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Is charity sufficient in an age of capitalism - Essay Example

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This is in line with Friedman’s accusation against corporate social responsibility as a misnomer. By seeing corporate social…
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Is charity sufficient in an age of capitalism
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Insert Section A. In the age of capitalism, charity is not sufficient since charity is ancillary to the beneficent’s arbitrariness and is therefore not sustainable. This is in line with Friedman’s accusation against corporate social responsibility as a misnomer. By seeing corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a misnomer, it is meant that while laymen are deluded into thinking that CSR is a channel by which businesses extend value to the surrounding society or community, the fact of the matter is that organizations and businesses are using CSR to perpetuate their own interests. As such, organizations will only venture into CSR as charity and when it suits them, and therefore rendering charity unsustainable.
Section B.
In the article, Friedman’s main idea or central argument is that since CSR has never been defined, it has always been taken for organizational charity. Not only is the noun phrase CSR to vague to instill meaningful obligations on the side of organizations, but the same is also wrongfully through its assumptions assigns organizations the roles of a natural person. An organization cannot decide on its own to engage in CSR, outside the will of its executives, stakeholders and owners. What is at stake here is that organizations are using the vagueness in the definition of CSR to exploit the environment without giving back (Friedman, 3).
Friedman is advancing his argument on the basis of his authority in academics, since he served as an economist, statistician and lecturer. It is obvious that his argument is also informed with personal experience and history from which he had made observations as a scholar and an employee.
Section C.
There European Commission’s insight on CSR seems to contradict Friedman’s perspective, since it sees CSR as a strong catalyst for social development. Nevertheless, despite EU’s insight appearing to be antithetical to my thesis statement, yet it does not sufficiently annihilate my standpoint since the EU has regulations on CSR that organizations and enterprises have to adhere to. This still indirectly supports my statement that CSR is too vague a concept to bring positive change. This vagueness has underpinnings in the fact that CSR is inadequately defined. Because of this inadequate definition, organizations through their executives and stakeholders are left to surmise for themselves, the optionality of engaging in the same, and the extent to which CSR should be pursued. Thus, even an organization which contributes only 200 US dollars to the society can still brag about having participated in charity or CSR. It is not in wonder that the EU government has regulations are imposed on organizations (European Union, 1).
Section D
The thesis is defensible and valid because, throughout the world, it is clear that organizational presence and operations only become positive when the government steps in. If all respectable multinationals [such as SONY, Starbuck and Nike] have at one time grappled with ethical issues in foreign markets, then one can only imagine the manifold pitfalls that would befall communities if organizations are left to interpret for themselves, the extent of their commitment to CSR. If organizations are to make meaningful contributions to the presently capitalist society, then CSR should be adequately defined to divorce it from charity.
Works Cited
European Union. “Enterprise and Industry: Corporate Social responsibility.” European Union. Retrieved on, February 19, 2014, from: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/corporate-social-responsibility/index_en.htm Electronic
Friedman, Milton. “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits.” The New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970. Read More
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