When we think about capitalism we usually are either for or against it. However, we seldom think about how capitalism has changed the entire world. It has caused dramatic changes in traditions, cultures, and much more. These changes is something that has been referred to as modernity. The purpose of this critique is to provide an unbiased opinion of capitalism and modernity as two of the most influential phenomena in the last couple of centuries. In order to understand these phenomena one must first look into the origins of capitalism.
The origins of capitalism and modernity begin between 16th and 17th century. During this period of time man had created many advances in naval technology and the quest for new routes and resources began. The boats of the time had gotten better and were able to survive brutal weather. In addition there was better methods for navigation. This open the playing field for people like Christopher Columbus who wanted to find new routes for trade. (Vitcus 4) His quest left him to discover the Americas. After these series of events the world became a much smaller place. This was in a way was one of the earliest forms of globalization. With this in place, many countries wanted to implement new trade routes. With a means of exchange people invested in commodities. Then soon after Britain came up with ideas like joint stock companies in order to manage their wealth. During this time we see a spread of literacy never before seen. Agriculture had drastic changes and people began to change philosophies. At the time ideas like liberalism, and individualism began to come into existence. (Vitcus 6)These ideas and changes in culture is what is referred to as modernity. Never before had people even entertained the thoughts and imagination that took to accomplish these great advances. Capitalism emerged and a free markets flooded the markets with surplus goods. The wealth produced had been something unforeseen.