Capitalism&Government Catch-22

In his novel, Catch 22, Joseph Heller purposes the negative effects caused by the
government and capitalism of the American society during World War II.According to the
Merriam-Webster Dictionary, capitalism can be defined as an economic system characterized by
private or corporate ownership of capital goods.Heller uses this idea of capitalism to show how
it was exploited by the American government during World War II.
One basic idea of this exploitation is represented in the passage in chapter 26, where
"It's certainly is not your leg!" Nurse Cramer retorted."That leg belongs to the
U.S. government.It's no different than a gear or a bedpan.The Army has
invested a lot of money to make you an airplane pilot, and you've no right to
disobey the doctor's orders."
This shows the idea of capitalism that has been blow out of proportion.To the government,
soldiers were just considered to be capital good, that could be basically bought and sold.In the
case of the novel, the government saw medical attention as an investment.The men were
considered to be nothing more than mere war materials as Nurse Cramer exclaims.They are
dehumanized to the point where they have as much worth as a bedpan.Just like in the stock
market, the government invests in soldiers, and the more that is invested increases the worth of
the solider, but not as an individual, but as a group of hundreds of thousands of soldiers.Because
of this there is no possible way individuality can prevail in this suppressive atmosphere.It would
not be unlikely that if one solider was missing, that this solider could never be identified among
the many other soldiers that were reported as being missing or dead, and this would have no effect
on the government in anyway.The government was set in it's ways, and acted as an inhuman war