- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The U.S. calls itself a democracy and calls itself capitalist.

Posted by: Captain Grammar ( Setting 'Em Straight, Inc ) on December 15, 1999 at 13:22:28:

In Reply to: He did it!! Did not, you did. Did not. Did..... posted by Frenchy on December 15, 1999 at 00:06:20:

For crying out loud, Frenchy, the answer to your question depends on the purpose of the characterization. And really, though most Americans think both "democracy" and "capitalist" are terms which apply to the United States, in important ways neither of them do.

But like I said, it depends on the purpose of the analysis. Take the sentence: "Frenchy is insane." What is the word 'Frenchy'? Is it a noun or is it the subject? Of course it's both--it depends on what your looking for. Its form is a noun and its function is a subject.

In a similar fashion, the FORM of the U.S. is democratic (i.e. its paper Constitution) but it FUNCTIONS as a capitalist state (i.e. private ownership of the means of production).

Now, if we were to say, "Be careful, MDG, he's going to Frenchy you!" the word "Frenchy" will become a verb--a verb with special meaning in this room, which all of us will understand to mean: "respond in an infantile manner; sub-clinically insane; thoroughly indoctrinated."

The U.S. calls itself a democracy and calls itself capitalist. These words are highly nuanced, and the media and school system take special care to make sure the gut reaction of most citizens is, like a trained animal, consistent with the official version. What they want is similar to a primal response: "(Grunt) . . .um. . .US. . . good . . .democracy . . .good . . .(grunt) . . .freedom . . .good . . .capitalism . . .good . . .me hate commies . . .grunt . . .me good."

It's also worth noting that "capitalism" used to be a dirty word. In fact, I think Karl Marx was the one who coined it, but I'm not sure. Adam Smith never used it, I know that.

At any rate, the system of instilling gut impulses to words and images has been wildly successful with you.

There's your answer. Don't make me come into this room again.

Captain Grammar

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