A Thought on Socialism vs. Capitalism

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn on January 5, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

If nobody owes you anything, then they also don’t owe anybody else who might cut you out of your share.

Deep thoughts. I haz them.


  1. Here’s a deep thought for ya.

    Why do you (and many others) think socialism/commune-ism… is the opposite of capitalism? Even in socialism’s brave attempt to promote cooperating instead of competing… YOU have cast it with a “versus”. Could you be programmed by capitalism… into a competing-only mentality? Seems so, by THAT headline.

    Comment by Wingnut — January 7, 2008 @ 5:06 am

  2. How is it possible to compare and contrast any two items effectively by using cooperation? You need to measure the two items against each other, and that is implicitly a competition of sorts.

    FWIW, the conclusion that competition requires polar opposites is also faulty.

    Comment by Daddyman — January 7, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

  3. Thanks for the defense, Daddyman … SiteMeter tells me that commenter #1 is a troll, in the sense that he came here through a blogsearch, probably for the first time, left a snotty comment, and hasn’t been back.

    If s/he comes back it’ll be time enough for me to argue with him.

    Comment by Anwyn — January 7, 2008 @ 2:07 pm

  4. Hmmm, maybe I am a troll… whatever a troll might be, according to name-callers. More accurately, I’m an anti-capitalismist. And I’m not attacking anyONE, so there’s no need for defending. I’m am simply trying to get folks to question and ponder whether socialism/communism is the opposite of capitalism. We’re not in the cold war days anymore, so US versus THEM mentality towards socialism/communism…COULD be allowed to die-off, and we COULD actually investigate socialism and communism QUALITIES… instead of casting them as opposites to the AmWay (American Way) pyramid scheme whose symbol is on the back of the USA one dollar bill. Seeing any servitude or inequality in capitalism? If anything, cast capitalism as an opposite to Christianity, as that’s a closer-to-correct opposite. Scrutiny is an art.

    So, now, am I still a troll, oh labeling and competing ones?

    MaStars – Mothers Against Stuff That Ain’t Right (anti-capitalismists)
    Bessemer MI USA

    Comment by Wingnut — January 8, 2008 @ 6:11 am

  5. FYI, Wingnut, I am assuming the reason your comments keep getting put into moderation is your excessive use of caps. If you want them to appear without me having to approve them, try dropping the caps and see if that fixes the problem.

    Comment by Anwyn — January 8, 2008 @ 8:30 am

  6. Wingnut, I think you’re still missing the point. Anwyn never asserted that capitalism and socialism are opposites. You made that faulty assertion based on her using the term “versus”.

    In my experience, people who go around looking for opposites are fairly competitive. ;-)

    It is interesting that you posit Christianity instead of socialism as the opposite of capitalism, because I’ve always viewed socialism as having a lot in common with religion. Socialists have faith that their system works, but no proof. Socialism can be a compelling utopia, particularly for the have-nots, much in the same way as an afterlife is very compelling for those with unpleasant lives on Earth. It’s an interesting comparison.

    FYI, the most appropriate antonym for capitalism is statism.

    Comment by Daddyman — January 8, 2008 @ 11:03 am

  7. Socialism/communism tends to be viewed more favorably by societies that are more, well, socially-oriented than individually oriented. The US has historically been more individually oriented, although this is has been changing as the country becomes more and more urban.

    The fact that communism has been an abject failure everywhere it’s been tried ought to be the biggest clue that as a political system for large countries, it doesn’t work. Communism seems to work fine in communes, but that’s about all.

    Socialism seems to be a decent system for some freedom-appreciating people who wish for economic security and manage to maintain basically honest governments.

    I was having a conversation with someone close to me from one of those socialist countries who suggested another friend who could give spectacular investment advice in her country. I’m always interested in such, so I asked what the recommendation had been and how well the company did. She excitedly told me and said that particular stock was up 20%. I asked what time period it went up 20%. “Two years.”

    Two years! I had just had one of my stocks go up 20% in two months, so I declined to investigate further.

    Of course, with the US market in yet another correction. . . ?

    Give me capitalism. I’m not afraid.

    Comment by Chris — January 9, 2008 @ 3:50 am

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace