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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 18 2013: As far as I can say something about it: All systems have lifecycles. If one is not working anymore people seek for alternatives or change/reevaluate. It is like an ecosystem.
    • Feb 19 2013: You could argue that Capitalism does have a lifecycle and will burn out without the distraction of another World War.
      Around 200 years ago the Luddites broke into factories to smash up all the new machinery that replaced skilled labour with machines. We now live in an age were machines have taken up most of the manual work.
      Now that we have the technology we don't need as many jobs, the result being there aren't enough jobs to go round. But no one wants to admit it.
      Imagine an education policy that failed 9 out of 10 pupils, it wouldn't last two minutes, yet we persevere with an economic policy that does just that.
      The majority of people don't know anything different, "there is no alternative". There is very little coverage or debate of alternatives by the mainstream media because they are all run or owned by the capitalists.

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