Many people automatically assume that socialism/communism and capitalism have been the bitterest of enemies from Day One of recorded time. Shocking as it may seem, this is not the case. Capitalism and socialism are much closer than many people imagine, or that some of the can imagine.
What brought this up was a short question-and-answer we got from a faithful reader a few days ago. As Faithful Reader said,
|"Amok, Amuk, or Amuck? CHARGE!"|
The mystery of the moment: Why do capitalist elites support would-be socialist oligarchies?
Perhaps because maximizing one’s concentration of power can avoid the extremes of libertarianism run amuck [sic, the work is “amok”] among us deploribles [deplorables?] against both establishment extremes.
Russia and China have effectively combined them both, so who is next?
The new “conservative” think-tank and media guru, introduced below, Caucus Room, may address this conundrum?
Caucus Room, however, is only for “verified conservatives”. How about us libertarians, who are not verifiable within any political paradigm except compassionate justice for everyone as the essence of every world religion and universal natural law?
Both of the two establishment parties seem ready for dissolution in favor of something either better (a just third way?) or perhaps worse (no way?)
Okay, so this isn’t actually
a question, but we decided to weigh in on it, anyway. It was at least more exciting than chanting, Sia
la ragazza sia il ragazzo vogliano la torta al cioccolato from Your Italian
Phrase of the Day. (“The girl and the boy both want the chocolate cake”, which
we assume is Italian for “blood will flow.”)
"Heighdy ho! Didja miss me?"
Anyway, there is no mystery. Studies of early socialism reveal that, without exception, the first socialist theorists were themselves capitalists (Robert Owen, Friedrich Engels), had inherited wealth (Henri de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, Félicité de Lamannais), or actively sought the patronage of capitalists to fund their projects (Étienne Cabet).
Socialism first started as an alternative to existing political institutions, traditional forms of marriage and family, and — above all — to organized religion, especially Catholicism. Socialism was first known as “the Democratic Religion” and “the Religion of Humanity” with various forms known as “the New Christianity” (Saint-Simon), “Neo-Catholicism” (de Lamennais), “Universal Catholicism” (“Eliphas Levi”), and so on.
The Saint Simonian Pierre Laroux first coined the term “socialism” cir. 1833 as a pejorative, but by the revolutions of 1848 it had become the preferred term. Marx and Engels decided to use the slightly older term “communism” for their “scientific socialism” as they felt the followers of Robert Owen had preempted the term socialism.
It was Cabet who may have been the first socialist as such to turn against capitalism when the capitalists did not support his “Icarian socialism.” Evidently the best way to make enemies is not to fork over the moolah to the socialists when they demand it.
Of course, all this would be a moot point if some country would adopt the Economic Democracy Act, but then what would people have to fight about . . . except chocolate cake. . . .#30#