The Economist: Oh capitalism, why you so evil?
Why socialists have the remarkable gift of being deliriously hilarious
It is lovely to see the community relapse back in what it does best: the almighty fight between Communism/Socialism and Capitalism. Great, the reader will say, what’s new. Well not much really, but there is one article which was so ridiculous I just had to write one of my own.
But let’s take a step back and go in order. On the 14th Jonathan of Austenasia presented his nation’s new guiding ideology: Theodorism. It’s a sort of communism with a monarch, which of course is peculiar given that it sanctions a distinction in class which is at odds with Marx’s thought. The policy is also vague in many of areas but openly contradictory when you confront the proposals with Article XII of the Austenasian Constitution of 2011.
Putting this aside, let’s check out the replies that really inflamed the situation. Daniel Anderson published a heartfelt defense of Sirocco’s “capitalist roots”, not that Jonathan’s policy has any influence on Sirocco’s system. But the best post prize definitely goes to the article on the Zealandian Times. It exemplified the sort of tactics used by some micronational socialists when discussing this issue.
First, it called Anderson “a serial capitalist”, as if it were a crime, like in the good old days of the USSR. But the best is to come. The article proceeds to launch itself in an incredible array of statements on the supposed evils of capitalism. Here are a few, for your entertainment.
“Capitalism causes wars” – Pinning down wars on a single economic ideology which has been around for about 300 years is just ridiculous.
“Capitalism causes poverty” – which is why the first 50 nations by GDP per capita at power-purchasing parity (PPP) are all market-based, while the last 50 are all socialist or ex-socialist nations. It is also why the top 30 countries by average wage are all capitalist. It is also why in developing countries which have experienced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) following central planning (China, India) wages have risen. It is also why South Korea and India, who had the same GDP in 1950 but chose different economic paths, now have similar GDPs per capita right? Oh wait they don’t.
“Capitalism causes famines” – Interesting. Droughts and crop failures don’t cause famines. Nor does state intervention, like Mao’s 1958 Great Leap Forward (18-33 million dead) or North Korea’s 1990s Ardous March (1-3.5 million dead).
“Capitalism causes genocide” – Very interesting. Not communism, mind you. Even though the bourgeoisie must be annihilated, as Marx wrote in the Manifesto, and as such communism espouses the destruction of a group of people, based on class rather than ethnicity. Class is not listed in the official UN definition because the USSR vetoed its inclusion (no prizes for guessing why). Not to forget the Holodomor, the cynical, planned hunger killing of 2.4 to 7.5 million Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933 by order of Stalin. And forget about the Khmer Rouge, I mean, in 4 years they only managed to kill about 2 million people, a trifling 20% of Cambodia population.
“Capitalism causes greed”- Greed is one of the seven deadly sin of Christianity, surely pre-dating Capitalism.
“Capitalism caused children in coalmines” – It is estimated practically all children worked in agriculture before the Industrial Revolution. The move towards children being sent to school came once their parents earned enough in the factories to send them there.
“Capitalism causes radiation death” – Yup, oh those damn capitalists at Chernobyl! Not to mention what are thousands upon thousands of unreported cases in socialist countries of incidents similar to the “Radium Girls” of 1917 in the US.
“Capitalism causes Fascism/Nazism” – It is always healthy to remember that Fascism and Capitalism are in fact antipodean; and that economically (and in most aspects really, although commies beg to differ) it is in fact very similar to socialism, with its stress on statalism.
“Capitalism causes militarism” – Of course, of course.
“Capitalism caused the massacre of the Paris Commune” – What the hell?! Absolutely not! Read a history book, for God’s sake! It was the Prussians.
“Capitalism caused production lines” – Indeed this it has, well done on getting something right! Exactly where the problem lies, considering they have increased production, wages and standards of living exponentially, is yet to be seen.
“Capitalism caused the death of 50 million communists” – Probably the best statement of the whole lot. Can’t you see the bullshit oozing through your screen? Perhaps what was intended was the amount of people killed by communism in its various forms, which indeed is something around that figure.
In general, these kinds of articles suffer from two main problems. Firstly, a historical revisionism that leads them to magically forget the heinous crimes committed in the name of socialism and communism. Capitalism does cause some crimes, but unlike Socialism, it does not require them in order to function.
Secondly, while capitalism has many faults, most problems I haven’t specifically commented on are, unfortunately, by-products of economic growth. Of course, action must be taken to limit them, but it is unreasonable to assume capitalist private-led industrial growth is somehow different from socialist state-led industrial growth.
In conclusion, dear Mr. Hakon, before lambasting someone for expressing his political and economic views, please heed my advice. Avoid spewing a long list of absolutely ridiculous claims. It surely won’t help the proletariat take over the world.