Get this clear about capitalism and socialism

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Patrick2, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Patrick2
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    Patrick2 Senior Member

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    Capitalism is an economic system wherein the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated within the context of a free market, whereas in socialism the means of production and distribution are owned by the government, usually purportedly on behalf of workers.

    Note that both these defionitions are ideal abstractions. No pure example of either system has ever existed. Let me give an analogy from geometry. (If you have trouble with the concept of analogies, please exit post. :rolleyes:)

    A 'circle' is an abstract geometric concept - no circle has ever actually existed, only approximations to a circle, since in any actual "circle" there are always imperfections that depart from the definition of that locus of coplanar points all equidistant from a given point called the center.

    All existing "capitalist" economies have all kinds of government control over the means of production, and government interference in markets (sometimes with disastrous results as with the 2008 financial near-collapse), likewise all socialist states depart from their ideal, as eg in countries like vietnam and cuba where the government allows small private entrepreneurship. When the departures from the respective abstractions become pervasive, it should be considered whether to continue to eg call a country capitalist, when it no longer is even a rough approximation to the abstraction.

    Simply as a sort of "shorthand" way of speaking, people will refer to eg the US as having a capitalist system, and that's OK when everyone understands that it is "shorthand" for the real system. Where problems arise is when large scale problems arise from large scale government interference in markets, and people try to ascribe the problems to "capitalism". That has in fact happened over and over,
     
  2. JoeB131
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    JoeB131 Diamond Member

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    Actually, there's a simplier way to understand the problem.

    Both Capitalism and Socialism sound wonderful on Paper. It's when you get real human beings with all our flaws involved they end up being screwed up...
     
  3. Moonglow
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    Moonglow Diamond Member

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    what system is not flawed by human interaction?
     
  4. Mr.Nick
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    Mr.Nick VIP Member

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    Keynesian economics...
     
  5. hellofromwarsaw
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    hellofromwarsaw BANNED

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    Thank you, fear mongered, brainwashed Cold War Dinosaur Ugly 'Merican Pub Dupe. The rest of the world knows you're talking about communism. Socialism is social democracy, what they have to call it to stop the dupes' heads from exploding.
    Everyone else prefers stable growth social democracy to Mega rich Pubs' boom and bust screw the workers deregulated polluted ruined infrastructure incredibly expensive health care and college rat race. I guess you have guns and religion and ignorant hate though...Pub Dupes!!
     
  6. Patrick2
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    Patrick2 Senior Member

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    The thrust of my post wasn't to disregard that flawed humans can screw up any system (note in this regard that it's an old marxist notion that humans are "perfectable", eg the soviet "New man" of the 1920s) but rather that people can either ignorantly or mischievously use the ambiguity in real world systems to blame one system for what are actually artifacts of the other system, eg, "capitalism" being blamed for bad results that are actually the result of the non-capitalist elements embedded within the american economic system.
     
  7. Patrick2
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    Patrick2 Senior Member

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    Uh, what do you say you take your spluttering imbecility to some other thread? :rolleyes:
     
  8. Luissa
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    Luissa Annoying Customer Supporting Member

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    or are commonly owned by the people.. ;) At least get the complete definition.

    You do realize the system in the US is both capitalistic, and socialistic? This is how we have fire departments, roads, snow plows, etc and the reason why our military has health care at the VA. To be honest, if we were a complete free market society we would have a privately owned military. Do you want that?
     
  9. NYcarbineer
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    NYcarbineer Diamond Member

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    So that means you believe that the 'socialist' elements imposed on the laissez-faire capitalism of a century or so ago are what's wrong with modern day capitalism?

    lol
     
  10. hellofromwarsaw
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    hellofromwarsaw BANNED

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    Socialism is capitalism with regulation to protect workers and consumers and a few nationalized industries for necessities where big profits are disgraceful- you're talking about COMMUNISM. . The USA is socialist, just a sham pandering to the greedy rich. Next yo're going to say Hitler was a socialist. Absolute brainwashed morons.

    Luckily only about 30% of the USA is so damn ignorant. Obamahhhhhhh.
     

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