Capitalism - the Masculine Form
The idea behind capitalism is "every man for himself". Success by this form is ostensibly guaranteed by rational self-interest, i.e. if one wishes to have a good life ... greed tempered with good sense, hard work and a general overall benevolence will get you there (and everyone else too).
And it does work ... well, sort of ... if that "overall benevolence" translates into a bit of communism (just a bit mind you).
We need a graph or two here:
Here you see the initial state where a few people are rich and a few are sorting through trash at the garbage dump to make a "living". Now, if you are patient and wait just a while (the "five year plan") ... everybody will be lifted up by the glories of the capitalist ideal. What actually happens is that "The rich get rich and the poor get poorer" ... or ... more accurately, the people in the dump stay there while the rich get even richer.
Why is this so in, say, Argentina but not in America?
The reason is that in the USA, the rich are made to feel guilty and therefore "adjust" the situation by artificially injecting a bit of communism into the political form to obtain a hybrid "mixed" economy. We have in the USA, more elements of actual communism (socialism). Whereas in Argentina the socialism is, to put it charitably .. misdirected (if you take my meaning).
Why is it, as a matter of course, in capitalism ... that ... "The rich get rich while the poor get poorer"? The reason is the core problem with capitalism ...
The Free Market
In a market economy you bid the price of goods and services up or down and thereby give them dollar value. Thus, the people who do work bid themselves down into the garbage dump.
There is a Gaussian distribution to everything. There is one for self-esteem for joy and sadness ... for everything. Every day, those who see themselves as the "poor" bid themselves into lower and lower positions at the bottom of the social ladder. They do this by accepting jobs and prices at less or more than their optimum value.
I saw this explicitly during the '70s inflation. Store owners who set prices did set them in such a way as to totally offset inflation (for themselves) ... or, try to take advantage of the dislocations and set them to a profit ... on the implicit knowledge that people, in general, would accept the inordinate increase (with head bowed) as "that damn inflation, yup I know".
The store owner lost nothing or gained and passed all onto the consumer. If you set prices during a modest inflationary period you will do OK. If you only consume ... you eat the consequences of that inflation.
Those who set prices test them low and high. If they want to pay less for worker salaries, they test low and see if they can get by for less. Unless the workers rebel in some form, the lower wage prevails. As far as wages go, an employer only tests high when he has a shortage of qualified workers and having gotten them ... will resume testing low. That is the nature of capitalism. This is how it is supposed to be. It does work. It gets the job done with inhuman efficiency. But ... it condemns the lower rung of any culture to scraping a living out at the dump REGARDLESS of any advances made by that culture.
IN PRINCIPLE ... those of least self-esteem (or those who simply lack the energy or combativeness), will bid themselves into the dump in any free market whatsoever.
Observe what happened when women came into the market en masse. In principle, women statistically defer to the male. Relative to the male, the female has less combativeness than the male and will bid herself into the dump if given the opportunity. The men (again relative to the female) will tend to rebel. They will reluctantly enter the "rat-race". The rat race is the realization that one must continually argue one's worth in the free market to keep from being "bid into the dump". Thus, women bid themselves lesser pay simply by accepting less. AND ... they dragged down everyone's pay by flooding the job market with cheap labor. With so many women accepting low pay, the efforts of the men to "rebel" are muted. They must accept less as well. (And note here that the absence or impotence of unions also mutes the effectiveness of any economic rebellion)
In the '50s, one man supported a family of four on his forty hour labor salary. The wife stayed home and took care of the kids. They had a used car which ran well (he fixed it in the garage). And everyone smiled like Ozzie & Harriet.
Despite the greatest rise in productivity in the history of man on Earth, the average working stiff has nothing of consequence to show for it.
He has been bid into the dump by those willing to enter the rat race and argue that their "pencil pushing" is of greater lasting value to civilization ... and therefore, deserves more pay. He gets it. You who say nothing ... go to the dump and make your living there.
This is the masculine way. It works. But it most certainly does not work in a way which is fair to all. For it cannot answer this simple question.
he should own and operate a new car?
In fact, no man on Earth (including Bill Gates) can earn enough by his own labor to even make a single tire. Thus, we receive as pay, what is actually the beneficence of those who have gone before. And those who come after us will benefit from our intellectual efforts as well. There is an accumulation of workable ideas which serve in the maintenance of life.
Communism - the Female Form
So we ask again in general terms,
Enter the Communist Manefesto.
Because no man can actually earn a life of luxury by himself, should we not then make it so that everyman is equal? Everyman in luxury or everyman in poverty. Will this work?
Naaaaaahhhhh! Total failure. By focusing the attention of civilization on the bottom of the social ladder, we cut off the top. That top leads the way. Without it ... the whole thing collapses. And it did. You saw it live ... on TV ... last century (20th).
Why? Well, suppose you give every man his due. A birthright bonus of cash. Then, no matter how you cut it, after receiving his bonus our newly empowered guy will bid himself right back into the dump by way of free market functions. It will just take a little longer.
Capitalism drives out communism entirely over time and communism drives out capitalism just the same. To hold them both in existence simultaneously requires active intervention.
Given the two choices so far presented, which do you prefer? Of course, nearly everyone will choose capitalism. It's deficiencies aren't nearly so disastrous (or malicious ... or, dare I day ... murderous?).
The reason for the excessively large heap of corpses piled up by communism is that this economic variation attempts to cut off the male's autonomy whereas the pure capitalist system cuts off the female's basic autonomy. Who will put up the most fight? Right.Socialism ... the Solution?
Only the most wretched intellect fails to see that these two systems are fundamentally opposed.
Let's add up the differences:
I find it quite interesting that the main philosophical proponent of capitalism is a woman (Ayn Rand) while the main proponent of the communistic ideal is a man (Karl Marx). "Screwy ... isn't it?" - (CartoonPlanet)The problem is that each of these lists represent legitimate concerns. Yet they are totally incompatible. One precludes the other. One drives out or kills off the other. They cannot coexist in any stable configuration.
Well, wait a minute ... you can stand up a top on its pointy end ... IF you spin it. And that is what socialism is ... take the two parameters which are at odds and "work 'em". Juggle them. Spin them so that they stand up over time without destroying one another.
How does this come about?
Not by conscious intent, I assure you. The dynamic consensus reached in a "mixed economy" is arrived at by the attempt to mollify fear. Those in charge fear collapse into one or the other components and therefore reach some sort of compromise in every head-on collision between the two.
The entire point here is that ... Stability is logically impossible ...
Stability is only to be achieved when the Earth reaches economic "stasis", i.e. when there are no more significantly different things to do ... economically speaking. At that time, economics as we know must come to an end to be replaced by the simple system I propose in the next section.
You can see some of this happening today in heavy industry. When a given area of business is thoroughly "raked over" from centuries of experience, there is nothing more to do with that industry but to maintain it. Hence, it is likely that a socialist government will "take over" that aspect of civilization with little objection from the people. They will tend to keep off those aspects which are still developing. I'm here referring to "well-meaning" socialist governments not to those which have been completely taken over by "thugs".
Better graphs of the overall phenomenon
What both capitalism (free market) and communism (centralized control) both seek to do in the long run is to shift the income distribution along the x axis like a traveling wave form such that as time goes by the percent difference between rich and poor is reduced.
Then, everybody has a good life but the wealthy always have it a little better. In the case of communism it would be the komisars who had it better.
But what actually happens is this:
Capitalism increases the size of the overall distribution but not its shape while communism decreases it. Therefore, most will opt for capitalism even with its inequities because you end up with more rather than less. I suspect that an eternal principle is here at work which no one may change ... at least not until the era of economic expansion comes to an end (another millenia at least).
Isn't there anything which can be done?
No. The problem is bound up with the fundamental logic of existence. It will wind itself down when change is not as fast ... when history itself comes to a gradual end. You just have to struggle along as best you are able. But it does help your state of mind if you can see the why? of it.
Yes. There is one thing that can be done. Get rid of the idiots which presently run the country and install the new OS I have prescribed. This will put better men on the project and even though they can't permanently resolve the problem ... they can do the best job possible all things considered which ought to be a damn sight better than what is presently done ... and ... you will have the knowledge that your representatives are those fairly chosen by you and your countrymen.
And ... they will be able to EXPLAIN what is going on explicitly rather that just tell you of their "feelings" on the issues of the day.