Saturday, June 09, 2007

Capitalist v. Socialist

An excerpt from Arnold Kling's article, The Great Tug-of-War, posted in TCSDaily:

Robin Hanson is pessimistic that differences such as those that exist between P's and A's (Pro-capitalist, Anti-capitalist) will be resolved through reasoned argument. People have their identities wrapped up in their particular sides of the tug-of-war. See my essay on trust cues.

Jerry Muller reminds us that over one hundred years ago, Vilfredo Pareto was equally pessimistic. In his chapter on Joseph Schumpeter, Muller writes,

Pareto's 1901 essay "The Rise and Fall of Elites," conveys two themes to which Schumpeter would return time and time again: the inevitability of elites, and the importance of nonrational and nonlogical drives in explaining social action. Pareto suggested that the victory of socialism was "most probable and almost inevitable." Yet, he predicted...the reality of elites would not change. It was almost impossible to convince socialists of the fallacy of their doctrine, Pareto asserted, since they were enthusiasts of a substitute religion. In such circumstances, arguments are invented to justify actions that were arrived at before the facts were examined, motivated by nonrational drives.
Capitalists are at a great disadvantage from the start. They must always pull uphill, while the socialists always suck downhill.

1 comment:

Al said...

Capitalism is God's way.