Capitalism versus Communism, Anarchism etc Watch

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Tednol
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Why has Capitalism risen to the top, at least in the Western 'developed' world?
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Howard
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(Original post by Tednol)
Why has Capitalism risen to the top, at least in the Western 'developed' world?
Because, like water, society takes the path of least resistance.

Capitalism runs by itself (imperfectly I'll acknowledge) whereas communism is bloody hard work.
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TheWolf
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(Original post by Tednol)
Why has Capitalism risen to the top, at least in the Western 'developed' world?
Assets outside the West are held in defective forms: houses built on land whose ownership rights are not adequately recorded, unincorporated businesses with undefined liability, industries located where financiers and investors cannot see them. Because the rights to these possessions are not adequately documented, these assets cannot readily be turned into capital, cannot be traded outside of narrow local circles where people know and trust each other, cannot be used as collateral for a loan and cannot be used as a share against an investment.

In the West, every parcel of land, every building, every piece of equipment or store of inventories is represented in a property document that is the visible sign of a vast hidden process which connects all these assets to the rest of the economy. Thanks to this representational process, assets can lead an invisible, parallel life alongside their material existence.
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fishpaste
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I like having lots of things, so I guess I like the system which provides the most things.
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Howard
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(Original post by TheWolf)
Assets outside the West are held in defective forms: houses built on land whose ownership rights are not adequately recorded, unincorporated businesses with undefined liability, industries located where financiers and investors cannot see them. Because the rights to these possessions are not adequately documented, these assets cannot readily be turned into capital, cannot be traded outside of narrow local circles where people know and trust each other, cannot be used as collateral for a loan and cannot be used as a share against an investment.

In the West, every parcel of land, every building, every piece of equipment or store of inventories is represented in a property document that is the visible sign of a vast hidden process which connects all these assets to the rest of the economy. Thanks to this representational process, assets can lead an invisible, parallel life alongside their material existence.
Have you been reading Thomas Sowell?
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TheWolf
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(Original post by piginapoke)
Nice paste!

http://www.cato.org/special/friedman...001-01-05.html
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randdom
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Whos Thomas Sowell
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Howard
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(Original post by piginapoke)
Nice paste!

http://www.cato.org/special/friedman...001-01-05.html
Well, it looks like there's been a lot of plagiarism going on here. Because Professor Thomas Sowell uses very similar words in his two excellent books Basic & Applied Economics.
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TheWolf
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(Original post by randdom)
Whos Thomas Sowell
economist/author/
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Howard
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(Original post by piginapoke)
We an conclude from this that there's probably not a lot new to be said about the whole debacle.
Same message. Different wrapper.
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fishpaste
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I remember reading something the other week "for the hidden hand to operate, there must also be a hidden fist [war]." What do you think of that? Personally I can't think why that must be the case, I imagine markets would still operate without wars.
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Howard
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(Original post by fishpaste)
I remember reading something the other week "for the hidden hand to operate, there must also be a hidden fist [war]." What do you think of that? Personally I can't think why that must be the case, I imagine markets would still operate without wars.
Well they do (still operate). There hasn't been a significant war in Europe since 1945.
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Howard
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(Original post by fishpaste)
I remember reading something the other week "for the hidden hand to operate, there must also be a hidden fist [war]." What do you think of that? Personally I can't think why that must be the case, I imagine markets would still operate without wars.
In fact I'd say the reverse is true. In times of war economies tend to be hijacked by government and converted into command economies. Resourses are diverted from their normal use as demanded by the market to other uses as required by government mandate.

Therefore I should think that you'd see a lot less evidence of the hidden hand doing it's funky stuff in times of war.
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llama boy
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Very interesting topic...

Capitalism has risen to the top, I think, because the forces behind it are the strongest in many ways.

I'm not sure about the idea that capitalism "runs itself", surely it requires a fairly hefty state with a police force etc, for its well being?
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llama boy
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(Original post by fishpaste)
I remember reading something the other week "for the hidden hand to operate, there must also be a hidden fist [war]." What do you think of that? Personally I can't think why that must be the case, I imagine markets would still operate without wars.
Yeah, you might have more trouble "opening up new markets", though.

Plus, in the domestic context, the police are very much the "hidden fist".
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Howard
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(Original post by llama boy)
Very interesting topic...



I'm not sure about the idea that capitalism "runs itself", surely it requires a fairly hefty state with a police force etc, for its well being?
Yes. You're right in that regard.

I was thinking more about the economic angle. How resources find their own destination rather than have it dictated to them. Easier.
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llama boy
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(Original post by Howard)
Yes. You're right in that regard.

I was thinking more about the economic angle. How resources find their own destination rather than have it dictated to them. Easier.
Yes. There's no doubt that a market economy "runs itself" much more than a command economy does.
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fishpaste
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(Original post by Howard)
In fact I'd say the reverse is true. In times of war economies tend to be hijacked by government and converted into command economies. Resourses are diverted from their normal use as demanded by the market to other uses as required by government mandate.

Therefore I should think that you'd see a lot less evidence of the hidden hand doing it's funky stuff in times of war.
Perhaps the quote was referring to a more one sided war, where one very able country just flattens another. That kind of war wouldn't change the allocation of resources of said country. As llama boy mentioned, you can create new markets that way, including development and infrastructure.

Note to self Innuendo has no place in macroeconomics.
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Howard
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(Original post by llama boy)
Yes. There's no doubt that a market economy "runs itself" much more than a command economy does.
The way I like to think about it is in terms of restaurants.

Think about it. In London, you can get any sort of food that takes your fancy 7 days a week. Chinese, Russian, French, Italian, Brazilian, Iranian etc.

It amazes me to think that the market alone ensures that the right types and quantities of all these different foods are ordered, delivered, prepared, cooked, and served.

What's more, the market does it unknowingly and without even thinking. Can you imagine government trying to do it?
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fishpaste
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My economics teacher tells us that France is only about 50% market economy, the other 50% is planned. Interesting?
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