There are some technical subtleties in this question that might not be apparent at first glance, although I concur with the initial comments, i.e.:
For those who may want to study different social systems further, I can recommend the topics of "Capitalism" and "Statism" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon, and also OPAR pp. 369-377 ("Statism as the Politics of Unreason"). Related topics in the Lexicon include "Communism," "Socialism," and "Collectivism." The OPAR section begins with a very succinct overview:
"Statism" means any system that concentrates power in the state at the expense of individual freedom. Among other variants, the term subsumes theocracy, absolute monarchy, Nazism, fascism, communism, democratic socialism, and plain, unadorned dictatorship. Such variants differ on matters of form, tactics, and/or ideology ... [but] the essence of their policy is the same: war against man -- against the mind, body, and property alike.
The Lexicon topic of "Capitalism" provides a succinct description (definition) of what "capitalism" most fundamentally refers to (freedom and individual rights, including property rights and private property ownership).
It might be asked: given the very broad description of "statism" above, is every non-capitalist system necessarily statist? Are capitalism and statism jointly exhaustive possibilities? And could it be that 'statism' simply means 'non-capitalism'? Offhand, I can think of only one social system in Western history that was neither capitalist nor statist (nor a simple mixture of capitalism and controls): the democracy of ancient Athens. Leonard Peikoff describes that system is some detail in his book, The DIM Hypothesis. It would be impossible to return to that system today, however, since it was pre-industrial and would require too much "population reduction" (aka massive destruction and death) and would leave too many ruins from more modern times to distract and remind the struggling survivors of better times. (Ayn Rand concretized such a scenario in Anthem, although the "surviving" society depicted in that story is statist, in a totalitarian extreme.)
There is also ambiguity about the meaning of "opposite" in some common usages. It might refer to two things that are mutually contradictory, i.e., they cannot both exist, and they cannot both not exist; they are either-or and mutually exclusive. Either 'A' exists or it does not exist; there are no other possibilities.
But "opposite" is sometimes used to mean merely "contrary," i.e, two possibilities that cannot both exist but may both not exist. (Similarly, "subcontrary" refers to two possibilities that can both exist, but cannot both not exist. Example: "some S is P," and "some S is non-P.") Sometimes the expression "exact opposite" may be used to emphasize that the "contradictory" relation is what is meant. In the case of socialism and statism, for instance, a system can be both, indeed, it must be statist if it is socialist; but it can also be neither. The relation is: if socialist, then statist. This is a form of "all socialist societies are statist." This leads to the various alternative claims identified and studied by Aristotle and later logicians, such as contrary, subcontrary, contrapositive, either-or, excluded middle, etc. (Refer to the AEIO "square of opposition" in traditional philosophy.)
answered Aug 14 '13 at 22:34
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