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Aryan Classes

Back to Article page:

SOCIALISM and COMMUNISM

Capitalism — or really the concept of “liberalism” — arose in the 17th

century, and centers on the right to private property. In Adam Smith's

foundational “Wealth of Nations,” Quill notes, “is recognition that

capitalism is going to make the lives of a good majority of the population

miserable, and that there will be a need for government intervention in

society and the economy to offset the worse effects.”

Socialism was in part a response to capitalism, largely through the writings

of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Socialism focuses on the inequalities

that arise within capitalism through a number of possible responses. Quill

outlined some possibilities: “[T]he state might 'wither away' or collapse

altogether, in others it would regulate the production of goods and

services, in yet others it would become thoroughly democratic” — all with

the aim of reducing that inequality.

You can see that's where democratic socialism arises. That philosophy,

Quill writes, seeks “democratic control of sectors of society and economy

in order to avoid the pitfalls of an unregulated market and — this is most

important — the kind of terrible authoritarian government that emerged in

the Soviet Union.”

Communism “was the endpoint of Marx's ideas,” Quill writes, though Marx

didn't delineate what it would look like, exactly. “We find hints in works

like 'The German Ideology” (1846) where there is a description of working

life that is unalienated, i.e. creative and various — we hunt in the morning,

fish in the afternoon, and become opera critics in the evening.“ During the

Cold War, though, the idea came to be inextricably and pejoratively

associated with the Soviet Union and with the elimination of private

property. The term, in Quill's words, ”served as a shorthand for all things

un-American“ — which was the way that Trump (US presidential candidate)

used it.

 

Simplifying Quill's explanation: “In a communist country, the government

answers those questions. There's no private business. There's no private

property. The government decides.”

“In a capitalist society, the people make those decisions. The businesses,

the market decides how much products will cost, how many there are,

where it will be made.”

“In the socialist system, there's a mix of both. The government operates

the system to help all, but there is opportunity for private property and

private wealth. That's generally how we talk about it.” Back to Quill's

point: A socialist government could control all of the means of production

— or it could, for example, use taxes to redistribute resources among the

population.

 


 


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