Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Capitalism vs. Communism

Comparing democracy to communism is a lot like comparing apples to rutabagas. Democracy is a form of government and communism is an economic system. One does not equate to the other. A true democracy could, in fact, govern over a communist economy if that’s what a majority of the citizens wanted.

Capitalism and communism are comparable in that each is an economic system that provides a means for the production, distribution and exchange of goods and services. The only significant differences involve ownership, management ability and effectiveness. The goals—if not always the results—of each are much the same.

Under capitalism, the means of production, distribution and exchange are privately owned for the sake of private profits. Individuals (sole proprietors), partnerships, joint ventures, investor-owned corporations and employee-owned companies are just a few of the entities that qualify as privately owned businesses.

In the capitalist business model, government regulates and taxes businesses until such time that the largest, wealthiest, most powerful corporations seize control of the government. Then, everything the government does is for the betterment of the corporations, at the expense of ordinary citizens. Sort of like – no, exactly like – what’s going on in the U.S., today.

Capitalist business managers are very good at managing businesses, but as government leaders, they really suck.

The communist business model differs in that government owns – on behalf of the people (yeah, right!) – all of the businesses. This arrangement, of course, reveals communism’s greatest weakness. Politicians can barely run a government; as business managers, they really suck.

A deeper analysis of the two systems turns up more similarities than dissimilarities. Each system extracts, imports or co-opts natural resources, converts those resources into consumable goods or services, and provides a means to market those goods and services to consumers.

In the final analysis, the only real difference is one of ownership. Or, is it just one of semantics?

Business owns the government! Government owns the business! What the hell’s the difference? The results are always the same. In the end, scum always forms at the top. And that really sucks.