Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Problems & Solutions: 1.1 – Communism, Socialism or Capitalism

Problems & Solutions: 1.1 – Communism, Socialism or Capitalism

People similar to myself, raised in the shadows of the cold war, products of the 60s & 70s, were led to believe that in the global scope of things the battle was between communism and capitalism. Which is better? Who really won that battle? Was that really the case? Is it still an issue? I do not have the answers to these questions. I can tell you the bigger problem and/ or part of this problem was and still is ignorance.

Webster makes the following definitions:

1 a : a theory advocating elimination of private property
  b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

2 capitalized a : a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
b : a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production
c : a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
   b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

The most obvious deterrent from communism to any capitalist (American) would be the very first definition. Who wants to not have their own stuff? And, they say there is no bias in the media. Both of these systems (according to these definitions) require a controlling party (state) to distribute/ control the goods. Therein lays the next problem.  It is may come to no surprise that many of the other online references describe communism and socialism in such a fashion that there is very little distinction between the two. We (humans) typically avoid things we do not understand.

Karl Marx gave birth to the principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". There is nothing wrong with this principle itself. I think fault would, however, arise in the implementation. Everybody would have to be onboard…at once. Furthermore, there would have to be a clear distinction between wants and needs, two things that get confused quite frequently in the capitalist society. I rather like the saying “All the work must be done by all the people”. Problem – not everyone wants to work or is able to work. The term I prefer for what I believe to be a great solution is: “tribal living”.

I am all for a global solution to the controversy. And yes, I said global. I believe in the saying “One world. One people”. The argument between systems is easily solved by one system for the whole planet. The question is which one. The flaws in capitalism are far too many to go into in this article, so keep your eyes open for related articles.

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