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Vladimir Putin

Communism vs. Capitalism: A Question of Morality

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This is a discussion topic I posted on another forum, WEbook's, and thought it would be an interesting topic here. It's not about the practical application of either, but rather the bias towards evil that each one has conceptually, which is why it's not a repeat topic.

 

 

 

I found the discussion that Taswegan and I had in private messages warranted an open forum for opinion. Posted below are the messages, and the original post in the topic that prompted my message can be found here:

 

http://www.webook.co...347e&fview=true

 

-------- Original Message -------------

 

From: malashenko

 

Sent: 3/13/2010 11:10 PM PST

 

Subject: Post You Made in "Torture" Discussion

Hello there, I just read the post you maid regarding defian16's post in the topic about torture in the forums. While I do believe you were right in pointing out his bad history (though there were quite a few things in your version of history I am in contention with), I did have reservations about what you said regarding the battle of ideologies.

 

You said that communism isn't evil, and that it is equivalent in morality to capitalism. Taken both as just concepts and not applications, communism is considerably worse on a moral spectrum than capitalism. Capitalism is essential a division of labor spawned from a similar doctrine, mercantilism, while communism is a division of labor and total restructuring of society spawned from the Industrial Revolution, which was not doctrinal. This split alone guarantees significant divisions in moral responsibility, and because communism was founded on a revolutionary mindset, as opposed to the evolutionary growth of capitalism, it takes on more of the burden. The goal of communist movements remains to be the removal of the class division, and by extension, capitalism—certainly a violent endeavor. Granted, in practical application both communism and capitalism fall prey to abuses in their agenda, but on the whole communism remains far more conceptually biased in terms of morality, and does so in a negative way.

 

 

From: Taswegan

 

Sent: 3/14/2010 4:01 AM PDT

 

Subject: Post You Made in "Torture" Discussion

Thanks Tom for your interest.

We do have a different take on communism, I see capitalism far more conceptually biased in terms of morality in a negative manner too if you take its general attitude toward ordinary people under its control.

Communism is based on the ideal of sharing wealth. Capitalism is based on the ideal of accumulating wealth. Capitalism will grow and appear fair while it has room to grow. But if that growth were to be stopped it would not stop at eating itself. It is after all based on greed and accumulation. We are witnessing much of that behavior at the present time. Communism on the other hand, if we disregard mans apparent inability to handle power properly, has the ability to share the earning of a country among all, where all will ultimately benefit and prosper.

I am presently studying the growth of China in this regard. China appears to be flirting with capitalism and capitalism is sucking up to China because it wants to be part of the growth taking place there. There is a profit to be made. I seem to think that what is happening is totally unbelievable and that it will end up creating a new type of economy altogether. The worlds largest companies are almost like a totalitarian state in their own right and they talk a similar language as does a communist organization in this manner. What is happening now is cooperation between communism and capitalism without conflict even being contemplated. Both are concentrating on trade and growth and this must be good. Thanks again.

 

END MESSAGES

 

First I'd like to summarize the arguments made by both sides in the above messages. A major component of this discussion is that we weren't arguing the application of communism or capitalism, but rather the degree of moral bias that the concept of either has. I believe we were in agreement on the point that communism and capitalism share different amounts of moral burden, and that capitalism is a passive force, while communism is a more proactive ideology. The major differences in our argument stemmed from, on my side: that communism is a reactionary movement, that capitalism is an evolutionary development, and that communism seeks to use force to remove the class division/capitalism; on Taswegan's side: that capitalism is only sustainable so long as it can grow, and that communism has the ability to share earnings to ultimately benefit everyone. I'm certain there are countless other arguments, which is why I've made this topic.

 

To reinforce the points I made about capitalism, I find it necessary to analyze the origin of both systems. Mercantilism was the natural development of a declining feudal system in Europe, and essentially held that members of a state, especially colonies, need to amass as much wealth for their home territory as possible. Capitalism came from this system naturally, because as the wealth gained by colonization grew and increased technological capacities, the government simply could not regulate business efficiently. Private businesses were able to get capital for their venture much more easily and their successes began the system of economic deregulation that would eventually become the lasseiz faire market. Adam Smith's economic insights weren't the origin of capitalism, but rather the first description of an existing system. This sort of development, one that was not a reaction, but rather an extension and eventual separation from the originating ideology, makes capitalism a passive system. Market forces spawned capitalism, and market forces dominate capitalist doctrine. The way that applies in argument to its level of moral bias is simple; market forces represent society's wants and needs, and therefore its determination of what would be considered right and wrong, so capitalism is not a determining factor in those wants and needs but rather a result. Communism by contrast is a system trying to produce a revolutionary outcome in its followers, with a clear bias against the existing system. By assaulting the status quo, communism becomes more morally biased, it already made up its mind about what way to live was right, and what way to live was wrong.

 

Taswegan's main argument against capitalism was that it is only fair and healthy so long as it has room to grow. Any system of thought, however, falls prey to this kind of growth trap. There are limited resources available to mankind, and the distribution of those resources is a point central to the difference between communism and capitalism. Communism seeks to share economic output equally, but in order to do that and ensure any decent quality of life, you need a fairly large amount of resources. Perhaps this is the largest flaw of communism, that its equality relies on the premise of boundless exploitable resources—something that doesn't exist anywhere. Personal ambitions must be stifled in order to maintain this system of equality, but since that equality will never be able to match the opportunity available under a capitalist ideology, the revolutionary actions required to achieve a communist state of government cannot be justified. Morally, then, communism simply can't be on even ground with capitalism, because it already has to work to reach justification before actual policy can be implemented.

 

Of course this is just the starting point, so I'd love to see more analysis and discussion on the topic of whether communism or capitalism (conceptually) has more bias towards evil.

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If it's a question of which system is more moral in a vacuum, then one could take the side of either part because they stand for the same things. Both stand for equal opportunity; capitalism does so through no control and communism does so through total control. Capitalism is much more passive in this aspect, but neither one picks favorites. The main difference is that a hard worker in a capitalist state is likely to be rewarded with a higher income and more opportunities, whereas a hard worker in a communist state is a hard worker because they need to be in order to survive. Capitalism provides more opportunities and has a greater stress on individuality, while communism forces universal living styles and statism. Both systems have the same moral goals, but the means are different. If you want to look at which is better, we need to see the consequences of each method.

 

When if it's a question of application, as in "which system doesn't fuck everything up when you use it," then capitalism is the safest choice, because it allows for pretty much any form of government, and doesn't require bloody revolutions or violent suppression of the public. True communist reforms have never happened, because every time a government tries to enact communism it never abolishes itself after redistributing the resources, as it is supposed to do. Furthermore, a communist country would always be infringed upon by capitalist ones- a country with no government is basically open space, and western nations will be eager to "occupy" the new land.

 

I know that the prompt is in initial intention, and not practice, but I'd like to point out that the morality of something should be defined by what it causes. If we've seen communism kill millions of people, in multiple instances, then it should probably be seen as morally lower than capitalism, Especially when the only difference between the two is HOW they promote equality.

Edited by NinjaSamurai
because i wanted to
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Communism relies on faulty assumptions and bad history. It was entirely a reactionary development, because without the new conditions brought on by the Industrial Revolution a landless proletariat wouldn't have developed. The yearning for a "simpler" lifestyle in which even the working class owned land and was economically independent was based on bad history and is simply nostalgic. For some reason, communists see capitalism as a recurring element in the past, when in reality the concept of a lasseiz faire market didn't come about until well after even the Americas were discovered. Reactionary ideologies that are based on false assumptions, like that requiring infinite resources in order to maintain a decent standard of living, make communism obsolete. Morally communism is inferior to capitalism because it has decided a proper way to live in a doctrinal form, where capitalism doesn't make decisions on appropriate lifestyles, but is rather the result of market forces. Market forces are determined by people who participate in the market, so capitalism is rather an outcome of their choices, and not an attempt to force them to make certain concessions in order for everyone to be equal. If equality were the goal of society, then that would be reflected in capitalism, but since it's practically impossible for everyone to be equal, equality only comes about through economic opportunity.

 

Also, the pure ridiculousness of communist goals force it to be considered obsolete. Trying to remove all class divisions is quite simply impossible, and attempting to manufacture the outcome anyways will lead to gross violations in personal freedoms. These freedoms are considerably more important than a chance at economic equality, and morally it's not possible to justify the removal of rights in exchange for a mere possibility of material equality.

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Have you ever actually read Marx? Your understanding of the emergence of communist thought is in need of adjustment.

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Communism relies on faulty assumptions and bad history. It was entirely a reactionary development, because without the new conditions brought on by the Industrial Revolution a landless proletariat wouldn't have developed. The yearning for a "simpler" lifestyle in which even the working class owned land and was economically independent was based on bad history and is simply nostalgic. For some reason, communists see capitalism as a recurring element in the past, when in reality the concept of a lasseiz faire market didn't come about until well after even the Americas were discovered. Reactionary ideologies that are based on false assumptions, like that requiring infinite resources in order to maintain a decent standard of living, make communism obsolete. Morally communism is inferior to capitalism because it has decided a proper way to live in a doctrinal form, where capitalism doesn't make decisions on appropriate lifestyles, but is rather the result of market forces. Market forces are determined by people who participate in the market, so capitalism is rather an outcome of their choices, and not an attempt to force them to make certain concessions in order for everyone to be equal. If equality were the goal of society, then that would be reflected in capitalism, but since it's practically impossible for everyone to be equal, equality only comes about through economic opportunity.

 

Also, the pure ridiculousness of communist goals force it to be considered obsolete. Trying to remove all class divisions is quite simply impossible, and attempting to manufacture the outcome anyways will lead to gross violations in personal freedoms. These freedoms are considerably more important than a chance at economic equality, and morally it's not possible to justify the removal of rights in exchange for a mere possibility of material equality.

 

Almost all of this is inaccurate (I say "almost" because most of the punctuation is correct).

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The fact of the matter is that communism inevitably fails- as the Poles put it, "communism is the longest and most painful road to capitalism." The very fact that communist reforms ALWAYS FAIL means that it is in itself an affront to human nature. True communism has existed, as in "before society actually came into being." But capitalism seems to be an inevitability for developed countries.

 

Vladmir Putin is right when he says that communism developed in reaction to capitalism. Marx saw it as a tool for the upper class to oppress the worker and that those workers would have to undergo revolution in order to revert to communism. Morally, this in itself sets communism apart because it necessitates war and coercion in order to exist. What Marx failed to realize was that life as an independent farmer was no better than life as an abused factory worker. Capitalism is superior because poor people in capitalist countries are still better off than average people in communist countries, and also that a truly communist country, absent of a government, would probably redevelop into a capitalist one anyway.

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The fact of the matter is that communism inevitably fails- as the Poles put it, "communism is the longest and most painful road to capitalism." The very fact that communist reforms ALWAYS FAIL means that it is in itself an affront to human nature. True communism has existed, as in "before society actually came into being." But capitalism seems to be an inevitability for developed countries.

 

Name one such "communist reform."

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Name one such "communist reform."

 

Every single country that claims to be communist, isn't. The old Soviet Union, China, Korea, etc. all failed. Hard. Communism is a three step process:

 

1) Overthrow the old system and institute a new government,

2) Have said government equally distribute all resources

3) Have said government abolish itself.

 

Even though we use the word "communism" quite frequently, this process may seem unfamiliar. Why? Because the "communism" that we're familiar with today is nothing more than ultra-socialism. People are too power hungry to give up such control after equalizing everything. So the revolution that, for example, Russia, went through in the early 1900's was basically a huge waste because true communism never actually happened. It never has happened in any instance, and the lives that so many civilians gave in effort to produce it were in vain. The process of communism might work in of itself, but when human nature is added to the mix, you get totalitarianism and statism instead. In soviet Russia, millions of people died either directly from democidal famine or indirectly from a lack "cushioning" that the free market can provide. Instead of merchants and profiteers stockpiling resources, the government taxed the food away from the people who, ironically, instated that very same government in order to not be exploited. Communism in practice not only robs a person of their individuality but often of their life as well.

 

But in answer to your question: All of them. There have been many alleged communist reforms, but no actual communist countries. So we can safely assume that all such reforms failed.

Edited by NinjaSamurai

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Even though we use the word "communism" quite frequently, this process may seem unfamiliar. Why? Because the "communism" that we're familiar with today is nothing more than ultra-socialism. People are too power hungry to give up such control after equalizing everything. So the revolution that, for example, Russia, went through in the early 1900's was basically a huge waste because true communism never actually happened.

 

I know that the prompt is in initial intention, and not practice, but I'd like to point out that the morality of something should be defined by what it causes. If we've seen communism kill millions of people, in multiple instances, then it should probably be seen as morally lower than capitalism, Especially when the only difference between the two is HOW they promote equality.

 

How can communism kill millions of people without existing? This makes no sense...

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How can communism kill millions of people without existing? This makes no sense...

 

Sorry for the lack of clarity. I'm saying that REAL communism has never happened, because whenever people try to create it it leads to totalitarian control. And THAT has killed millions of innocent people.

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How can communism kill millions of people without existing? This makes no sense...

I am also confused with how communist reforms can have failed when no actual communist reforms have ever been implemented.

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Communism relies on faulty assumptions and bad history. It was entirely a reactionary development, because without the new conditions brought on by the Industrial Revolution a landless proletariat wouldn't have developed. The yearning for a "simpler" lifestyle in which even the working class owned land and was economically independent was based on bad history and is simply nostalgic.

 

I'm really not entirely sure what you are talking about. Are you saying that communism yearns for a simpler time, a pre-capitalist time?

It would certainly be wrong to say no communists believed in that. So I guess we might have a conceptual confusion of what communism is/was/will be. So, I will talk about Marx, because there is a literature base we can reference, at least.

Marx had no desire for a simpler time. The early (what is called humanist Marx) was very concerned with questions of alienation that were introduced by capitalist societies. But communism, for Marx, was not a return to pre-capitalist socieites. Indeed, such a move would have been an affront to his concept of dialectical materialism. Communism (which, we all must agree, Marx hardly ever spoke of in concrete terms. A theory of capitalism can be found in his work, a theory of communism almost not at all) was by definition that which occurred after capitalism. Indeed, in most of Marx's writings capitalism was a necessary pre-condition for communism.

 

 

For some reason, communists see capitalism as a recurring element in the past, when in reality the concept of a lasseiz faire market didn't come about until well after even the Americas were discovered.

 

While one might be out there, I don't know a single communist thinker who would espouse this idea. Marx's work is based on a concept of materialist history. That is to say, the history of various modes of production. History is therefore a series of different stages of production (and with it reproduction and accumulation). In much of Marx's theory, history progressed through a material dialectic, that is to say each mode of production created it's own contradictions that were resolved by creating a new mode of production. So the feudal order gives way to the capitalist order, and the capitalist order will give way to communism, which will therefore be the end of history. (Hence the title of Fukuyama's book The End of History. Which argues that the failures of communism means that capitalist, classically liberal societies are the last stage of history). So, the theory of communism as such basically depends upon the idea that capitalism is a relatively recent invention, and as such a different type of society is possible, the communist one. I am beginning to wonder if you are confusing the communist theory of political economy with, you know, hippie communes.

 

 

Reactionary ideologies that are based on false assumptions, like that requiring infinite resources in order to maintain a decent standard of living, make communism obsolete.

 

I have no clue what you mean.

 

I'm not really going to get into the rest of this you. I would point out that appeals to human nature are rather suspect for me. It assumes that humans are beings that are unchanging, and that certain aspects of their being remain rigid. Rather we are malleable, plastic, changeable and always changing. Indeed, that is the point of a materialist history, to prove that change has happened, and change will happen again.

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I will respond to each argument that you make in a line by line format

 

 

Also, the pure ridiculousness of communist goals force it to be considered obsolete. Trying to remove all class divisions is quite simply impossible, and attempting to manufacture the outcome anyways will lead to gross violations in personal freedoms. These freedoms are considerably more important than a chance at economic equality, and morally it's not possible to justify the removal of rights in exchange for a mere possibility of material equality.

 

 

1. You are asserting that the removal of all class is impossible without offering a warrant as to why. Although I am not an expert in Marxism, as some that have posted appear to be, his interpretation of Capitalism in the Manifesto, as well as how he outlines it in Das Capital, is that two things will cause the elimination of Capitalism and the transition to Communism. First, is that the system we call Capitalism will destroy itself, its internal contradictions will cause it to implode on itself . Second, the proletariat will rise up and take control in a revolution (sorry this is probably way over simplified); these actions will happen almost simultaneously. TheScuSpeaks already cited The End of History by Fukuyama about how the failures of the pseudo-communist states will stop the transition to a true Communist ethic, also the evolution and adaptation of Capitalism have slowed the process that Marx outlined, but nothing guarantees its impossibility.

 

2. The second bolded statement acts on the assumption that everyone is afforded freedoms under Capitalism which is most definitely incorrect, also the same thing could be said about Capitalism. Take for example the United States, in the 1900s African-Americans were not allowed to vote in many states, so despite our “Capitalism Ethic” we did not extend rights to everyone. A more modern example perhaps? Well, look at gay rights in this country, Homosexuals are not allowed to get married in almost every single state, so they have rights stripped away from them as well. But, let us look to other places in the world; Sudan a country that has a form of economic Capitalism and what is going on there? A genocide that accounts for 400,000 deaths (Coalition for International Justice) and 200,000 refugees. When imperial powers convinced African tribes to stop growing vegetables and grow cotton instead and build textile plants and export cotton they didn’t care about the hunger and starvation they cared only about ‘civilizing’ Africa, those are rights Capitalism took away.

 

If it's a question of which system is more moral in a vacuum, then one could take the side of either part because they stand for the same things. Both stand for equal opportunity; capitalism does so through no control and communism does so through total control. Capitalism is much more passive in this aspect, but neither one picks favorites. The main difference is that a hard worker in a capitalist state is likely to be rewarded with a higher income and more opportunities, whereas a hard worker in a communist state is a hard worker because they need to be in order to survive. Capitalism provides more opportunities and has a greater stress on individuality, while communism forces universal living styles and statism. Both systems have the same moral goals, but the means are different. If you want to look at which is better, we need to see the consequences of each method.

 

When if it's a question of application, as in "which system doesn't fuck everything up when you use it," then capitalism is the safest choice, because it allows for pretty much any form of government, and doesn't require bloody revolutions or violent suppression of the public. True communist reforms have never happened, because every time a government tries to enact communism it never abolishes itself after redistributing the resources, as it is supposed to do. Furthermore, a communist country would always be infringed upon by capitalist ones- a country with no government is basically open space, and western nations will be eager to "occupy" the new land.

 

I know that the prompt is in initial intention, and not practice, but I'd like to point out that the morality of something should be defined by what it causes. If we've seen communism kill millions of people, in multiple instances, then it should probably be seen as morally lower than capitalism, Especially when the only difference between the two is HOW they promote equality.

 

 

1. Even if Capitalism stands “for equal opportunity” it definitely doesn’t guarantee it, easiest example is running for a national office. No matter how qualified the candidate if they lack money they are not going to get elected, proving the opportunity is not equal. And, don’t pretend that everyone has the same opportunity to get into Harvard or another Ivy League school, there are people that are not wealthy that attend those schools, but the vast majority that do are, that is not equality. Communism in its purest form does guarantee this equality.

 

2. NO NO NO NO NO, by your logic someone who lives in Cleveland and works all day in a steel mill putting sweat and blood into his work gets paid as much as a CEO. There are hundreds of thousands of people in this country that toil in the hot sun as migrant pickers attempting to get just enough money that they and their families can survive, your statement is a broad generalization. For a very current example look at the countries unemployment rate 10.4% in February (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) by your logic the reason that 10% of the work force is unemployed is because they didn’t work hard enough to deserve their money, that is a shitty assertion. Even if Communism is flawed as an idea in it at least guarantees a job.

 

3. Cross apply all previous analysis it outlines some of the things Capitalism has done

 

4. That doesn’t make Capitalism a safe choice it makes it a bad one. Capitalism might allow Republics but it also allows: Fascism, Oligarchies, Stalinism, and Totalitarianism in fact it works better under those systems because the elites can make decisions that benefit the market more

p.s. who do you think runs American? I will give you a hint it starts will Wall and ends with Street.

 

5. That assertion makes all your points about how much Communism sucks fail, because as others have pointed out a true Communist Ethic has never existed game over.

 

6. This is where most people will probably start to disagree with me, World War II 70 million people died. Hitler came to power because of economic strife in Germany strife caused by the economic sanctions placed on it by other first world countries and was a Capitalist state with a free market where the best company was awarded contracts etc. But here comes the BIG number 100 million (David Stannard, American Holocaust, Oxford University Press, 1992, p.151) the number of Indigenous Persons killed by the invasion of North America by Europeans who were looking for gold and money Capitalism again. Meaning that even if you add up all the people Stalin killed 10 million it is still only 5.4% of the number of Indigenous Persons and those killed in WWII. Deaths which directly or indirectly were caused by Capitalism. Even if you count the 50 million deaths caused by Mao and his politics more have been killed in the name of Capitalism You say we should look at effects, yet you seem to ignore the ones that contradict your point. Since you admit that true Communism has never happened all of your arguments about death are mute. Finally, a famous debate card by Dillion in 99’ says that because in a Capitalist system we are all attached to the clock and by using economic calculation, which Capitalism does, there are inevitably parts of a Capitalist society which have no value and can therefore be extinguished. In a Communist society, as you yourself already admitted everyone is necessary so this type of an evaluation never takes place.

 

7. You are an idiot if you think the only difference between Capitalism and Communism is “HOW they promote equality” there are a lot more differences then that :eek:

 

 

Sorry for the lack of clarity. I'm saying that REAL communism has never happened, because whenever people try to create it it leads to totalitarian control. And THAT has killed millions of innocent people.

 

8. Just read the bolded like it is a debate card and my point is proven by your own words :S:

Edited by Csydonnell
math problem

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1. You are asserting that the removal of all class is impossible without offering a warrant as to why. Although I am not an expert in Marxism, as some that have posted appear to be, his interpretation of Capitalism in the Manifesto, as well as how he outlines it in Das Capital, is that two things will cause the elimination of Capitalism and the transition to Communism. First, is that the system we call Capitalism will destroy itself, its internal contradictions will cause it to implode on itself . Second, the proletariat will rise up and take control in a revolution (sorry this is probably way over simplified); these actions will happen almost simultaneously. TheScuSpeaks already cited The End of History by Fukuyama about how the failures of the pseudo-communist states will stop the transition to a true Communist ethic, also the evolution and adaptation of Capitalism have slowed the process that Marx outlined, but nothing guarantees its impossibility.

 

This is all hearsay- even the attempted communist revolutions we've had haven't happened because of capitalism. As a matter of fact, with an exception to the French Revolution, ALL revolutions have been spearheaded by the profiteering upper-class. The very revolution in Russia was an attempt by the threatened aristocrats to protect their own self interests from a government that was attempting to westernize. Even after these wars, class divisions still existed. I have yet to see you explain why class divisions CAN be removed. The very governments that tried to reform kept themselves on top, because people have a natural need to organize in hierarchies. Just because "nothing guarantees the impossibility of Communism" doesn't mean it's a valid idea. We've seen capitalism improve the overall living qualities of the worker, we've seen attempted communism destroy them. It's a better idea to stick with what works.

 

2. The second bolded statement acts on the assumption that everyone is afforded freedoms under Capitalism which is most definitely incorrect, also the same thing could be said about Capitalism. Take for example the United States, in the 1900s African-Americans were not allowed to vote in many states, so despite our “Capitalism Ethic” we did not extend rights to everyone. A more modern example perhaps? Well, look at gay rights in this country, Homosexuals are not allowed to get married in almost every single state, so they have rights stripped away from them as well. But, let us look to other places in the world; Sudan a country that has a form of economic Capitalism and what is going on there? A genocide that accounts for 400,000 deaths (Coalition for International Justice) and 200,000 refugees. When imperial powers convinced African tribes to stop growing vegetables and grow cotton instead and build textile plants and export cotton they didn’t care about the hunger and starvation they cared only about ‘civilizing’ Africa, those are rights Capitalism took away.

 

The logical flaw in this argument is evaluating capitalism on the rights it takes away, while ignoring the fact that communism removes ALL rights. Yes, homophobia and racism run rampant in today's society, and something needs to be done about it. But this oppression is a result of personal prejudices, not because of capitalism. In a truly communist country, one without a government, personal fears and ideas would have even more power over the way people act. We'd see racism and homophobia as much more common in an anarchist state than in a democratic one. What's more, the 400,000 dead in Africa has nothing to do with capitalism. There can be no direct link made, and either way, it's still less dead from the democidal famines that communism has caused. There may be downsides to introducing capitalism to a new area, but one must think- "compared to what?" can we really think that a communist revolution would have less casualties than a transition to capitalism?

 

 

 

1. Even if Capitalism stands “for equal opportunity” it definitely doesn’t guarantee it, easiest example is running for a national office. No matter how qualified the candidate if they lack money they are not going to get elected, proving the opportunity is not equal. And, don’t pretend that everyone has the same opportunity to get into Harvard or another Ivy League school, there are people that are not wealthy that attend those schools, but the vast majority that do are, that is not equality. Communism in its purest form does guarantee this equality.

 

Again- capitalism is not the cause of these inequalities. Capitalism doesn't pick favorites. Inequalities may arise from where one is born but it is more than counter acted for by the market. People who work their way into a better living can get out of the ghettos, whereas people who don't fall into them. And to say that communism does is a blatant lie. What opportunities exist in a communist state? Do you get to be promoted from potato farming to sheep herding? There is simply no infrastructure in a communist state to provide ANY opportunity. Communism is only equal in the fact that everybody gets the same thing- nothing.

 

2. NO NO NO NO NO, by your logic someone who lives in Cleveland and works all day in a steel mill putting sweat and blood into his work gets paid as much as a CEO. There are hundreds of thousands of people in this country that toil in the hot sun as migrant pickers attempting to get just enough money that they and their families can survive, your statement is a broad generalization. For a very current example look at the countries unemployment rate 10.4% in February (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) by your logic the reason that 10% of the work force is unemployed is because they didn’t work hard enough to deserve their money, that is a shitty assertion. Even if Communism is flawed as an idea in it at least guarantees a job.

 

I'm saying that the CEO is the CEO because he worked longer and harder than the other workers- at least he would have in a world of pure capitalism. And you still refuse to acknowledge the fact that the steel worker gets to go home to his air conditioned apartment, eat out for dinner, relax in front of a television, etc., etc., etc. I'll repeat it again- even the most marginalized people in a capitalist system are better off than the average person in a communist system.

 

That doesn’t make Capitalism a safe choice it makes it a bad one. Capitalism might allow Republics but it also allows: Fascism, Oligarchies, Stalinism, and Totalitarianism in fact it works better under those systems because the elites can make decisions that benefit the market more

p.s. who do you think runs American? I will give you a hint it starts will Wall and ends with Street.

 

Capitalism in some instances does allow for oppression. But I dare you to name ONE attempted communist country that hasn't. Whereas Fascism, Oligarchies, Stalinism, and Totalitarianism are risks of a capitalist society, oppression, biocontrol, coercion, and dehumanization are as of yet GUARANTEES of a communist one. I don't need to prove that capitalism is perfect- I'm just pointing out that it's better than communism.

 

That assertion makes all your points about how much Communism sucks fail, because as others have pointed out a true Communist Ethic has never existed game over.

 

I'm disappointed that I need to clarify this over and over. But I'll say it again- COMMUNISM HAS NEVER WORKED. IT MAY BE A GOOD IDEA IN THEORY, BUT IN PRACTICE IT FAILS. Let's say there's a machine that would theoretically end world hunger if you operated it, but whenever someone tries to build it, it creates a thermonuclear explosion instead. Even though the machine may have never been completed, it is still a bad thing to make on account of it's effects. Communism is the same. It never happens as planned, it always leads to decades of oppression, control, democide, and death. That makes it, in practice, a bad thing.

 

 

World War II 70 million people died. Hitler came to power because of economic strife in Germany strife caused by the economic sanctions placed on it by other first world countries and was a Capitalist state with a free market where the best company was awarded contracts etc. But here comes the BIG number 100 million (David Stannard, American Holocaust, Oxford University Press, 1992, p.151) the number of Indigenous Persons killed by the invasion of North America by Europeans who were looking for gold and money Capitalism again. Meaning that even if you add up all the people Stalin killed 10 million it is still only 5.4% of the number of Indigenous Persons and those killed in WWII. Deaths which directly or indirectly were caused by Capitalism. Even if you count the 50 million deaths caused by Mao and his politics more have been killed in the name of Capitalism You say we should look at effects, yet you seem to ignore the ones that contradict your point.

 

A) Germany was not capitalist pre-WWII, there was no market and no international markets in place at that time. Furthermore, capitalism cannot be blamed even if it was in place at that time. Germany was forced to pay for the near entirety of WWI, which would collapse the market of any country that had just emerged from the as of yet worst war in world history.

B) The decision to kill millions of innocent people was not capitalism's choice- it was Hitler's. The impoverished state of Germany (capitalist or not) brought him to power, because he made false promises and was incredibly charismatic. Even if we can pinpoint capitalism as one of the early steps in this process, there is nothing unique to it that makes us sure that a communist leader might not decide to do the exact same. Although capitalism may or may not have indirectly led to such horrors, communism has killed it victims directly. Not because of the will of a single person, as in your instance, but because of how it functioanlly works.

C) Hitler was anything but a capitalist- even if capitalism was in place when he was elected, he more than did his job to remove it by the time he was in office. He socialized Germany and intruded the government into every aspect of the market, and monitored and regulated everything that anyone did, and put the government in charge of all significant operations on the private level. This means that capitalism was not an operation used to kill millions- it was long gone by the time we're talking about.

D) Even if all you said went unanswered, we should account for death that came indirectly from the government. Whereas capitalism solves for poverty (the "poverty" that we're familiar with is nothing but a state of people making below average), communism bathes people in it. More people died of poverty-related starvation and disease in Russia and China than did ever in a capitalist one.

 

7. You are an idiot if you think the only difference between Capitalism and Communism is “HOW they promote equality” there are a lot more differences then that :eek:

 

There are. I'm saying that the end goal of the two is the same, next time don't take my quotes out of context. Capitalism uses much different means to promote equality, mainly by not interfering at all. Communism promotes equality by forcing it, something that leads to much more atrocities than capitalism does.

 

So, in the end, we've seen the practice of communism directly kill millions of people, and have seen the practice of capitalism maybe indirectly be one of the hundreds of steps it took to get one man in power, who then went completely insane when no one was expecting it.

 

You're right in a lot of aspects- capitalism has many flaws. But these can be attributed to human nature and prejudice, not in the way that capitalism works. The current version of capitalism is NOT the perfect economic mode, it's simply better than our current mode of communism. Hitler was a bad guy, but that was simply it- it was HIM who decided to heartlessly kill millions of Jews, Gypsies, and Catholics. Not capitalism. But the millions of people who have starved in communist states did so directly because of how communism functions- a lack of market cushioning and reserves. Capitalism has improved the average living quality of the worker, but communism has destroyed the lives of everyone who wasn't already on the bottom. This makes communism the direct murderer of millions, something that both of us agree on.

Edited by NinjaSamurai

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As a matter of fact, with an exception to the French Revolution, ALL revolutions have been spearheaded by the profiteering upper-class.

 

Haiti revolution, Indian revolution, Chinese revolution, etc.

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This is all hearsay
True, but so is everything you say about capitalism. This entire thread is made of hearsay.

 

The logical flaw in this argument is evaluating capitalism on the rights it takes away, while ignoring the fact that communism removes ALL rights. Yes, homophobia and racism run rampant in today's society, and something needs to be done about it. But this oppression is a result of personal prejudices, not because of capitalism. In a truly communist country, one without a government, personal fears and ideas would have even more power over the way people act. We'd see racism and homophobia as much more common in an anarchist state than in a democratic one. What's more, the 400,000 dead in Africa has nothing to do with capitalism.

Are you referring to "rights" or "freedoms"? Further what is your warrant for any of this?

 

There can be no direct link made, and either way, it's still less dead from the democidal famines that communism has caused. There may be downsides to introducing capitalism to a new area, but one must think- "compared to what?" can we really think that a communist revolution would have less casualties than a transition to capitalism?
Sure, why not? As you noted above, Communism hasn't caused any deaths in history because it has never existed. (But let's be honest, pure capitalism has never existed in any meaningful way either.)

 

Again- capitalism is not the cause of these inequalities. Capitalism doesn't pick favorites.

Okay, but as long as there are inequalities and capitalism perpetuates them, why is that irrelevant to the analysis? In capitalism, unless you assume perpetual growth, it is impossible for there to be winners without losers. Yes, some of those losses may be trivial for some people, but for other people those losses mean they become homeless, cannot afford food or fresh water, cannot afford basic medical care, or otherwise cannot afford to live. As long as we're discussing morality, why must we ignore that one system perpetuates, rather than corrects, inequalities and does not care about the individual well-being of any particular member of the system?

 

And you still refuse to acknowledge the fact that the steel worker gets to go home to his air conditioned apartment, eat out for dinner, relax in front of a television, etc., etc., etc. I'll repeat it again- even the most marginalized people in a capitalist system are better off than the average person in a communist system.
Sadly, someone who possesses a home, air conditioning, and can afford to eat out is far from the "most marginalized" person in a capitalist system.

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Sadly, someone who possesses a home, air conditioning, and can afford to eat out is far from the "most marginalized" person in a capitalist system.

See Nigeria.

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C) Hitler was anything but a capitalist- even if capitalism was in place when he was elected, he more than did his job to remove it by the time he was in office. He socialized Germany and intruded the government into every aspect of the market, and monitored and regulated everything that anyone did, and put the government in charge of all significant operations on the private level. This means that capitalism was not an operation used to kill millions- it was long gone by the time we're talking about.

 

this thread is the lulz.

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this thread is the lulz.

 

 

A) Germany was not capitalist pre-WWII, there was no market and no international markets in place at that time. Furthermore, capitalism cannot be blamed even if it was in place at that time. Germany was forced to pay for the near entirety of WWI, which would collapse the market of any country that had just emerged from the as of yet worst war in world history.

Just because the money was worthless isn't a good reason as to why it isn't capitalist.

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I think Ninja Samuri just made the case for Hitler being an ideal capitalist: he took a slumping, debt ridden economy and induced hundreds of millions in foreign capital investment, set in place a state-demand for war supplies, allowing the 'free-market' to take care of many other needs, and founded state utilities so that private corporations could make millions off the war.

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Communism is doctrinal, it has a very specific set of right and wrongs, but capitalism, feudalism, and their predecessors were evolutions of a market. Trying to restructure society as a whole is a necessity of communism, capitalism doesn't require anything but a free market. Because of this, and several other reasons, communism is more morally biased.

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capitalism, feudalism, and their predecessors were evolutions of a market.

 

Marx saw communism as an evolutionary stage as well.

 

I disagree with him (because I distrust all teleological systems in general), but my point is that your historical analysis seems predicated upon a lot of assumptions that I am not sure you have any right to make (insofar as they debatable and that you seem as guilty of reasoning backward from a pre-determined result as I would argue a classical Marxist does).

 

Matt

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I think Ninja Samuri just made the case for Hitler being an ideal capitalist: he took a slumping, debt ridden economy and induced hundreds of millions in foreign capital investment, set in place a state-demand for war supplies, allowing the 'free-market' to take care of many other needs, and founded state utilities so that private corporations could make millions off the war.

 

One could argue that WWII may have indirectly helped the German economy, but the fact is that capitalism was not the tool used to achieve this. Government coercion and control is not capitalism, or at least not in the sense of Nazi Germany. Indeed, we saw many isolated factors of a free market at the time, like in German demand for war supplies, but the whole picture of Nazi Germany is anything but a capitalist one. This can be equated to other non-capitalist countries, like Cuba, where we can see international trade and business, but the overarching government control and policy leads us to define it as some other kind of system.

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One could argue that WWII may have indirectly helped the German economy, but the fact is that capitalism was not the tool used to achieve this. Government coercion and control is not capitalism, or at least not in the sense of Nazi Germany. Indeed, we saw many isolated factors of a free market at the time, like in German demand for war supplies, but the whole picture of Nazi Germany is anything but a capitalist one. This can be equated to other non-capitalist countries, like Cuba, where we can see international trade and business, but the overarching government control and policy leads us to define it as some other kind of system.

 

there is 0 relationship between nazi germany and cuba.

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I just finished off reading Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason, which had a lot to say about this issue.

 

Say - who is coaching Glenbrook North these days?

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