I agree with everything in this fine post, except this:
>From: "J. R. Molloy" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Oh, those gaussians (Was: Twin Studies)
>Date: Friday, August 27, 1999 8:43 AM
>Contrary to widely held beliefs, capitalism is not a system which exploits a
>large portion of society for the sake of a small minority of wealthy
>capitalists. Ironically, it is actually socialism that causes the systematic
>exploitation of labor. Since the socialist state holds a universal monopoly
>on labor and production, no economic incentive exists for the socialist
>state to provide anything more than minimum physical subsistence for the
>workers except to perhaps prevent riots or revolutions. Exploitation is
>inherent to the nature of socialism because individuals cannot live for
>their own sake, rather, they exist merely as means to whatever ends the
>socialist rulers -- the self-proclaimed spokesman of "society," may have in
This makes it sound like "capitalism good, socialism bad," when in fact it is a much more complex issue than that. There are instances of both "capitalist" systems involving the wholesale exploitation of the labour class for the benefit of the wealthy -- I lived two years in Indonesia and know whereof I speak, I now live in Singapore (need I say more), and large chunks of early American (and American regional) history bear chapters of a similar nature -- and "socialist" systems that used little or no coercion or exploitation, by gaining widespread consensus -- Ortega's Nicaragua (crushed by American interference, embargo, and spook tricks), the six-month (?) Spanish "anarchist" state crushed by the facists, I believe (I'm weak on details here, I admit), and dare I even mention Canada? In their theoretical forms, capitalism and socialism both ignore the essentially simian nature of people, which ultimately will destroy the theory and replace either with totalitarian or otherwis!
e dysfunctional social and economic structures.
To paraphrase Churchill, I believe, capitalism is the absolute worst economic system there is, except for all the others.