A nodeshell rescue.

In modern American society, it has become popular to vocally support communism, especially in the ranks of college students. Whether this is due to the rebelous nature of university students, a dissatisfaction with the growing consumerism in America, the inbalance of wealth, or a general reaction against the antiCommunist view of the previous generation is unclear. However, their arguments lack one thing that is never really discussed....proof.

We all know Communism failed in the USSR/Eastern Bloc, is disappearing in China/Cuba, is starving to death in N. Korea. Yet these are always seen as not Communism but rather dictatorships under the guise of Communism. If Communism has never existed, then that disproves one of Marx's main arguments - that the workers would rise up and overthrough capitalist society. He was also wrong about worsening job conditions.

However, lets assume that Marx was just wrong about implementation. The best example of socialistic nations are the Scandinavian countries. Indeed, these nations do have strong economies and high quality of life. However, we must ask whether socialism the cause. During WWII, most of Europe's infastructure was heavily damaged, and there was massive loss of life. The Scandanavian nations received relatively little damage. This was a major reason that the US could emerge as an economic superpower. Also, even these nations which are the bastions of socialism have a market economy and are at least 1/2 capitalist. Its not true socialism.

And that is the main point. Just as there was never an 'ideal' Communistic/socialist state, there has never been a fully capitalistic state either. In the US, for instance, the government breaks up monopolies - which are also impossible in a purely capitalistic society, regulates both the commodities and stock markets, sets a minimum wage and provides welfare, disability and unemployment. The very existance of sales tax, and tariffs eliminate the possiblity of pure capitalism.

There will never be a pure version of Capitalism or Communism. However, Capitalism, despite its many flaws, has a proven track record; while Communism has shown more problems than Microsoft software ever did. An argument can be made for reformation of the current system to eliminate some of its flaws, but a switch to Communism would not only not solve the world's problems but most likely cause many many more.

Standing on the shoulders of Giants that lived centuries ago is always a hazardous pastime. Both Karl Marx and Adam Smith had deep flaws in their systems and theories because they had never actually seen them in action -- they were geniuses and ahead of their time, but tbey could not possibly predict the exact course of human history.

Both men came up with radical and independant economic models and named them capitalism and communism completely unaware that a few years down the road, they would become the two dominant warring ideologies in the world.

Both men were very specific about their respective systems -- The Wealth of Nations is a huge book, not to mention the multi-volumed Kapital of Marx.

Today we use the terms capitalism and communism very lightly, capitalism meaning loosely control of the material world by individuals and communism meaning the control of material by a collective. That's it. Both systems are bound to work correctly under the right circumstances, and both seem artificially limiting -- and are different definitions that the creators would have used. Smith would never have allowed for his economic model to be used to describe anarchy, and yet anarchy under the definition I have given is, by default, a form of capitalism.

Economic models are artificial distinctions, the truth ALWAYS lies somewhere in between.

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