Being a little bit older & a little bit wiser now, I went into a dialogue today that addressed the question of Capitalism & Communism. Now, this is coming from a Finance Major having a little bit of knowledge about the financial system that we find ourselves in, as well as coming from someone who was affected by the Cold War and it's proxy wars after two of the victorious empires decided to play chess with foreign countries to further their own agendas and interests. If you note, a little bit of anger in that last sentence, I assure you that there really is no anger there, it's just the situation that I happened to be born into. I romanticize myself as a sort of Candide type of character who has had misfortunes visited upon him and his family for quite some time now. This is how I deal with the relative absurdity and ugliness of the world. I comfort myself in knowing that this has been the norm throughout the history of the world. To be fair though, my life so far has not just consisted in absurdities and ugliness, there have also been genuine moments of clarity and beauty, as well as some enlightenment along the way. I state this last sentence in order to bring balance to the view of whoever might be reading this, in order to increase them in an understanding that my current view is not that the world is all war and ugliness.
Moving away from the introduction which is more of a disclaimer to anyone who might decide to argue as to my qualifications to speak about these economic theories. I have had as they say in the Finance business much "skin in the game". The following part of this blog will basically sum up my conclusions on these two reigning economic theories that are either lauded or criticized, one over the other, or vice versa depending on the person's viewpoint.
I feel that the purpose of this blog, is to dispel the myth that these two economic theories were actually some sort of rule book that those in power who came before us used in order to shape the state of their respective empires.
The truth, is that there were no rule books when the two victorious empires of Russia and the U.S.A. (following WWII) emerged from the world wars. The theories of Communism and Capitalism developed in sync with the day to day agendas of the empires. Now, the economic theory that rose up following the European Monarchical theories of the "Divine Right to Rule", for the most part came from Adam Smith, and were abstract theories in the same way that Marx's communist theories were abstract theories on how a society should ideally be run.
After the United States, and by the United States, I mean the wealthy landowners who fled from Great Britain, decided that they needed to independently rule over their affairs (and not be subject to a Monarch) they took inspiration from the French revolution as we all know, which ousted tyrannical monarchies by ways of revolutionary terror, (the guillotine being a favorite of those people who had been in charge of those revolutions) in order to spur other wealthy landowners who had become wealthy from various enterprises, some of those dealing with slavery, land theft, and other means (some means were more virtuous than others) to fight against monarchical rule. The theories of capitalism grew from a need to do away with the old Monarchical Rule, or the Divine Right to Rule through lineages descending from Kings and Queens.
Now, that is all you really need to know about the origins of Capitalism in the U.S.A. The theory of capitalism therefore was a justification to do away with old ways of doing things, and it needed to justify the power and wealth of the society that created this theory. Since the theory of Capitalism was created by Wealthy people who owned land, resources, slaves, etc. it is a theory that justifies their rulership by means of Wealth, or the previously mentioned material objects. "I have money, therefore I have power, and that is why I rule. It really is no different from "I descend from a lineage of kings, therefore I rule".
My reason for writing this blog is so that we reach an understanding of a pattern that is inherent in every human society that I can think of, besides rare exceptions which will not be touched upon here. We will see, the same pattern, when we examine Communism shortly as well. The reason I highlight these two theories is because these are the heavyweight contenders for the reason why things are run the way they are, and how things are run the way they are.
Now, moving on to Communism. Since, I did not grow up in Russia, I have a very poor understanding of Russian history, but thanks to some of the Russian literature that I have read (Dostoyevsky), I came to an understanding of the idea that Communism is rulership by means of convincing or coercing large groups of people in order to take back the power from their "masters" (Czars, or Wealthy landowners). Communism is branded as a movement of many people who are discontent with the state of affairs in their respective lands. Many of these people might have been suffering under despotic tyranny in the guises of (as previously mentioned) Czars, or Wealthy landowners. In Communism, the masses are convinced by quite charming and energetic leaders into movement against their masters in order to seize control of the means of production. What happens after these movements usually in actuality (I would say about 98% of the time, just as a guesstimate) is these charming leaders then place themselves over the people in a military dictatorship fashion, or a government based off of the force of arms, in which the leader of the revolution is now the de-facto leader. No questions asked, and if questions are asked it is made so that those questions have no way of being asked again.
So, then what is Communism? If it is a movement to convince the masses to seize power and then the people who convinced the masses to seize power, are then made dictators or rulers over them, is not practical Communism just a military coup disguised with good intentions? But, I guess what I am aiming at here, with the question "What is Communism?" is what is the theory of communism? How did it arise? Did it not arise from a justification to rule over the masses in the same way that Capitalism also arose as a justification for ruling over the masses? "I have masses of people who follow me, therefore I have power, therefore I rule."
Remember, Capitalism was " I have wealth, resources, and land, therefore I rule". Communism is just "I have masses of people who follow me, therefore I have power, therefore I rule."
There needn't be so many tomes of books on both these subjects acting as if they are some divine answer from God, on how society should be ruled. Both theories, come from man's nature to justify their rulership. What man does is, he creates these large elegant and eloquent theories on why they are meant to rule over the masses. The same was done in the days of Kings. Whole myths of kings rose up as a need to justify the rulership of these men and women over others. "I descend from the great Maximonius the Aggressive! You've all heard of him right?" "Oh, you mean the guy that went into the cave and slew the dragon, and then made off with the beautiful maiden in the tower?" "That is HE!" "Okay, you can rule over me."
I think I have made my point clear enough for anyone to have an understanding that these two economic theories are not manuals on how it is best to rule over the masses in a society, but they are most definitely justifications for why certain "elites" have rulership over masses in a society. I did not write this blog to make any accusations against anyone but it seems to me like these huge economics books on Capitalism and Communism are fed to us in order to justify the way things are and why they should remain the way they are. In other words, they serve the interests of ruling "elites" just like the fairytales of kings served the interest of kings to rule over the masses of the people.
Now, to be fair, and not leave you in desperation as if this is a new trend in human society. I have to let you in on the secret that it has been like this in almost all of human civilizations. Religion has been used to justify rulership over masses of people, spiritual ancestry from prophets has been used to justify rulership over masses of people, and there are many other ways in which rulers justify their rulership. Do not be fooled into thinking that these economic theories are actual guidebooks on how best to run society. Know, that they are justifications from the ruling elites on why they should run you.
With that being said, we are in a predicament now to find what is the most sane way to practically run a society. We shouldn't sit here and cry about the situation, we should research into the best ways to run human societies. Are there examples in civilizations? Is it possible to apply these ways of running society from ancient civilizations (If there are any that were wise enough to run the affairs of the people in a wise manner). Also, many people use Rome as an example, but we all know about the tyranny that Rome imposed on many of the peoples of Africa, and other countries, as well as the many persecutions of anyone who didn't go with the program, so please spare me that example. I know that they had wise rulers as well, but as a whole, the empire was filled with corruption, bloody gladiator battles for sport, feeding of the first Christians to the lions, so on and so forth. As an aside, I only used Rome as an example, because I know that people are going to suggest it mostly because many people like to model their ancestors as the wisest people to ever walk the planet, and many people today hold it up as some sort of beacon of light, instead of viewing it under the reality that it was. Most Roman emperors were tyrants and the wars that were fought, were horrific, as well as the slavery that was imposed on subjected peoples, there was intolerance, so on and so forth. Also, I did read Marcus Aurelius and think that perhaps he was an enlightened sage, however terrible the empire he was born under was.
So, in conclusion, I am open to any discussions of examples of civilizations or economic theories that are actually practical and would benefit the masses of the peoples on the planet in the best of ways. I am looking for economic theories or examples of civilization that were not run in a despotic manner and where the majority of the people enjoyed a healthy and happy level of affluence. Also, I did not mean to disparage anyone's ancestry, I am sure that there were great people in the Roman empire, however, I just wanted to make it clear that I will not be taking Rome as an example of an enlightened empire, for the previously mentioned atrocities, and injustices committed under that empire, whoever was responsible (Despotic Emperor Tyrant or Shrewd General).
Thank you for reading all the way through this, I am looking forward to people's opinions about this topic. And please spare me the crap, I have a 6th sense for seeing through B.S. or people with an agenda.