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Jordan Schwall

Student - B.A. Philosophy,

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Is it possible for both Karl Marx and Ayn Rand to be correct?


Two pop-cultural experiences this week got me thinking; is it possible that both capitalism and socialism have their place in society? Is this what historically maintains economic equilibrium (at least, one theoretical and organic)? We industrialize, followed by a period of economic redistribution and cultural 'flourishing,' and repeat this process. 

These two contrasting ideas both had their time in history, and here is pop-culture to prove it: 

television: socialism, Marx

“Do what will make you happy, and don’t lie to yourself, the latter of course a main theme of the series. “I always thought that you were very single-minded about your dreams and that that would help you through life,” he tells her. “But now I see that you skipped the struggle and went right to the end.” “It’s not the end, it’s the beginning,” Megan says. “This apartment, this wealth that someone handed to you,” he replies. “This is what Karl Marx was talking about. And it’s not because someone else deserves it. It’s because it is bad for your soul.” “Don’t pick at me with your politics because you hate that I love Don,” she says. “No, I hate that you give up. Don’t let your love for this man stop you from doing what you want to do.” 
-- Mad Men (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2049173/)

literature: capitalism, Rand

-- Scott Hoover (http://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Job-Wall-Street/dp/0071778535)

Look at the here and now: we value economic achievement, a capitalist ideal. but on a temporal economic scale, say the 1920s, marxism attempted to redistribute those economic achievements so that people could work less and thrive culturally (marxism was obviously only a consideration in economic policy that would change, at the time, failing capitalism). Many contend that the same is being done now (Obama as changing capitalism). Is there a natural cycle to this?


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  • Feb 14 2013: I think Marx needs to be viewed in an historical context. He was onto something when discussing the merits of a more collective approach to things being done. After all we currently have an economy that clearly only works for the 1%. That's a bad system.
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      Feb 14 2013: Gee Craig, guess that is why everyone wants to come to America ... because our system is so bad. You could always enjoy the leadership of your choice in the thriving country of Cuba. Good luck with that. Are you still enjoying the koolade labeled the 1% is to blame for everything. Good luck with that too.
      • Feb 16 2013: Robert,
        America is a nice place, I've been and look forward to my next visit, but that's all. I wouldn't want to live there.
        We are blessed with an institution that doesn't discriminate based on the size of your wallet, it's called the NHS.
        Cuba, I'll not go there.
        I'm not blaming the 1% for everything, you get what you deserve in a democracy.
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      Feb 14 2013: "clearly" is a word that saves you the burden of arguing
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      Feb 16 2013: "Clearly" is an opinion.

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