The courtroom scene from the film “New Jack City” ultimately affirms the importance of capitalism in a functional society. An analysis of the scene reveals that selfishness is an outcome of interfering with the ideal capitalism settings. In the courtroom scene, a selfish and homicidal drug lord (Nino) is on trial for his criminal activities. In his defense, Nino claims that the system not only allows drug trade and the inherent violence, it actively promotes it. For example, none of the people in court owned a poppy field. The drugs came from outside, against the control measures, because of societal demands. By making drugs illegal, the system (government, lawmakers, law enforcement, lobbyists and other parties) were contributing to the problem of violence in Harlem. Nino is saying that without the law restricting the movement of drugs, there would be no need for violence. For example, legal commodities such as sugar and salt do not attract criminal activity because they move freely.
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Capitalism appears to be a problem on the surface. The power of demand in Harlem powered Nino and his gang (The Cash Money Brothers) because it made drug trade enticing. The attractiveness of money is so great that individuals are willing to kill each other and damage their communities. Since capitalism is individualistic, it encourages narcissistic thinking and Nino is even willing to sacrifice a member of his gang if it will reduce his liabilities in the court scene. According to Marx’s view of capitalism, a capitalist has an unfair advantage because an existing reserve enables him to buy labor. Therefore, poor sections of the demographic face an unfair system and always have to struggle against an established class of elites. Nino claims he is a criminal because he was not born with a silver spoon like the rich people in the court. The implication is a struggle between social classes created by capitalism makes crime appealing. Capitalistic systems thus appear to be the cause of the problem. A closer look at the scene paints a different picture of capitalism. Capitalism promotes individual enterprise and tends to reward initiative. For a person to rise from a low class, they must accumulate savings and learn to live in moderation. In its purest form, capitalism is about complete freedom in the marketplace. Nino is attacking efforts to regulate commodities in his outburst. The attack reveals that the concern for fairness and control of goods and services is responsible for the current situation. Efforts to control the dynamics of a free market create a situation where drug lords try to find illegal means to satisfy an existing demand.
Without interfering with the conditions of an efficient market, criminals do not have an incentive. Other forms of illegal trading such as smuggling also involve efforts to control the nature of goods in the market. Removing the controls would eliminate the possibility of any party harming their community. In fact, from the short film “Why Capitalism Works”, entrepreneurs must concern themselves with the needs and concerns of others. Since an entrepreneur must respond to others, successful businesses would only thrive because they offer services to the community. Enterprise also requires long-term goals and collaborations to build sustainable teams. At its core, capitalism promotes social wellness because it encourages an improvement of services and serving customer interests. The scene from “New Jack City” affirms capitalism because it shows that businesses need complete freedom to thrive.
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