ForumTouchy Subjects ► Capitalism vs. Communism
dunno if this thread has been made before but wanted to get the general opinion of the people here

also a sort of economics discussion as well, along with a political one

would communism ever actually work? is capitalism exploiting the working class? this is the place to throw your hat (opinion) into the ring!

edit: fair warning i don't actually know how communism works. i don't know how capitalism really works either. but the people in the world seem really excited to debate about this argument so it has to matter to someone, right?

you know what making this thread was an impulsive mistake. oopsie daisy. if everyone could just please ignore that'd be frantastic.
  
I’ll just sit on the sidelines.
  
This subject is why I wish I didn't have surgery on the day that we covered the three economic structures in World History
  
Is capitalism exploiting the working class?
Yes almost by definition yes.

Would communism ever work?
No not as Marx wrote it.

Is communism the great evil responsible for millions of deaths?
No more than Capitalism in the industrial revolution.

Communism has never worked!
Because all non-Stalinist/Maoist-backed regimes were wiped out by CIA backed fascists

Communism will fix everything!
No. Allende, Lumumba et al. probably would have been the Labour Movement equivalent of their own countries, fixing many labour problems without revolutionary change

Why are you so salty and jaded?
I read too much.
  
Raised by capitalists in a capitalist society, I have a bias toward capitalism over communism, but much of my bias isn't rational. I don't really trust my bias at all. In fact, capitalism rarely if ever works out the way I'm told its supposed to.

Here's an example, in communism you don't get rewarded for working extra hard!

Well, 99% of the time the people shuffled into the workforce in capitalism don't either. HR departments and such talk a big game about rewarding effort, loyalty, etc. but let's face it, humans are treated as machines that are reluctantly hired, given fixed pay with fixed raises, and then told its our fault for being born poor.

I might be in one of the few trades in capitalism that does reward effort and work and its just because I do stone masonry now and don't work for a corporation.

Even so, with private property out of control, bills too high often, the price of food and gas jacked up for no reason... Like I feel like I shouldn't have to work as much as I do.

I work hard, yeah, but I'm getting too old to be "proud" of just working my life away. I don't even believe in a 5 day work week on principle. Just because its better than the horrible conditions of the industrial revolution doesn't mean its not too much.

Capitalism lately in practice is a lot more like plutocracy and aristocracy than any actual American dream. For one guy who invented a better mouse trap or whatever, most of us are just stuck getting jobs to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

I don't know if communism is a solution, in fact I don't know what the solution is. All I know is that the rich are too rich and no one possibly deserves the sheer amounts of wealth that some people have, no one provides enough value to justify that kind of absurd degrees of ownership over parts, land, labour etc. as some of these people at the top have.

I don't know if this is true or not, but I believe that they own the US congress through lobbies and campaign funding etc. so I don't think anything is going to be done about it. I feel the government is a feckless defeated entity that is just another department of various corporations.

I feel like capitalism is just being born surrounded by necessities and resources that necessitate becoming a sort of fancy serf for those with wealth. Maybe that's cynical, but they've even criminalized homelessness in many ways. They really push hard to make sure people become part of a system of serving and producing something for those who are wealthy.

I think the whole thing is rather like some kind of dystopian scam.
  
The subject of "capitalism vs. communism" is somewhat appalling. Sure, they are both economic systems, but many more exist, as well. I describe myself as a libertarian socialist, but even though that's closer to communism than capitalism (if we go by a single axis, which really isn't a good indicator of belief, but it'll do for this example), I find myself somewhere in the middle of SocDem and AnCom. Yet I am not a Social Democrat nor an Anarcho-Communist.

I mainly believe capitalism is inherently exploitative, and doesn't do enough for the poor or working class. I don't believe it can be reformed (not at this late stage, it might have been possible a century or two ago), and socialism helps develop a more equal society, regardless of race, gender, class, upbringing, or anything else. It will let people create their own wealth, instead of lining the pockets of the 1%.

Unfortunately though, I live in the United States, where the closest viable party we have to communism (a left-wing economic system) is the Democratic Party (center-right to right-wing).
  
I feel like capitalism is designed to cause inequality.

My understanding of the core of capitalism is as follows:
1) Definition: Capital is any asset that has value. (e.g: factory equipment is capital, cash is capital, stocks are capital. Capital can normally be traded/exchanged for other capital.)
2) Capitalism states that Capital should belong to individuals.
3) Individuals with Capital control its use (e.g: who can use the factory equipment).
4) Individuals should use their control of Capital to make profit, and thereby increase their Capital reserves.

(I dunno why I capitalized 'capital' all those times.)

The idea that wealth should naturally accumulate to those with pre-existing wealth is abhorrent to me. All reforms to capitalism can only be bandaids that redistribute wealth back "downward," fighting the natural tide of the structure of capitalism itself.
  
I used to be a hardcore conservative Libertarian. I used to expound how amazing and great capitalism was, and how it creates philanthropists like Bill Gates and Andrew Carnegie. I used to believe that hard work paid off and that as the wealthy gain more capital, they will expand their businesses, which will create more jobs and create more innovations that will further the American future.

I say "used to" because it is all a load of crap. Let's get one thing absolutely straight, wealth does not "trickle down". Yes, corporations may be opening more businesses and hiring more workers, but they are doing so overseas or they are paying wages nowhere near the worth of the labor. And I cannot pull any more philanthropists out of my hat all because they are far and few in-between when the majority of donations are only done for tax incentives and/or advertisement than actually giving a damn about a real impactful cause.

Do I think Communism is the solution? No. Communism lets innovators and intelligent people slip right through the cracks. They are conscripted into their jobs and they have no choice in the matter of where they can go. The more choices a person has in their life, the more they are able to do better for themselves. The same goes for giving people their own options for work, which is why we allow people to choose a higher education over immediately jumping into work. They are allowed to choose what they want to specialize in, and when they are able to do that, they, hopefully, live up to their potential.

Do I think capitalism is the solution? No but yes. Right now, I'm a further left social democrat. Free-range capitalism is an absolute plague on this world. Everyone here is talking about workers, and you're all absolutely correct, but there is even more than that. Not only do the workers get screwed over, but so do consumers, communities, States, the nation, and even the environment. Free market capitalism also destroys innovation.

We've all heard the mantra, "corporations are not your friends". LGBT+ people know this very well. Corporations will throw up Pride flags in June, but then turn around and donate to anti-LGBT+ politicians. Much of the time, the corporations are just throwing money at all sides in order to protect their own asses just in case any of them get in office. This is no different for any other community, especially minority communities. Your cause is only being used and abused so that they can keep picking your pockets. Corporations have even profited off of groups like the "alt-right" by baiting their rage, like when Nike took on Kaepernick, or when the Seuss trust released that they won't be publishing any of the racist books. Causes like these are nothing but a game to them and they are laughing at each and every single person that buys into it. They are destroying communities and the nation, and they don't care.

If you think capitalism creates new technology and benefits the consumer, then I have a tower in Paris to sell you. You are being given slave wages for a reason. Not only does it keep the business from bleeding expenses, but it also protects their products. If your employee is earning a nice wage, then they have the opportunity to build capital. That capital can then be used to invest in a small business that has the potential to become a rival company, especially if that employee going to use the knowledge they learned about your product in their own product. In fact, the majority of the name-brand, and even store brand, products that you enjoy using were created in that exact same manner. So if you keep your workers broke and overworked, then they won't be able to buy supplies or run off to the bank and get a loan so they can open their own storefront. So, no new technologies or products will ever be made unless the corporation allows it, which most of the time they have no interest because their top products are still generating money. That's why things like electric cars haven't been a thing until now. It took someone slipping through the cracks that control, Elon Musk, in order to start an electric car race. But, of course, guess what type of person Musk is.

So what can solve this? Communism? Sadly, no. Not only does Communism stifle innovation, but it removes the ability of people to be people— which if you have ever studied monarchies and serfdom, you will understand that the people will strive for independence. Actually, you need only look at the current American system and see how workers are starting to once again revolt against their mini-monarchies; you know, because a boss is not much different than a king once you get down to the center of it. Are taxes going to solve this? We hear the Democrats scream "tax the rich", but will it actually work? As much as I love AOC, Jayapal, Sanders, and all the others, they are wrong. Taxing the rich will do nothing because they do not play by the rules. Just like how the banks were too big to fail, corporations are the exact same way. They are going to hire the best lawyers and find every single possible loophole, and if they can't find those loopholes, they will commit illegal acts and lobby against any investigations. It is time to bust these corporations up. It is time to mass enact anti-trust laws. Bust these companies up into smaller entities and then you can tax the hell out of them all that you want and fund social programs like healthcare and college. Not only that, but it'd be pretty wise to set up taxes that make it far more difficult to do business in America if you have factories overseas, and to set up laws that stop corporate lobbying and the ability for politicians to engage in the stock market.

So, capitalism is not a totally terrible thing. However, capitalism unchecked and unregulated is a horrific thing. One of the reasons why I stopped being a Libertarian was because I started actually working and realized how screwed over I was. I also started actually listening to my coworkers who were also being screwed over. I had always thought McDonalds was nothing but teenagers with a part-time job, but the reality is much scarier and worse than that. The same goes for Wal-Mart, Amazon, and so many of the other shit minimum wage jobs I've done after 2008. It is good people often overcome by medical bills and other hardships that are stuck in that vicious cycle, not teenagers, drug addicts, lazy people, and so on like the media paints them out to be. I've met some highly intelligent people that are stuck in that loop all because the system fucks them over, and even my time in a small family business has shown me that the system is rigged against innovators. If things keep going in the direction that they are, with corporations given free reign to destroy lives en masse just like in the 1800s, the people, just like everyone so far in this thread, are going to figure it out and it is going to get very ugly very fast all over again. And just like back then, it will be very well deserved.

Bonus: I'll throw in one of my favorite bits from 1990s Rosanne, showing how we got where we are today.
https://youtu.be/lrectdcH81U
  
I used to be a hardcore conservative Libertarian. I used to expound how amazing and great capitalism was, and how it creates philanthropists like Bill Gates and Andrew Carnegie. I used to believe that hard work paid off and that as the wealthy gain more capital, they will expand their businesses, which will create more jobs and create more innovations that will further the American future.
That's how I was indoctrinated as well. Indoctrinate is a strong word, but I really mean it.
  
creates philanthropists like Bill Gates and Andrew Carnegie

How many Bill Gates does it take to offset one Jeff Bezos?
  
Do I think Communism is the solution? No. Communism lets innovators and intelligent people slip right through the cracks. They are conscripted into their jobs and they have no choice in the matter of where they can go. The more choices a person has in their life, the more they are able to do better for themselves. The same goes for giving people their own options for work, which is why we allow people to choose a higher education over immediately jumping into work. They are allowed to choose what they want to specialize in, and when they are able to do that, they, hopefully, live up to their potential.

I don't think that communism requires that the state assigns jobs. From what I've read, I don't think that jobs were assigned arbitrarily by the state in much of the history of either China or the USSR. (Googling right now is primarily turning up China's "Great Leap Forward" program (~1958-1962), which is infamously a huge disaster.)

I certainly don't know a ton about the history of either place, though, so I am happy to hear more if this were endemic to either.
  
Instead of voting for capitalism (which has failed) or communism (which has failed) what if we instead form a new economic structure and test that one out?
  
im open to suggestions
  
I wish I was an economist who could suggest one. 3:
  
you've bastardized the holy :3 face
  
I would like to know your definition of 'failed'.
You have presented two options as mutually exclusive collectively exhaustive as far as current economic systems go and called them both failures, yet the economy still seems to exist and worldwide standard of life continues to improve, so...
  
Coldfrost said:
I would like to know your definition of 'failed'.
You have presented two options as mutually exclusive collectively exhaustive as far as current economic systems go and called them both failures, yet the economy still seems to exist and worldwide standard of life continues to improve, so...

Free Market Capitalism was an attempt to allow any and every individual citizen to participate, in good faith, in an open market that allowed for upward mobility as well as prevent any one or few people from controlling the entire market.
Show me a capitalist system that is not currently majority run by only a few massive corporations. I believe Capitalism, as intended, has failed and only brought us back to what it attempted to mitigate.

Communism, as I understand it, was an attempt to put the means of production into the hands of the citizenry and create a fair and equal workplace, where effort put in was reward received back.
To date, I cannot think of a communist economic system that did not devolve into authoritarianism, poverty, or one which saw the working class struggling to overcome revolt. So, as I see it, a Communist economy has yet to succeed in what it was intended to do.

Thriving civilizations using either term to describe their economy does not meant that they are currently using that economy or that they thrive because of that economic system.
  
i was gonna say something along those lines too

you make a fair point

it has failed at doing what it's trying to do as an economic system

capitalism has clearly failed because look at how awful poverty is in first world countries and stuff
  
you've bastardized the holy :3 face

i don't consider ":3" to be holy, i consider it to be furry
  
i don't consider ":3" to be holy, i consider it to be furry

I died.
  
I died.

Please don't.
  
Here lies the dishonorable judge Antagonist, last words "I died"
  
Clearly, those words were a lie.
  
I don't particularly like everything about capitalism, but I have to admit, it has been an efficient economic system that is complimentary to democracy; your dollar, your vote, your choice who succeeds.

I think to put things in perspective, you have to consider the technology and the times. In the feudal age, mercantilism was the most successful economic system, and the feudal system was the most successful system of government. If you have leaders who choose to sacrifice success to implement a system that is fair, then they fail when competing with a system that chooses success over trying to create some utopian society.

I'm concerned that automation will make the future increasingly dystopian since capitalism won't work in a world where most people can't get a job. If we implement communism or total socialism, those who run those systems can abuse their power, just as a communist government that collects all the resources, doesn't have to distribute them equally.
  
Forum > Touchy Subjects > Capitalism vs. Communism