Originally posted by mnemeth1
Actually capitalism only succeeds when both people in a transaction benefit.
If one party or the other does not benefit, they will not engage in the transaction.
Socialism only succeeds when guns are used.
Actually, if you want to get down closer to the truth, both people dont have to benefit.
Initially, when setting up the system, both people have to perceive that they will benefit to enter into the arrangement. But once in, you cant just
get out if you find out you really wont benefit. Once everything has been "privatized" you are stuck in that arrangement and have to participate
or live in something worse than our hunter gatherer or early agrarian ancestors did. Harassed homelessness, with no legal means of making your own
living by "traditional" methods. (When you could just settle somewhere and set about the business of making a living either by hunting or
The problem with what we call "Capitalism" is that the word means many things to many people based on their understanding of it. It is not "one"
thing. Much like socialism isnt "one" thing. It can be expressed in many, many forms.
"Free Market" capitalism likewise means many things to many people, based on their understanding or lack thereof.
A truly free market could work, but I have serious doubts that it could ever reach the perfection envisioned by Smith under the circumstances we have
now. Socialism does not tend to work, and I would argue why the one could work and the other cannot is because a "free market" mimics a known, time
tested, much proved system. Natural selection. Socialism does not.
However, we do not have a free market, and no one really wants one. Everyone wants a system that serves them, and everyone lobbies for that.
Although they may call the system that serves them a "free market" what they really want is freedom for themselves and restrictions on their
It just isnt as simple as a capitalist/communist contrast. It never has been. A system that would truly operate as a "free market" needs an
impartial "rule setter" (such as nature is) and we cant find one. Every ruler we have had can be bought, threatened, or bribed into skewing the
market in someones favor. Plato famously tried to set up such a system, with elaborate and truly brilliant safeguards against the corruption of
leadership and rule by threat, bribery, and love of family, but we have never implemented any form of governance even close to that he proposed, and
until we do figure out how to have an uncorruptable ruler/government we will never have free market capitalism, or anything even close to it.
You cannot have a free market without an impassive force to keep the competition going. Without that impassive force, the first person to get ahead
begins to change the rules of the game to suit themselves and to make it harder for everyone that follows. This is simple human nature, my classmate
and I demonstrated it nicely in the 9th grade, and every thing in history proves it to be true.