Re: Communism vs Capitalism

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 08:20:43 MST wrote:
> In a message dated 2/17/01 1:25:09 PM Central Standard Time,
> writes:
> > 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.
> I agree that the technologies transhumanists look forward to promise to
> alleviate much of the competition for scarce resources that have
> characterized human history. Two points bear consideration. First, can we
> look forward to real qualitative changes in human and trans- and post-human
> life when "the basics" needed to sustain life can truly become abundant?
> This is the question we've been discussing in the "guaranteed income"
> threads. Second, some resources are likely to be "scarce" in any social
> system. Novelty, at least will be a valued commodity that might well be
> scarce in ANY social system. Further, when one projects out the implications
> of "ultra-technology", some resources, based simply on unique physical
> positions in space (and perhaps time), may be unavoidably scarce, requiring
> SOME mechanism for allocation that is consistent with the values of the
> entities who calue that resource.

Very good points, Greg. Also note that in any economic system, demand
tends to expand to meet supply, and also that excessive supply over
demand tends to cause waste and a preference for the cheapest supplier,
which invariably tends to be one that externalizes costs to a greater
extent than its competition. Maintaining supply/demand balance works to
minimize pollution and waste of resources, something that all greens
(and extropes) should be for, regardless of their economic dogma.

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