Short Thoughts

Communism and Capitalism

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From the other side: First, I agree, nothing Christian about capitalism, especially the version as it is implemented in the USA. If you look at Acts, the way those people lived was much closer to "socialism", in some definitions. People brought what they had, and it was handed out to those that needed it....
About communism/socialism: There are many aspects that are interwoven here. The ownership of property. The style of government. The management/ planning of the economy. The practice of religion. Then of course the extent to which the philosophical ideal is implemented in practice.
Ownership of property - one of the hallmarks of socialism is that the means of economic production is owned by the state. That is never the case in the USA. And very seldom even in communist countries like China. And I have not yet seem any limits to the ownership of private property like houses, cars and consumer goods during any of my visits to China. You just can't take it with you to the grave, or let your children inherit too much.
Style of government - Often governments in socialist/ communist countries are authoritarian. And that is true. But then democracy also leaves some groups (minorities) oppressed in most democratic countries.
Planning of the economy - as can be seen, China is having remarkable success in the way that their economy is planned. They have struck a good balance between central planning and local execution. They have had a remarkable run of growth.
Religion is typically suppressed, but that is a function of the authoritarian government, not the economic system.
Neither laissez faire capitalism, nor total communism is in place anywhere in the world. "Communist" and "socialist" is used as a bogeyman by the right wing, much like McCarthy did 50 years ago, to frighten and scare people. Thinking about things will allow one to discern the good aspects and the bad aspects of systems in place around the world, and how to take the best of different systems and implement those for the betterment of all.
Unfortunately, in the current environment, the labels are thrown around as insults, and not used as a means of understanding each other. There is much to be said for the whole range of government systems, from communism, via democratic socialism to capitalism. We should all be aware of the many different details as implemented around the world, and then honestly determine what works and what doesn’t work. For example, Venezuela collapsed because of greedy dictators, not because of central planning. And the 50% of Americans that earn less than $15’hour, will not agree that America is Utopia.
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