Capitalism gave birth to Communism. Socialism defeated it.

child labor coal
child labor coal mining early 20th century

Maxim: Capitalism gave birth to Communism. Socialism defeated it. [A balance of private and public is optimal]

  • Effect: Provocative, counter-intuitive, attention grabbing because it is contrary to conventional wisdom and conservative messaging which equates social programs with communist dictatorships.  The first sentence is axiomatic yet contrary to popular U.S. mythology.
  • Purpose: Meant to de-stigmatize the word “socialism” and social spending.
  • Substitutions: For “socialism,” may substitute “balance,” “social programs,” “democratic socialism,” “democratic public institutions,” etc. Will reduce provocativeness and impact, but refine meaning.
  • Explained: The abuses and instability of capitalism in the 19th century were a central theme for Marx, and fueled the Bolshevik Revolution. Social programs in the western democratic countries which tempered the worst abuses of capitalism, provided opportunity, and alleviated poverty is what expanded the middle class and made for a stable society. However, many in the U.S.A. have indulged the fallacy that capitalism simply matured and self regulated.

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