People go crazy over perceived differences between Capitalism and Socialism. But how different are they really? From our perspective at Copiosis, differences between the two don’t seem that great.
Let’s take a different look at the two compared to how people usually look at them. People usually bring a lot of confusing detail and emotionalism to the debate. We want to avoid all that and look more generally at the two.
When examined from a certain view, differences between Capitalism and Socialism don’t hold up that well.
Neither exists in isolation
In most of the world a symbiosis between capitalist policies or socialist ones dominates. Through the 1980s, for example, the U.S. and U.K. represented extreme tilts to the capitalist side, while the Soviet Union represented socialism. And yet, both examples included policies favoring the other.
For example, capitalist icon the United States regularly uses socialist policies in guiding its economy. Not long ago, the government gave several industries deemed “too big to fail” bailouts worth billions. Those lucrative bailouts came on taxpayer backs. Back then, basically, the government used a socialist solution to solve a capitalist problem.
The world marveled at communist China not long ago when it added free-market principles to its markets. As a result, China’s economy boomed. It continues booming right alongside more capitalist markets today. Some claim China’s central planning agencies ability to change policies near-instantly make China’s economy more nimble and free-flowing than western models.
The point is, Capitalism and Socialism as pure economic philosophies, don’t exist anymore. These days, both are integrated into the other to varying degrees of success.
Who wins really?
Those who benefit most in centrally-planned states tend to be those high up in the Party. They’re either members of the nation’s assembly or live loyal to and support Party Ideals. In many countries, party affiliation and family connections determines one’s ability to rise to prominence in socialist countries.
The party’s job involves maintaining the “commons,” however defined. Invariably, however, that definition usually describes a broad category of products and services we call Necessities in Copiosis.
Rents, prices and taxes extract debt-based monetary instruments from the citizenry, which industry uses to produce goods and services providing necessities. Sometimes industries are state-owned. Sometimes collectively owned. At times, single people own them. Usually, such people are loyal party members.
Capitalism, in comparison, tends to benefit most those who produce, create or further expand or develop material value. Rents, taxes and prices extract debt-based monetary instruments from the citizenry. Those instruments tend to flow to those who create the most value in the form of products or services consumers highly demand.
Most “capitalists” play the game with great determination, imagination and skill, largely (but not always) within the rules. Often, successful players influence government, using their gains to gain favorable rules. It is claimed that in Capitalism anyone can freely attain high status and perks that come with that, including influencing how the game gets played. That doesn’t always bear out in practice though.
Difference without distinctions?
Now that we’ve looked generally at both, let’s view Capitalism and Socialism side-by-side, using a different lens. Strip the two systems of emotion and details then fly up to 10,000 feet and an interesting comparison emerges:
CAPITALISM: Take away from someone.
SOCIALISM: Take away from someone.
CAPITALISM: Give it to someone else.
SOCIALISM: Give it to someone else
CAPITALISM: Maximize revenues, minimize loss.
SOCIALISM: Maximize revenues, minimize loss.
CAPITALISM: Power and influence flows upward.
SOCIALISM: Power and influence flows upward.
CAPITALISM: Those with power (wealth) sets the rules.
SOCIALISM: Those with power (party position) sets the rules.
Economics nerds will say this is a gross simplification. But, just as all faiths and religions boil down to the Golden Rule, debt-based economic systems relying on physical, state-controlled currency boil down to these four common elements. And of course, underlying all of this is the concept of economic scarcity driving pricing, demand, supply and other economic dynamics.
Wealth and power flows
As said above, these days hardly any purely socialist or capitalist economies exist. But all major economies, whether expressing a combination of these two, or perhaps a different form, function in the same four ways above.
Given that, it’s easy to see why we think Capitalism and Socialism have more in common than what differentiates them. They both depend largely on money coming from citizens. That money gets funneled into pathways that create wealth for others, or that preserves others’ wealth.
All that wealth flows from one group of people to another with debt accruing in the process. And the more money flowing to a certain group, the more power that group enjoys.
The kind of money used in both Socialism and Capitalism is identical. Citizens call it by different names, but it functions exactly the same.
Copiosis is different
In Copiosis, none of these four functions exist. People get things and society thrives in ways much different than in either “ism” in isolation or combined.
For one, necessities – again, that’s food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare – come to all at no cost to anyone. This video describes how that happens:
Rather than taking money from people through prices, taxes or other means, Copiosis simply creates a new, better way – a creation mechanism – to recognize and reward value creation.
That new way includes something that replaces money. That thing – Called Net Benefit Rewards (NBR) – gets created whenever someone creates Net Benefit Value (NBV).
The more NBV created, the more NBR those responsible for creating that value get. That wealth isn’t monetary. Instead, it comes in a form free of all the problems that come with money.
In this way, people needn’t pay people who give them things. Instead, people giving to others things they make get compensated through the creation mechanism, which we call the Net Benefit Algorithm. That’s how people get things “at no cost to anyone”. This video describes how the algorithm works:
As you can see, there are a lot of ways Copiosis is different from Capitalism and Socialism. But Capitalism and Socialism, for all their superficial differences, really function exactly the same. Yes, one has been more successful. But that doesn’t deny inherent similarities both share.
It’s these similarities that arguably create most problems humanity faces today. For this reason, we know Copiosis offers a better future.
A future where we can finally say goodbye to the tired, endless debate between capitalists and socialists.