“Any Society whether it be capitalist, communist or freely democratic is doomed to failure and extinction if it’s based on deceit and lies and secrecy.”
By Irwin Ford
Image (above) from THX 1138
If one were to make an economic spectrum in the same fashion as a political spectrum from left to right, Communism might be on the left, representing central planning or total government control over goods and services. These goods and services are not commodified; no “open market”, but issued according to need. Communism is an illusionary reversal of top down (or vertical) owner/hierarchical management structure of a government business that everybody (but nobody) owns. The government in effect owns its own country’s economy from production to distribution. Therefore the economic system and government are one in the same entity. A truly totalitarian model and by no means any realistic example of what the rest of the world describes as socialism.
On the right extreme would be capitalism. Capitalism wishes to disassociate itself entirely from government under the guise of Laissez Faire: “Live and let live”. Until of course it needs a law passed or a particular candidate in or out of office. It decries government intervention and regulations; expounds on the incompetence and inefficiencies of big government, while electing more and more business executives to serve in government, as it keeps getting exponentially more privatized and economically inefficient and blatantly corrupt. Capitalism now owns and operates the same government that capitalism complains about daily. Question answered: Crony-capitalism has replaced the Democratic Republic as our new form of government! And back to square one.
Somewhere in the middle would be Socialism. Socialism is an economic system that can meld in different ways under many governmental or political systems. Socialism believes it can benefit from the open market when it feels it has some ownership and control of production. A horizontal system of management or cooperation is encouraged. Socialism is more concerned with socioeconomic systems as opposed to extraction, production and consumption economics. Many countries blur the line between socialism and capitalism. The United States has very socialized systems along with free and open markets [feel free to laugh here]. Some socialists prefer state ownership of certain industries and public works. Capitalists prefer private ownership to state ownership, or private capitalism to state run capitalism. Capitalists claim that the private sector is more capable of economic efficiency than the bureaucratic state. That’s why they sold us out to NAFTA. And that’s why we had to bail them out when we were going broke. Capitalism went straight to Communism and totally bypassed Socialism.
POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SURREALISM
The political spectrum has been interpreted by many entirely wrong. Communism on the left and Fascism on the right; with Democracy somewhere in the middle? How can you be in between two forms of totalitarianism? You either have less government oversight and corruption, or more government oversight and corruption.
To the left is a comparison between Occupy and Tea Party critiques. It makes perfect sense, until you realize that government and big corporations are one in the same entity. Compared to the economic spectrum; Communism: Left (state and economic cronyism in state planning) versus Capitalism: Right (economic and state cronyism in economic policy). Heads or Tails? Your call.
I’m neither a proponent of Capitalism or Marxism in any dedicated way. I see the benefit of both free and open markets existing in parallel to government systems that provide efficient public options for education, healthcare and other social services. My case has always been predicated on separating the public sector from the private sector to the benefit of both.
“The rich only select from the heap what is most precious and agreeable. They consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity, though they mean only their own conveniency, though the sole end which they propose from the labours of all the thousands whom they employ, be the gratification of their own vain and insatiable desires, they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species.” – Adam Smith
“The final stages of capitalism, Marx wrote, would be marked by developments that are intimately familiar to most of us. Unable to expand and generate profits at past levels, the capitalist system would begin to consume the structures that sustained it. It would prey upon, in the name of austerity, the working class and the poor, driving them ever deeper into debt and poverty and diminishing the capacity of the state to serve the needs of ordinary citizens. It would, as it has, increasingly relocate jobs, including both manufacturing and professional positions, to countries with cheap pools of laborers. Industries would mechanize their workplaces. This would trigger an economic assault on not only the working class but the middle class—the bulwark of a capitalist system—that would be disguised by the imposition of massive personal debt as incomes declined or remained stagnant. Politics would in the late stages of capitalism become subordinate to economics, leading to political parties hollowed out of any real political content and abjectly subservient to the dictates and money of global capitalism.” – Source