- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The class-exploitation part is political.

Posted by: DonS ( USA ) on November 15, 1999 at 10:37:20:

In Reply to: Here's the irony posted by Kweassa on November 05, 1999 at 15:52:28:

: Yeah. I expected that, but the problem is, in order for you to claim fascism and capitalism do not share the same economical ideology, it has to show some difference.

Don: The difference is how the economy is controlled.

: According to you, the definition of socialism/fascism/capitalism is distinguished by who owns/controls the economy. Ok. Then WHERE'S THE ECONOMY here? I don't see any ECONOMIC THEORY.

Don: How the economy is controlled is very important to economics.

: (Marxian)Socialism has both economic/poltical meanings. So, "socialism" in purely economical term would be:

: * economical system of socialism, where privatization of the means of production and class-exploitation is abolished.

Don: The class-exploitation part is political. It may indeed be the goal of socialists, but they have yet to prove they can achieve it. I agree with the first part.

: "Capitalism" is also an economical term.

: * economical system of market exchange.

Don: Where market forces control the economy.

: The differentiation between these two ideologies has derived from WHAT the basic principle of economy is. They are different in economical theory, therefore, they are two DIFFERENT ECONOMICAL SYSTEMS.

Don: And the third system is fascism, where the government controls much of industry but most is privitly owned. It isn't socialism, since privite enterprise exsits and the government does not have full control over the economy. It's not capitalism, since the government exerts considerable control over the economy.

: But "fascist" USA, even in its most "fascistic"(some people would claim 'socialistic') moments, never has abolished the market. Neither did Keynesianism, not even USSR has(technically, USSR has never achieved a communist status). And so was Nazi Germany.

Don: True. Fascism does not require that the market be abolished. Only that the government have considerable control. The market is no longer a free market, because of government controls, but it still exists.

: Did "state intervention" cause impact enough so as we might call them something different from capitalism? Hardly. FDR's policies on recession and Keynes' implications on full employment were never theories that were meant to abolish the market itself.

Don: It is no longer a free market. It can't be, if there is state intervention. That's the point.

:It has become obvious to the new generation of economists during the years of the Big Depression that 1) economic 'cycles' existed in reality(that they were NOT temporary events), and 2) a fully functioning market system DOES NOT return to the status of full employment AUTOMATICALLY. Therefore, since the vicious cycle of unemployment and recession could not be cured by automatical market powers, something had to be done artificially by the state to return it to a normally functioning market again. The purpous of state intervention was to fix-up capitalism and get it working again. It was a necessary means, and a CORRECTION to the classical economic theories of capitalism, not an ALTERNATIVE.

Don: And I believe the market crash occured because of state intervention, and the policies of these economists prolonged the depression. But that's a different discussion. Whether these corrections were intended to be temorary or not, they are contrary to the free market. Once the government interceeds you no longer have a free market.

: The whole thing was "reformation" not "alternation". Unless the very basic principles of the economy itself was changed, we cannot call it something different.

Don: And I claim that government intervention is a fundamental change in the economy.

Don: There already was government intervention before FDR: Teddy's Trust busting, the federal support for the railroads in the late 1800s, and so on. I would say that from the Civil War to FDR there was an increase in government intervention, but that it got a big boost with FDR (and later, LBJ). I don't want you to think I believe this all happened under FDR.

: So if you want to decribe it that way, you'll have to re-define capitalism. Your definition of "capitalism" will have to be one that does not require the words "market" and "capital" to explain it, because, in traditional sense, if there exists the profit system of "market" and "capital", regardless of where the state's role is placed at, that's capitalism.

Don: My definition of capitalism is that it is based upon a *free market*. Government intervention precludes this; when my father growes tomatos and the government guys some from him and tells him he must *plow under* the rest (not even give it away to needy neighbors), that isn't a free market. And it doesn't fit my definition of capitalism.

: Ironical, huh?

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