- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Barry Stoller on March 02, 19100 at 10:27:18:

In Reply to: The Other Side of the Story posted by Garloo on March 01, 19100 at 13:27:06:

: 1. Who is to say that Capitalism is working?

: How about anyone who knows anything about supply-side economics, infant mortality rates, worldwide standards of living, per capita GDP, technology, entertaiment, science, life expectancy, medicine, average household income, defense, employment, literacy rates, communications, freedom and liberty. The United States remains the land of opportunity and it is a leading figure in all the afformentioned fields thanks to Capitalism.

This used to be pretty convincing (although inept) argument when half the world was communist.

Now that almost ALL of the world is capitalist, all one can really do is compare one capitalist country to another.

If America is such an advertisement for capitalism, what is the Phillipines? How's it looking in Russia these days?

If a procapitalist wishes to counter by arguing that these two countries represent 'only' primitive capitalism (a perfectly valid historical distinction), then this argument...

: 3. You are forced to work or starve.

: Well how about a government-planned famon to force the peasants into collective agriculture? Only fifteen million people died when Soviet Russia tried that one. Work or starve under Capitalism...Work AND starve under Communism.

... is equally specious.

Comparing communism after only 70 years with capitalism after more than two CENTURIES is obviously biased.

Let us be fair and compare 70 of communism with 70 years of capitalism. Let us compare the U.S.S.R. of 1990 with the U.S. of 1850.

To return to America in 1850 is, of course, a dangerous move. What if you were born black? What if you were a Native American? How about a poor white indentured servant? Would your prospects be better or worse than the average citizen under Gorbachev?

We see here how Garloo plays pretty fast and loose with his comparisons between countries---which are, in fact, promiscuous comparisons between differing economic systems and differing levels of historical development.

Follow Ups:


The Debating Room Post a Followup