Re: Communism vs Capitalism

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Fri Feb 16 2001 - 09:21:19 MST

From: Chris Russo <>

>Granted, there are no purely capitalist systems in existence. One
>could probably argue that there never have been purely communist
>or capitalist systems in existence, because some absolute
>definition isn't being obeyed.

Excuse me Chris but I believe the economic system of the U.S does
qualify by definition:

Capitalism: An economic system in which investment in and ownership
of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is
made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations.

>For example, in "Communist Russia", there were those who had more
>money, power, and influence than others because of their
>positions. Inequities like that would seem to be disallowed
>within a purely communist society.

I think this successfully demonstrates communism's fatal flaw, it
is essentially incompatible with human nature. Of course if you
were to argue it wasn't "pure" communism simply because it was
unsuccessful, then no argument is possible.

>I think that you're redefining "fails" here. communism fails in
>the sense that the whole society stagnates. Innovation and
>productivity fall to levels that are incapable of supporting the
>society as a whole. Even at Russia's height, the toilet paper
>lines were long, and medical care - though available - was poor,
>by western standards.

I agree, communism fails.

>The failure that you mention for capitalism is more of a failure
>of capitalism to dominate and overcome democracy. It's hardly an
>utter failure like experiments in communism have been.

Capitalism isn't supposed to overcome democracy, it's an economic
not a political system. Besides here in the U.S. we are not a
Democracy, we are a Republic.

>Instead of pretending that there are absolutes in the world that
>we can look at as examples, I think that it's important for us to
>examine the spectrum from predominately communist societies to
>predominately capitalist ones. At one end of the spectrum, you
>have the former Russia and China. At the other end, you have the
>United States.

>In which ways do the opposite ends of the spectrum even compare?
>I don't think that it's beating our own drum to say that the US
>is, overall, the most desirable place to live in the world.
>Immigration statistics alone make that fairly clear.

>As such, I think that those who decry communism in an offhand way
>while trumpeting capitalism actually do have an argument for doing
>so. It's not simply a matter of perspective as your post implied.

I agree completely.


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