The collective management of capital has never been realised by any country. Just as Rand would not call today's capitalist countries representative of her idea, so too would a true socialist not call those countries socialist which never actually realised the idea.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
Capitalism n. 1. The possession of capital or wealth; an economic system in which private capital or wealth is used in the production or distribution of goods and prices are determined mainly in a free market; the dominance of private owners of capital and of production for profit.
Communism n.1. a theory that advocates the abolition of private ownership, all property being vested in the community, and the organization of labour for the common benefit of all members; a system of social organization in which this theory is put into practice.
Communism n. 2a. A political doctrine or movement based on revolutionary Marxism, seeking the overthrow of capitalism through a proletarian revolution, the social ownership of the means of production, and the creation of a classless society. Cf. Marxism–Leninism n., Eurocommunism n.
Communism n. 2b. A system of government in which all economic and social activity is controlled by the state acting through the medium of a single authoritarian political party, with the purported aim of realizing the doctrines of revolutionary Marxism. Cf. Bolshevism n.
Socialism n. 2. A theory or system of social organization based on state or collective ownership and regulation of the means of production, distribution, and exchange for the common benefit of all members of society; advocacy or practice of such a system, esp. as a political movement. Now also: any of various systems of liberal social democracy which retain a commitment to social justice and social reform, or feature some degree of state intervention in the running of the economy.
State capitalism n. 1. A political (esp. socialist) system in which the State exerts exclusive control over a substantial proportion of the means of production and the capital created by this.
State socialism n. 1. A political system with socialist characteristics in which the State owns public utilities and major industries; support for or advocacy of this system.
I agree with JK Gregg's comment about limiting a "question" to one main question. There is, however, a very dominant theme in this "question" that raises nothing less than the central theme of Atlas Shrugged: the theme of "collective management of capital," which in Atlas is: the role of the mind in man's existence. The connection is the concept of "capital" -- where it comes from, what it depends on, and (in Galt's words) "who depends on whom, who supports whom, who is the source of wealth, who makes whose livelihood possible and what happens to whom when who walks out."
"Collective management of capital" also raises the issue of physical force, which paralyzes and destroys rational minds, who make "capital" possible in the first place. Those who endorse the question's premises don't wish to consider the origin of capital; for them, capital is already here, and the only remaining task is to decide how to distribute it. Note the "tribal" (collective) premise at work here, too: the presumed, unquestioned need for a powerful central authority to do the distributing, and the assumption that "capital" belongs to "society."
answered Jan 31 '13 at 02:06
Ideas for Life ♦