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Systems That Suck Less

Posted on December 28th, 2017 at 18:48 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment

 

[Quote:]

In theory, socialism is a wonderful system in which the workers own the means of production, and people contribute what they can and receive what they need. In practice, as seen in actual socialist societies? It sucks. Get past the rhetoric, and what happens is that the workers’ ownership of the means of production becomes a convenient fiction; an inner circle of politicians controls the means of production, and uses it to advance its own interests rather than that of the workers. Centralized bureaucracy becomes the order of the day, fossilization follows, and you end up with the familiar sclerosis of the mature socialist economy, guided by hopelessly inefficient policies mandated by clueless central planners, and carried out grudgingly by workers who know that they have nothing to gain by doing more than the minimum. Eventually this leads to the collapse of the system and its replacement by some other system of political economy.

In theory, equally, capitalism is a wonderful system in which anyone willing to work hard can get ahead, and the invisible hand of the market inevitably generates the best possible state of affairs for everyone. In practice, as seen in actual capitalist societies? It sucks. Get past the rhetoric, and what happens is that social mobility becomes a convenient fiction; an inner circle of plutocrats controls the means of production, and uses economic power backed by political corruption to choke the free market and stomp potential competitors. Monopoly and oligopoly become the order of the day, wealth concentrates at the top of the pyramid, and you end up with the familiar sclerosis of the mature capitalist society, in which the workers who actually make the goods and provide the services can’t afford to buy them, resulting in catastrophic booms and busts, soaring unemployment, and the rise of a violent and impoverished underclass. Eventually this leads to the collapse of the system and its replacement by some other system of political economy.

Yes, this is as true of capitalism as it is of socialism. Unrestricted capitalism has already collapsed once—the aftermath of the Great Depression saw it replaced by social democracy, socialism, or fascism over all of the industrial world—and we didn’t begin to return to it again until the Reagan-Thatcher counterrevolution of the 1980s.

[..]

We know how socialism works out, just as we know how capitalism works out. As previously noted, both of them suck. The obvious solution—unthinkable these days, oh, granted, but obvious—is to look for other options.

  1. As the population increases, capitalism has become the system of choice. I’m not sure anything else will work with our over populated planet.

  2. I’m very fond of the Archdruid’s work. He predicted Trump’s win very, very early. He’s not very optimistic about the survival of our present “democracies”.

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