Daisy asked me to comment at her post on Gordon Gekko Capitalism. (Thanks so much for your kind invitation, Daisy.) Instead of my usual smart-ass comment, I left something that could be an extension of my previous Freedom Rants post.
What's wrong with Capitalism? What's right about it? Is it better than Socialism or Communism?
This area of socio-economics has so many shades of gray amid the shadows and glare; we can hardly have a balanced view of it.
To begin with, the meanings of the words, Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism may have morphed so much by this day and age that they are impossible to debate without an agreement on the definition of such terms.
There are many governments and societies that likely have elements of all three systems. Those Chinese sure are getting the hang of Capitalism, aren’t they?
That's confusing enough. The real problem is the system now in place has dwarfed all of them. And I can't even find the word "corporatism" in the dictionary.
This will sound simplistic, but the foundation needed for any fair and just system is democracy. We may have had a little bit of that at one time or another in the US, but not anymore. The anti-democratic forces have gained power.
Communism, as developed by the Soviets, Chinese, etc., is not the only nemesis of democracy. Unregulated Capitalism, or corporatism, is now showing us what can go wrong.
Capitalism can mean anything from the kid's lemonade stand on the corner to hedge fund managing. It seems like the very act of defining it also limits it.
What has become clear, though, is democracy in the US has been usurped by corporatism. Corporatism may be the most lethal enemy of democracy yet. Its tentacles are so entwined into our government; I can't even see how to extricate them within our current system. A good start may be public financed elections and reversal of media conglomeration.
The only hope I see is to somehow educate the masses into realizing the need to reclaim democracy. We need a government of, by, and for the people, and that would include, by definition, more Socialism.
You know, if we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we would also have the right to the health care needed to achieve it.
Anyway, it’s not all about anti-capitalism. It’s more about promoting a more democratic Socialism along with regulated Capitalism.