L. Bird pkeets at
Fri Jul 23 14:30:17 CDT 2004

>>Have I been mistaken this whole time to think that Capitalism and free 
>economy were synonymous with each other? That's scares me.

>No.  No need to be scared.

There may be.  Don't get complacent yet.  ;)

Here is an explanation of our differences on this subject from

"Capitalism" is conventionally defined along economic terms such as the 
following: An economic system in which the means of production and 
distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is 
proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a 
free market.   Source:

This is an example of a definition by non-essentials. An essential 
definition of capitalism is a political definition:  Capitalism is a social 
system based on the principle of individual rights.    Source:

Again, we're back to that confusion of capitalism with democracy and a free 
market system.

For many years Capitalism as a political system was defined by the 
opposition of Communism as advanced by the USSR and other highly socialist 
states that also used central planning instead of a free market economy.   
However, it's important to note that our US political system is a mixture of 
capitalist and socialist elements.  What we've been experiencing is not pure 

The failure of Communism as a political system has removed what was an 
important reminder that pure capitalism can lead to war and revolution and a 
forced redistribution of wealth.  I was interested to note that Linda 
McQuaig's dateline for the emergence of "Gangster Capitalism" concided 
fairly well with the dissolution of the USSR, which suggests that fear of 
Communism has kept Capitalism as a political system in check for most of the 
20 Century.  Since Communism is gone, then we're seeing a change in the 
political system which is pushing us more toward pure capitalism as an 
economic system.

We need to have a look at that problem of a world with a single world power 
again, and the abuses that can occur with unchecked profiteering.  If not, 
then we might find the US opposed by a new power in Europe.  Notice how 
things polarized around the Iraq conflict?  Russia, Germany and France moved 
to set up an alliance right away.


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