Philosophy - the downfall of mankind - Part 6 - Capitalism and Communism
Capitalism and Communism – by P.K.Odendaal – 14 April 2012
Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong, but I get the impression that Capitalism and Democracy are two intertwined Government forms. They are thought to be bed-fellows and you can't have the one without the other. I also get the impression that it is Conventional Wisdom that Communism and Dictatorships go together.
Being very sceptic, weary and on my guard for Conventional Wisdom, I came to the conclusion that the Conventional Wisdom is wrong again – as it almost always is on profound issues. Therefore I have decided to set the record straight.
Capitalism is based on Capital, owned by Individuals and Companies, and managed by Individuals and Companies according to a set of principles which change from State to State, depending on the development stage and maturity of corruption in the specific State. The idea is that the State should not inhibit Capitalism or the way the Capitalists wish to manage their Capital. If the State is Democratic, the State will wish to control that Capital, taking the control thereof from the Capitalists. And this is the conflict and why Capitalism and Democracy are in fact two vehement enemies. To try and reconcile them in one State is useless, having been proved so two thousand four hundred years by Athens and Plato.
On the other hand Communism is the ownership of all Capital by the State, and similarly Dictatorships will not work here, as everybody should have a say in the affairs of the communal Capital.
But for some reason, the horses are not paired – and that is why neither of these paired philosophies will ever work, being drawn to only one side. In the case of Democracy, the Capital will be moved to the Government who will waste it themselves, or dish it out in a very limited way to whosoever they need to vote them back in power. What is left, they will embezzle or steal or just waste. So it's clear it can't work. Production and later Capital will be the casualties in this game, but the population are the people who will do the dying in terms of hunger and famine.
In the case of Communism, the people who are the owners of the Capital, will just neglect the Capital as it is of no use to them. No Government, however brutal, can stop this erosion of Capital and concomitant fall in production, in a Communistic State. Production and later Capital will be the fatalities in this game, but the population are the people who will do the dying in terms of hunger and famine.
And thus we sit with two failed forms of Government, which we so ardently revere, follow, worship, destruct and kill.
What if we paired Communism with Democracy and Capitalism with Polity. I think that might be a worthwhile experiment. Even if it fails, it will not fail so spectacularly as Communism in Russia and China – the latter with its Great Leap Forward which ended in famine wherein between 16,5 million and 40 million people died before it came to its end in 1961.
Polity? Where is that practised?
I must, unfortunately and reluctantly, refer to the ideas of Aristotle herein - that wise and delusional philosopher made famous by St. Thomas Aquinas, which I normally try and avoid.
He held that there are three good government systems : Monarchy, Aristocracy and Polity. And there are three bad ones : Tyranny, Oligarchy and Democracy. And as befits us, it was only natural that we would choose the latter three over the centuries, so that today these three are in full bloom.
Polity is a system half way between a Democracy and an Oligarchy. The polity is the rule of those with property, as in Oligarchy, but the property qualification is low, so that the majority of the citizens have a share in government, as in Democracy. The Polity is in effect ruled by a large middle class and it will provide a stable well-administered foundation for the state, since this class is composed of equals and similars of moderate means, who are most likely to follow rational principles. The best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class holding the balance of power against the very rich, who can only rule despotically, and the very poor who are too degraded to rule.
You might recall that in the end of the previous part of this article I mentioned that the only chance a democracy has of surviving is when it is being done among equals or people with similar values, civilization levels, learning and culture.
So there you have it. The diagnosis of the serious uprisings of our time of rich against poor and despots against labourers is seated in the above arguments.
And what is the prognosis. I am afraid to be the prophet of doom, but I am.