> Spike writes:
> > As much as I hate to wade into this morass, I would suggest the
> > reason capitalists disdain commies is because of the horrifying
> > destruction of society that comes along with every communist
> > revolution.
> I was not writing to defend communism, but to point out that the one-liner
> "history shows that communism doesn't work" can be applied to capitalism
> as well.
Only in the sense of 'ours is the most terrible system, except for all the
others'. It goes to the voluntary participatory system we have versus the
totalitarian system needed to maintain a fully socialist economy beyond a
socialist/market hybrid that would be typical of a limited democracy
mercantilist system. As Kant illustrated, democracies of all types tend to be
benign generally, especially in relation to other democratic systems, as most
people generally prefer to live peacefully, so when popular opinion helps
determine public policy more, peace tends to result. Kant also said that those
who would be tyrants, of petty or tremendous scope (from obnoxious muslim or
christian fundamentalists or neighborhood left-wingers to tyrants like Stalin,
Mao, or Reno), cannot be dealt with by democracies as those democracies deal
with each other, because would be tyrants base their actions on force,
agression, and individual self interest rather than mutual self-interest
determined by market polities. Demagogues do try to convert open democracies
into tyrannies by destroying the mutual trust that builds in democracies, which
is why so much of the socialist trends of the last century in formerly open
democracies have been built on extended campaigns of rhetoric and propaganda by
demagogues seeking to convince people to surrender their liberties freely.
> > Those of us who lived when the USSR was a powerful force in
> > the world lived with the notion (which I still believe) that communism
> > cannot prosper long term alongside capitalism.
> There are two problems with this. First, USSR stands for the Union
> of Soviet Socialist Republics. Notice that there is no "communism"
> in the name. Technically the USSR was socialist, not communist.
> Second, as conservatives love to point out, much of the early Socialist
> Party platform has been enacted in the United States, and similar
> provisions exist in most so-called "capitalist" countries. See
> This means that, in a sense, the United States is as much socialist
> as capitalist. The long conflict between the USSR and the US was not
> an ideological battle between capitalism and communism. It was a power
> struggle between two socialist nations.
No, it was a battle between the two systems, and the extent to which our system
became more socialist is an indication of the memetic damage that was done in
the last 70 years the conflict has raged. The US was not originally socialist
in any way shape or form.
> We should not be blinded by patriotic or ideological propaganda. We live
> in a mixed society, part capitalist and part socialist.
Now, we do. We did not live so originally. Planks of the socialist agenda have
been on the Democratic party platform for the last 50 years, and as a former
head of the US Socialist Party has said, Americans accepted socialism only
under the guise of modern liberalism. Thankfully, as more of the socialist
infrastructure is dismantled, our economy has accelerated nicely.
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