: David: In fact, I would go as far as to say that the entire economic structure of this country would collapse [without capitalists] and you would see nation-wide (if not world wide, [think about how much the U.S. drives the world economy]) famines, chaos, and general disorder. The stock market would crash, causing all the other worlds stock markets to crash, and you would end up with a depression that made the 1930s seem like a golden age.
: Stoller: Without capitalists, the Soviet Union transformed a semi-feudal country into a world superpower in less than two generations. Indeed, the Soviet Union was the ONLY industrialized nation unaffected by the Great Depression (which resulted from capitalism, not communism).
: : No, I will counter by say that not only not socialist, nay, on the other hand it was exceptionally authoritarian. Uncle Joe Stalin was making sure that everybody was working for the state...otherwise it was off to the Gulags...hell, even people who were working for the state were sent off to the gulags.
: True---but not the point.
: The astounding productivity of the U.S.S.R. was effectuated without capitalists---which counters your above claim that without capitalists, countries would 'collapse' into 'chaos' and 'general disorder.' (There were famines, granted, but those ended by 1945.)
I would argue that the people who took over managing the factories became the capitalists in everything but name. That is, they still had control over their factories and they were still making more than the workers were. Not exactly good job rotation, as they would remain managers until they did something that angered somebody higher up in the hierarchy. They were similar to capitalists except that their "exploitation" of the workers had more of a roundabout way to it. Basically the state got the "profits" and in turn the managers would be paid more.
: : Anyways, the point I was trying to make was that workers are just as reliant on the capitalists as the capitalists are reliant on the workers. I would go as far as to say it is a symbiotic relationship. Both parties (at least in my view) are benefitting.
: The more workers work, the richer capitalists become. Worker's standards of living, on the other hand, have dropped since the 1970s. Source: Business Week, 1 September 1997, pp. 66-67.
I would argue that point. What do they define as standards of living? Does this include many of the new technologies available to them? Are they working from a bare necessity standpoint, as in just counting necessities (food, shelter, clothing)? Or do they take into account luxuries?