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Paul van Zoggel

edupreneur, 35 KM

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Can we just take the best of socialism and capitalism?

Designing the society for the children born now... now.. and now.. is thinking about society 2020-2120

There are various topics talking about the perfect dream society, beautiful, though what will it be build on? Which elements of previous systems should we take as we can't design from scratch?

Who are the designers?

There is one generation which can make up the balance between socialism (WeFirst) and capitalism (MeFirst);

The ones grown up in socialism, puberty in the crisis and turnaround, now living in capitalism. For Europe this is Eastern European countries, people between 20-40.

Some I know feel lost as they know both systems and both have good and ugly things they realize. Pitty the good parts of socialism are run over by western trains. It's not too late though...

What is good about capitalism?
What is good about socialism?

Are the best parts of both complimentary to be the basics of the next system taking care of the interests of individuals and corporations/collaborations?


Closing Statement from Paul van Zoggel

Thinking about the future, I set out this question to 'find' like minded who actually lived in a socialist and capitalist system, being able to put best ingredients in a nice new homemade soup.

I forgot one thing; legacy of 'words'. Everybody grew up with the words 'capitalism and socialism, and all have an idea what these words imply. People with experience, people reading books.

So this topic started in looking for 'meaning' of the systems. And so we get trapped in discussing old discussions. Which can be fine, but I could have avoided it if there would be system semantics as obvious and common sense as 1+1=2.

I realized closed history chapters are written pages and adding new semantics has the effect of spending a lot of time describing the past while actually that energy should be ut in discovering the future.

So probably my mistake to set out the question like I did :) At the same time, and I hope you agree reading a bit through the comments, I get some great insights in perceptions of 'systems' that work(ed).

In short pessimism and optimism to 'design' the future. These contradictions in thought and words asks from us to think deeper and write clearer to get in the end something worth living/fighting for. Conversation makes clearance, without conversation we start to believe to much in our own perfect mental dream constructs.

Thanks again all for your contributions and see you on other topics!

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  • Jun 21 2011: The problem with socialism as traditionally practiced is that allocation of resources and planning decisions are made by people with insufficient information about the economic deficiencies those decisions are meant to address. The people doing work, therefore, lose the awareness of how important it is that their tasks be completed or done well.

    The problem with capitalism is the misunderstanding about how individual choices impact the overall economic health of the society, causing systemic distortions in the provision and distribution of resources.

    The flaws in both systems historically prevented either from becoming dominant, which is why (for example) capitalist countries tax the rich (or just maintain a budget deficit) in order to support the poor and those without jobs.

    Since the cultural assumptions of capitalism are what lead to its problems, changing these assumptions would allow a more efficient society, which will especially become more important as the cost of energy increases from the depletion of natural resources. One possible end state for society which would address the incorrect assumptions that cause problems: http://pastebin.com/Q86Zhgs9
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      Jun 22 2011: capitalism is based in personal freedom, and not on any conception about "economic health of the society", what would that mean.

      history proved that more economic freedom leads to fast progress. socialism proved to be the opposite.
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        Jun 22 2011: @Krisztian,

        True, history proved these two extremes, what is the middle way? As we need it very soon;

        The fast progress is fed by territorial expansion of the system towards more resources, more workers, more buyers. Socialism the opposite as the personal gain is not there and is literally an island which does not expand.

        History has shown fast progress on one part of the world is paid by another part of the world. This has been Europe and US, we invented 'economic freedom' so we are the best in playing the game globally.

        Though China/India also play the game, and are bigger so in the end the progress will be there. As oil is the basic denominator in economic freedom, China and India will surf well on economic freedom as they will get volume discount.

        As the oil/energy supply can't keep up, prices will go up, creating a very stressful world economy as there is no alternative to economic freedom, supply and demand driven prices.
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          Jun 22 2011: we already have the middle way. the western economy constantly drifts from free capitalism toward socialism. does it work? judge for yourself.

          and this experiment was not run once, west vs east. it was tried many times. see the two korea's. see taiwan and china, see china before and after the limited economic freedom, and so on.

          central planning simply hinders economic progress. through that, it hinders everything else as well.
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          Jun 22 2011: I think we are beginning to see another wave of thinking economics. It's not centered on immediate equality or progress, but on intergenerational equality. That is, we need to preserve what we have now for the future generations.

          Sustainable Development was a ethereal concept that is taking form nowadays. I like the tag on Sustainable Development to be a "Social-Productive-Keynesianism", which objective is to offer people education, health, political enlightenment (true wealths) against gold or money.

          This isn't communism or pure socialism, this is based on actual democracies and political freedom and we can see how people's mind is changing.

          Take Japan's example. They are regreting their option for nuclear energy and are going to close the plants, cause it hurts their resources and their hope for sustainable development.

          I think this discourse is here to stay, but for how long is a good question.

          We have the recent example of the failure of the Third Way of organizing the welfare state and public services. Combining a incredible value of liberal view, the individual engagement, and the notion of social equality.

          This was rather a discourse engine. Do you guys think that Sustainable Development is rhetoric discourse too?
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        Jun 26 2011: Hi Mario, thanks for dropping by.

        I also believe we are seeing a new wave of thinking economics, I just hope it moves fast enough to catch up with the chaos unfolding. I am optimist, I believe the 'new' can be born while the old is dying.

        Sustainable Development is rhetoric discourse if you mean to say it is used as a third argument in decision making (next to the social and economic). In a way these 3 together are the pillars for ensuring the basis to grow for (7) generations ahead. If you mean something else, enlighten me :)

        I learned every big change starts in real estate, roman to gothic etc etc Sustainable development started there and people grown up with it start to see this sustainable decision making as part of their culture. So probably Michael Schwarz is right Sustainism is the movement turned into culture.
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          Jun 30 2011: Hi Paul,

          I just found the post where you ask: "... what are China's pitfalls? Where is their peak and do you think they will try to keep on climbing?"

          Yes, I think China will keep climbing. There are people who make predictions about China's future vis a vis "The West" - for example, Martin Jacques in his book "When China Rules the World," [he is also a TED speaker] and Henry Kissinger's recent comments that China would not rule the world (although he did not use that terminology.)

          The human mind appears to be quite simple in its functional capabilities; it is essentially a pattern generating and pattern recognition system.

          A very simple and easy to understand pattern is "this versus that." Because "this versus that" is simple, easy to understand, and easy to "debate," creating artificial dichotomies is a favourite pastime of human beings when we use the default mode of our brain's wetware.

          So we get China versus The World (or capitalism versus socialism) and so on.

          Will China continue to climb? Absolutely. Will it climb in a "straight line?" No. Will it look like the China of Today in twenty year's time? No.

          China will change the world and the world will change China.


          That depends on us (and future generations.)

          Personally, I think "The World" has a lot to learn from China. The notion that "The Western Way" is superior is a parochial conceit.

          Can China learn from the West? They can and they are.

          What are the "pitfalls?"

          I would say the challenge they face is integrating disparate systems. China has a long history that is embodied in practices such as "guan xi" (reciprocal relationships); the relationship between the population and the state, and so on. They are now going through a steep learning curve as they embrace and integrate "other practices" - balancing "mianzi" (face) and accountability, for example.

          They'll manage just fine. They are expert at "unifying opposites." Something "The West" is not so good at ... yet.
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        Jun 27 2011: QUOTE: "history proved that more economic freedom leads to fast progress. socialism proved to be the opposite."

        This is not accurate. Recent history has "proven" the opposite. A socialist system (China) has orchestrated the largest (and fastest) emergence from poverty in history; and "economic freedom" (capitalism) has been responsible for one of the largest (and perhaps fastest) economic declines in history.

        Our models may need to be adjusted.
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          Jun 27 2011: Yes! It's amazing what is going on in China. That's why I think - and the reason I start this thread - is we have thrown socialist principles to fast over the hedge in Europe.

          economic freedom works - as you mentioned - when there is integrity. all systems.

          And all systems start with emotion, with integrity, and they reach a peak. The thing of a system is we do not see it organic. Reaching the peak, we try to keep on climbing.

          Another analogy; the old man is dying but doesn't have any "grand" children.

          Mr. Jones, if you still read this within 2 days of this thread;

          You seem a wisdom-keeper on China, what are China's pitfalls? Where is their peak and do you think they will try to keep on climbing?
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      Jun 22 2011: That is well said Misaki. So let's change assumptions - and - use more essential terminology which can't be misunderstood. I will read the article in the weekend..

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