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Capitalism and Democracy

Capitalism is a Business Organizational System, based strictly on the profit motive, either in individual or corporate enterprise.

Democracy is a Social System where citizens establish a particular form of governing themselves through the maintenance of power for and unto themselves. At the outset, the citizens met in the public square, and voted on the Regulations and Laws which they determined were those that would serve their best interests. Later, the system was refined and made more efficient by the selection and election of Representatives to act on behalf of the citizens, for stipulated periods of time.

Socialism is a set of philosophical principles and objectives proposing to run the state for the public good. At one end of the spectrum it allows for the ownership of private property, and at the other end it does not. Socialism is not a business model.

Over the course of history man has experimented with many forms of business organizations and so far, Capitalism has been the most productive as a purely business model. However, there are some complications which have yet to be worked out.

Capitalism has become so successful that it has mostly convinced us that it speaks best for the citizens, that it is much more than a business model, but an arbiter of the public good. That those who are the most successful in the acquisition of wealth must have unbridled and unregulated behavior in decision making on all matters, that the capitalist is the best promoter of labors’ interest, the best managers of the State, the safest determiners of our future existence.

Capitalism is our unshakable choice on this side of the world, but we do not exist in a vacuum. While most of our public cognitive conscience is centered on the European- American axis, there is another totally different and larger model going on in Asia, particularly in China.

China has smoothly slipped from being a communist country (the stage above Socialism), into a Communist-capitalist country. A kind of unfamiliar hybrid where the state ostensibly owns all the power levers and allows for and encourages the controlled reign of individual capital formation, individual enterprise, and a free flow of ideas within state parameters.

These two systems are now in open competition for dominance. While we in America are engaged in internecine mortal combat, China is dominating in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and to a lesser extent in the Middle East and Europe.

China has become the largest supplier of goods to the world, including medicines and pharmaceuticals. China makes use of its excess foreign exchange earnings by investing largely in US Government Securities, US corporate enterprises, Commercial Real Estate, The Stock Market, farms and food processing, and areas that I have not even identified here. China is so far ahead of us in Africa that it is doubtful if we can catch up.

What does this all mean? Maybe we should spend less energy on matters such as restricting health care, voting rights, education spending, racial human rights, States Rights, all of which can be put right by subjugating our personal agendas, and working as a unified nation, address the larger issue of our slippage from the primary position of World Leader with lots of friends to a lower tier with few friends.

Irvine Weekes.

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