Re: Communism vs Capitalism

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Sat Feb 17 2001 - 12:22:18 MST

On Fri, Feb 16, 2001 at 08:21:19AM -0800, Brian D Williams wrote:
> 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.

Incorrect: you simply need to reach a consensus on what *is* true
communism that includes the communists as well as their critics.

Personally, I think one point that tends to be overlooked by extropians
is that both communism and capitalism have one glaring similarity: they
are economic systems designed to allocate resources under conditions of
scarcity. Hopefully we're leaving scarcity behind us forever -- in which
case triumphalism over the "collapse of communism" is premature because
capitalism will follow it in due course, and good riddance to both those
eighteenth century frameworks.

-- Charlie

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