I-P: Capitalism vrs. commies

Ian Welsh iangwelsh@hotmail.com
Fri, 08 Mar 2002 02:50:46


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<P>There's a big difference between "capitalism" and "communism" as the terms are used in the last 100 years or so. Irrespective of what the Cato institute blithers on about Capitalism didn't spring from someone's head like Athena from Zues's.&nbsp; It is a historical fact that various people try to understand and to manipulate.&nbsp; Economic thinkers who understand the real world understand that modern apitalism is intertwined and completely dependent upon government and always has been.&nbsp; Modern capitalism is literally impossible without government support.</P>
<P>Communism and Marxism were the intellectual children of two men: Marx and Engels.&nbsp; The fact that those names have been hijacked to justify totalitarian centralization does not make those totalitarian regimes "Communist" except in the strictly technical sense that "communism" in America now means "totalitarian centralized states that use versions of Marxist ideology to justify themselves".&nbsp; Leaving aside the Marxist ideology part of that definition there have certainly been totalitarian states before Marxism and there will be totalitarian states after.&nbsp; (For a totalitarian state before, long before, I invite people to take a look at the policies of the first Chinese Emperor.)<BR></P></DIV>
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<DIV></DIV>From: "Gordon Mohr" <GOJOMO@USA.NET>
<DIV></DIV>To: <FORK@XENT.COM>
<DIV></DIV>Subject: Re: I-P: Capitalism vrs. commies 
<DIV></DIV>Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 18:35:31 -0800 
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<DIV></DIV>At this same level of dry abstraction, there has never been a fully 
<DIV></DIV>"capitalist" society, without all sorts of legacy nonmarket oppression. 
<DIV></DIV>No one's vision ever gets fully realized. 
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<DIV></DIV>So, dreamy theories about what might be possible after industrialization 
<DIV></DIV>notwithstanding, the terms "communism" and "capitalism" have practical 
<DIV></DIV>real-world meanings. Under those meanings, people much prefer capitalism, 
<DIV></DIV>because with it they eat more and get murdered less. 
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<DIV></DIV>- Gordon 
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<DIV></DIV>----- Original Message ----- 
<DIV></DIV>From: Ian Welsh 
<DIV></DIV>To: fork@xent.com 
<DIV></DIV>Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 2:24 AM 
<DIV></DIV>Subject: Re: I-P: Capitalism vrs. commies 
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<DIV></DIV>Much as the debate is tedious and I don't want to open up a can of worms this thread demands the simple comment that centralized control of markets and politics is not what Marx and Engels called for and that according to the central tenets of Marxism itself the Soviet Union and China and Cuba were not and never could be communist nations because you must go through industrialization and capitalism first. And none of them did. 
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<DIV></DIV>The torturers of the Spanish inquisition might have called themselves Christian but Jesus would not have recognized them. Nor would Marx have recognized Stalin as a true Marxist. 
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<DIV></DIV>(Ironic Marx quote: "I am not a marxist.") 
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<DIV></DIV>P.S. And yes, Marxism is flawed, for various reasons, but that doesn't change the facts above. 
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