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Capitalism and communism

  1. Oct 13, 2003 #1
    Disclaimer: This draft is still a little rough. I'm working on a better paper on this.

    For a while now, I've been thinking about what would be the best form of government and economy. Someone will certainly shout out "democracy" and "capitalism" here, but are they really that good?

    Firstly, the "evolve or die" model when applied to economics means the evolution of a single or several huge corporations which end up controlling the whole population. This is certainly bad for the consumer and is something that nobody wants except for the big corporations themselves.

    Also, when speaking about democracy, the amount of gullible and stupid people comes to mind. As the Californian governor election showed, people will often vote for the person who has the biggest show and the most known face. They rarely care about what he will change or what his views are. This has made me contemplate about "enlightened democracy" where only those who pass certain tests or have a certain amount of education are allowed to vote or work for government agencies. This, also, is a bad idea since it involves labelling people and might lead to an uprising.

    The other extreme would be socialism and communism. Even distribution of wealth might make a lot of people happy, but the lack of personal property creates a state of mind where you have nothing to really work for. Just as it happened when peasants were still slaves in Europe.

    Here I present an idea which I call:

    Democratic Socialist Capitalism.

    I'm not going to speak long about this concept. I'll just list my main ideas.

    - Big corporations are forcefully split up when they reach a certain size. This is to make sure that there's always competition. This will benefit the consumer.
    - Bigger companies pay more taxes.
    - Government owns much more companies than in a normal capitalist country. This means more income for the government. All rules still apply though. Possibly, government agencies should be forced to prefer offers from private companies when they need to buy a service or a product of some kind.
    - More money is spent of welfare. This is where most of the tax money will be spent. By welfare I mean a good system of pensions, free kitchens and temporary housing for those who need it, free worker (re-)education programs with possible integration into government-owned businesses later and free basic goods such as clothing and medicine for those who can't afford it.
    - Unrestricted media access. Online music sharing would become legal. Money is earnt mostly by concerts. This also makes e-books have the same rights as library books. You could download and view them on whatever device you prefer and copy them unrestricted if you wish. While music can survive and might actually get a boost out of this, I'm still not sure about writers. Quite possibly, they could sell (license) their stories to e-book salescompanies who then publish these books in an electronic and/or paper form either through a system of micropayments (pay-to-download) or as a normal system as we have now. I still prefer dead tree books myself.
    - Democracy stays. An elected parliament of about 200 members. Of those, the ministers are chosen. In addition to the prime minister, there will also be the president, but unlike in USA, the president lacks any real power. Also, in the event of a national crisis, the board of ministers and the president can take over the power, but they will be fully responsible for any decisions they make.
    - Democracy to the masses. When it comes to more important decisions, a simple voting system should be developed. Slide in your ID card, make a choice and get a receipt with your info, your number as a voter, the amount of votes and percentages up to your vote and your choice. This creates the paper trail and would make it harder (but not impossible) to forge votes.
    - Open-source to the masses. Governments should at all occasions use and promote open-source products under liberal licenses such as GNU GPL or the BSD license. Free software should be viewed as a natural thing and along with this, sharing and being a good citizen will be a natural thing.

    I have dicussed these topics earlier with several people and they seemed to like it. I haven't written these down much before, so if I missed something essential, I might add it later in the thread or edit this post.

    Let me know what you think so far.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2003 #2


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    What's your definition of best?
  4. Oct 13, 2003 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Frankly, I only skimmed it, but that isn't far from how democracy works in practice. In Europe it leans more in that direction than in the US, but at least half of your points apply to the US as well.

    No political system works in a "pure" form, however my understanding of Marxism is that it only really works in pure form. That's why we see governments starting more democratic and then moving to the left and very few starting from communism and moving to the right. China is trying, but it will eventually cause their government to collapse.

    In any case, there is a politics forum here...
  5. Oct 22, 2003 #4
    And now for the Brain Teaser of the day! Can someone name a communist country that everyone's rushing to get into?
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