Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Ideas: Capitalism and Democracy vs Communism or Socialism and Totalitarianism

There are many people today who decry the evils of capitalism. They argue that capitalists are greedy people who take advantage of people. Often these same people argue that socialism is preferable to capitalism.

We do not argue the merits of capitalism and socialism any longer. In the 20th century, there were three major experiments where capitalism and socialism were tested: in Germany, China, and Korea.

In each of these countries, part of the people lived under capitalism and part lived under socialism. People in West Germany lived under capitalism and the people in East Germany lived under socialism or communism.

In the People's Republic of China people lived under communism. In Taiwan, people lived under capitalism.

In North Korea people lived under communism and in South Korea they lived under a mild form of capitalism.

In all three cases, the people who lived under capitalism were much freer and richer. In all three cases, the people who lived under socialism or communism were not free and poor. Also, it is important to recognize that where communism rules, the people are not free to leave the country. The only time a government has to prevent people from leaving a country is when many people want to leave the country. People have shown -- time and time again -- that they hate to live under communism and socialism. They always want to get out of a country run by communists. That is why the Berlin Wall was built -- to keep people from leaving East Germany.

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