I-P: Capitalism vrs. commies

Owen Byrne owen@permafrost.net
Wed, 6 Mar 2002 11:28:39 -0400


On Wed, Mar 06, 2002 at 06:19:19AM -0800, Paul Prescod wrote:
> Owen Byrne wrote:
> > 
> >...
> > 
> > Ok, so now you're arguing that the phrase "capitalism vs. commies" was never
> > useful. I agree.
> > I was born in 1960.
> 
> No, I'm arguing that capitalism is a rough and tumble system. It is also
> an imperfectly implemented system.
> 
> That it is different from communism is easily verifiable through a visit
> to Cuba or North Korea or through a book about the Soviet Union. Compare
> the Enron "crisis" to the Ukrainian Famine. Now that's a crisis.
> 

Sortof comparable to the potato famine, the genocide of North American
aboriginals, the Great Depression, WW II,  The war in Vietnam (if you're 
vietnamese), the rust belt, slums, urban blight, "donut" cities, Its easy
for rich Americans to sit in gated communities with private security guards
and say their system is the best. Sort of like mid-eighties communist 
party members sitting in their dachaus surrounded by NKVD security talking 
about how their system is the best. 

As some of my more socialist friends would say, take a tour through Arkansas, 
or Flint or the Bronx (or parts of Vancouver). I just go out my door,
walk 4 blocks south and I'm in the third world (Except I'd probably feel 
safer in the third world). 

Communism is of course a failed system, while capitalism is "an imperfectly 
implemented system." I would argue that it was implemented completely in
England of the 19th century, and that the results were abject poverty for 99%
of the people and vast wealth for a few. Not to mention toxic fog, "mother's 
little helper" and child labour far beyond anything currently seen in the 
3rd world. And that no government since then
actually believes that perfectly implemented capitalism works any better 
than perfectly implemented communism. And that "socialism" has been implemented
in various places in the world, and people have been happy with it, often 
to see it crushed by military force usually cynically labelled as the "forces
of freedom," or by economic bullying (again usually called "forces of freedom").

Then there's my belief that capitalism/profits/rush to market/ is primarily 
responsible for the AIDS virus jumping from monkeys to humans. That one's 
arguable, I suppose, but if you read the book "The River" 
(http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/AIDS/River/) 
perhaps you'll agree with me.



Mother's Little Helper: In 18th and 19th century England, this was opium 
marketed to working mothers. Just a teaspoon to each of your babys before 
you start that 15 hour shift, and they're guaranteed to sleep right through
it. That's perfectly implemented capitalism.

Owen