"Would it be possible, under your socialist system, for someone to be a capitalist -- engage in production and exchange without being forced to stop doing so, just as it is possible for you to be a socialist under a substantially capitalist system?" Because socialism requires having everyone be part ... (Read more...)
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I like your question for Bernie, and I hope someone asks him. It is a question that points up what the key difference between Marxism (or any form of totalitarianism) and Capitalism. Capitalism lets people choose, none of the other systems do.
For along time I saw the defining character of socialsim being the public ownership of the means of production. But now I think of that more as communism, where the government owns everything - totally. Socialism and fascism are a bit different. I am more inclined to see the defining character of socialism as the centralized control by an elite. If the government can tell me, in great detail, what I can or cannot do with the things I 'own' then do I really own them? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on that. ------------
ps. 1883 was the year Marx died. The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848.