Monday, June 14, 2004

Interesting quote from Michael Moore (found on MooreWatch)

Distinguish between capitalism and greed. Is it safe to assume that on some level, you think capitalism is okay?

No, not really. I think our economic system is unfair and unjust and it’s not democratic and it has to change. When I say that last line in the film, "One evil empire down, one to go,” our system is the one that’s got to go. Now, don’t ask me what to replace it with because I donĂ‚’t know. I wish somebody would invent a system that takes the best things of capitalism and socialism and puts them together. The things from capitalism that encourage individuality and creativity and ingenuity, and those things from socialism that say no one shall be left behind. Why canĂ‚’t we have that? Why do they have to be at odds?

Ok, a multi-millionaire hates capitalism? He thinks that Communism encourages individual creativity?
In the late 19th century the deep thinkers came up with new ideas on how society should be organized. The two most popular were communism and national socialism (facism). In early writings, Hitler himself made similar worries about leaving people behind. During the 1920s and 1930, all intellectuals believed that one of these systems would be the future. No educated person thought that capitalism with its unseemly reliance on individual greed would survive. Just read some of the fiction from the 1930s. It wasn't even argued that the intelligensia would take over. It was simply assumed. Jack London, for example, slips this into some of his works.

Instead of being the future both systems crashed and burned, taking millions with them. What happened?

Both communism and facism were too big of a concept. This is not how people naturally arrainge themselves. It had to be forced on them. This required the creation of an all powerful central government. Since the government was more important than the individual, individual rights ceased to be a concern. Anyone who inconvienced the government could be imprisoned or executed.

Also, the great motivating factor in capitalism is individual greed. For socialism and communism the motivation was love of the state. It turns out that this is not much of a motivator.

One of the purerest communists societies ever founded was the original Plymouth colony (the Pilgrims). They shared all of their food, debts, profits, everything. After three years they gave up and allowed families to keep a portion of their own harvest. Suddenly women and children who had always claimed that they were too busy were working in the fields along the men.

As for individual creativity - name any great art to come out of the USSR. A friend was majoring in Russian in the 1980s. He studied for a few months in Russia. He said that the whole country looked unfinished. Wires were exposed. Ceilings were never installed.

Look at clothing or cars from the USSR. They were awful. Wendy's had a parody of this in the 1980s.

No comments: