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View Diary: Crumbs much too small for the other Whos' mouses (199 comments)

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  •  so...it's equally ludicrous (0+ / 0-)

    to blindly accept the notion that capitalism is "the best system," especially without citing any facts to back it up, correct?

    •  For what it's best at, capitalism is the best (2+ / 0-)
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      Killer of Sacred Cows, No Exit

      system. That might sound like a tautology, but it's arguably better at producing certain kinds of products and services than socialism. Has socialism ever produced, on a mass scale, a good and cheap phone, TV or laptop? A car or bike? Nice clothes? Gourmet cheese or pastries? I'm sure that socialism COULD produce these things, but not efficiently or well.

      Where socialism comes in is in producing goods and services the public wants or needs that can't be produced efficiently and affordably by capitalism, or in regulating or supplementing capitalism's weaknesses, such as its tendency to exploit labor or abandon certain markets. E.g. those "cheap" phones or TVs often come at the expense of wage slaves in Asian countries.

      Neither system can succeed on its own. Both are great if not "best" at some things, not so much on other things. Both are necessary subelements of a broader mixed economic model that requires both to function well.

      And btw, this is not a new concept. Alexander Hamilton introduced the concept of the public-private (i.e. socialist-capitalist) venture back in the 1790's. I'm pretty sure that people like Robert Morris and Adam Smith advocated for such as well. In fact modern capitalism, which can be roughly traced to the 14th century, has always depended on much government intervention in the form of investment capital and charters for corporations and ventures.

      Capitalism, like socialism, cannot stand on their own, so I agree that to call either "best" as a standalone economic system is a bit silly. But at what they're each best at, they do tend to be best at.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:21:08 AM PST

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      •  agreed.... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but the most appalling thing of all to me is how so many otherwise seemingly intelligent people seem so willing to overlook this whole idiotic notion of the "invisible hand of self-regulation" which is the premise of capitalism and which has been proven again and again and again...to not exist.

        •  It's the premise of ONE interpretation and model (2+ / 0-)

          of capitalism, that the evidence clearly rejects as self-evidently ridiculous. The idea that ANY complex artificial system or device can regulate itself is simply ludicrous. Sports have to have rules and referees to succeed. Farms have to be managed to thrive. Cars have all sorts of complex regulatory devices and systems that allow its primary devices and systems to function properly, e.g. lubrication and cooling systems, and both have to be regularly maintained and properly treated to function. And so on. Economies are vastly more complex than any of these, and thus clearly need regulation and oversight.

          People who claim otherwise--which the diarist did not--are simply not serious people, and don't know what they're talking about.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:34:08 AM PST

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          •  it is the ESSENCE of capitalism... (0+ / 0-)

            ...that the system will, in and of itself, result in a form of self-regulation. It is the very core of the entire capitalistic belief system. And it has been proven false...again and again and again.

      •  Ummm you are confusing two things (2+ / 0-)

        Socialism is not the same as communism.  The way is see it socialism is not an economic system at all,  it is a set of policies superimposed on capitalism to make a society more fair.  A socialistic set of policies guarantee access to health care, education, housing.  But those policies do not eliminate competition even in these core areas.  Instead, they regulate core areas to make sure that no one is priced out of the necessities of life.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

        by noofsh on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:41:27 AM PST

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        •  There are degrees (2+ / 0-)

          A "pure" socialist system would be one where the state produces and provides ALL goods and services that are bought and sold (people could still retain the right to produce them for their own personal use), and owns and controls all the means of production. Which, I suppose, is communism. But such a system can't work, as has been proven repeatedly. Just as "pure" capitalism can't work, as has been proven repeatedly. So whatever we call it and whatever we call the relationship (i.e. "mixed" vs. "superimposed"), only a mix of the two can possibly work, as has been the case for centuries.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:52:02 AM PST

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      •  HG Wells interviewed Stalin during the great (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie

        Depression in the US and he makes many of the same points you make.  It's a fascinating interview available online.

        At one point he notes that stalin's Russia and fdr's American society were converging...

        A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

        by No Exit on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:49:21 AM PST

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      •  actually, Soviet Communism produced (0+ / 0-)

        excellent pastries, for those who could afford them, but only because they inherited the traditions of the pre-Revolutionary Russian aristocracy, imported from Vienna and Paris.

        Capitalism is not a system in anything like the way that Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist Soviet Communism was.  Particular versions of capitalism in particular countries in particular periods have been spectacularly successful at creating individual wealth and even general prosperity, and others spectacularly disastrous.

        Chinese Communist capitalism is one of the most interesting cases, not least because it is spreading among more than a billion people as fast as the government can build railroad and phone networks westward, construct power plants, and institute village elections. When the entire population can participate both in economics and government (even with the expected restrictions starting out), there will be vast consequences, much bigger than anything we have seen so far.

        America—We built that!

        by Mokurai on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:47:20 PM PST

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