TED Conversations

Bill Matthies

CEO, Coyote Insight, LLC

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Do most people differentiate between forms of government and economic systems? How does what they think impact what they do?

Communism, socialism, fascism, capitalism and a few more variations of one or more of these, are all economic systems. Democracy, dictatorship, republic, and anarchy, also with variations and degrees, are forms of government. Any economic system can be put in place by a democratic government, or imposed by a dictatorship.

Do you think most people understand this or do they confuse economic systems and forms of government? In other words do most think communism only comes with dictatorship, capitalism only with democracy?

To the extent they are confused, how does this impact what they do both politically and economically?


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    Nov 14 2012: most people don't........

    Most think capitalism and democracy to be synonymous, similarly communism to dictatorship.
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      Nov 14 2012: I suspect you're right Salim, or if they do know the difference, they unknowingly make the connection you've suggested they do.
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        Nov 15 2012: Hi Bill
        That's what my observation is, even here in TED as well.
        Media propaganda is responsible to a great extent for this kind mass misconception.
        Take the example of so called "arab spring" ....economy there is fully capitalistic under tyrranic dictatorship.......but the tag of dictatorship is always with socialism (we never saw communism in modern time anywhere).
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          Nov 16 2012: I think true communism, or anything close to it, has been shown to be unworkable. But it will be back. Someone somewhere sometime will think it is a wonderful idea, not knowing how completely it has failed in the past. Maybe Venezuela in the not too distant future.
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        Nov 16 2012: I feel it worked only in pre-historic time, before human went in to agriculture........in modern context I feel it to be utopia

        We have lot reasons in hand to supress others.....and we are displaying that relentlessly.

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