environment, there is no capitalism. Thus, capitalism will have to integrate environmental sustainability as well as “business” sustainability in order to endure.

Integrating sustainability (especially environmental) into capitalism may require a level of government involvement. Governments are required to provide national security, rule of law, and other factors necessary to create a sustainable company. These ideas, capitalism and sustainability, can be integrated better as the general population is better educated about the need for sustainability and our core reliance on nature.

Furthermore, from an ethical perspective, nature is important in allowing us to evidence and witness non-manmade “life.” Some would consider nature the work of God. Regardless of your beliefs, one must accept that nature existed before the evolution of man and therefore represents the lineage of a more ancient past than ourselves – and ensuring that such a thing endures is morally good. While capitalism may not integrate sustainability for that reason, ultimately, the two systems will balance in order to achieve a sustainable, capitalistic future.

6 responses »

  1. Charles says:

    I think you brought up a key point when you said,”capitalism will have to integrate environmental sustainability as well as “business” sustainability in order to endure.” It is in capitalism’s best interest to become sustainable otherwise capitalism will eventually be impossible because we will run out of goods.

  2. Lindsey F. says:

    I agree that your point about how sustainability isn’t necessarily inherent in capitalism but that the two will have integrate. I mentioned in another comment how we, the consumers, are becoming more environmentally aware so you’re right in saying that because of that, companies will have to change to meet new needs.

  3. Abby says:

    I think that you brought up a couple of really nice point, especially in regards to consumers. After all, capitalism really is a reflection of what consumers want, so it is up to consumers to change our views. With that in mind, I also agree that capitalism and sustainability will eventually need to merge. In my post, I talked mainly about corporations finding the will to change to become more sustainable, but I think you have a better view on it. When consumers start to see how damaging non-sustainable practices really are, that is when change will occur.

  4. Jordi says:

    Did Kei$ha write this? 😛

  5. Jordi says:

    If capitalism reflected the desires of consumers, I could get a god damn good tomato instead of pink styro-ball Nomatos.

  6. tiffany267 says:

    @ Jordi, you don’t have to shop at stores that sell tomatoes you don’t like.

    It would have been a nice post without the tragic notion that government has to help us with sustainability. It doesn’t. No ethical or social value can properly be attained through the use of force, which is precisely what government is all about. Moreover, I’d say that U.S. federal and state governments are some of the worst examples of polluters in the world. I don’t think we need their help with sustainability.

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