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The Different Economic and Political Systems
The Different Economic and Political Systems
Capitalism: Theoretically it's the voluntary exchange of goods and services with one another in a market economy, that uses a currency that is transferable among people, and a bank that lends money and charges interest when you pay it back in order to make a profit. In practice, without government intervention, it can lead to monopolies, cartels (cooperation between companies instead of competition), and market division (companies agreeing not to open up shop in one another's territory so as to prevent competition). It also works by the business owners extracting the surplus value of labor, to pay for their expenses and to give them a fat check that they didn't really do much for. The closest you'll find to theoretical capitalism is early America.

Social Democracy: Capitalism with tax funded goods and services to the benefit both the workers and the businesses alike, such as universal healthcare, subsidies, and regulations to break up monopolies, protect workers, and force businesses to compete. It also uses its tax revenue to fund science. The business owner will only invest in science if they get a return on it in the next decade. Government will invest in it if the return is 100 years down the line, like with the electric motor and lithium-ion battery. Every capitalist society today, to greater or lesser extent, is a social democracy (my preferred system).

State Capitalism: Limited capitalism that is heavily regulated by the state. Where it allows for small businesses and a partial privatization of the banks. Vladimir Lenin said "We have achieved state capitalism" when he put in place the NEP, or New Economic Policy.

Fascism: A type of state capitalism that benefits large corporations over small businesses. Where things such as steel mills, phone companies, life insurances, and match sale became privatized when the government previously had a monopoly on them. That said, the industry was heavily regulated with production quotas and price controls. Union leaders are selected by government, but in practice, selected by the rich as the rich use their influence to select the union leaders that they want. Examples being Mussolini's Italy, Franco's Spain, and Hitler's Germany.

Socialism: Worker ownership of the means of production. Where businesses are owned by the workers, and the economy is democratically planned so that resources go to those who need them, not just those that can pay for them.

Dictatorship of the Proletariat: A type of socialism where a centralized government owns and controls the means of production and plans the economy, theoretically in representation of the workers. This is the system the USSR and eastern bloc countries were.

Syndaclism: A type of socialism where the means of production are owned by, and the economy is planned by, a decentralized trade union. This is the system revolutionary Catalonia followed, and to a lesser extent, what Yugoslavia was.

Mutualism: A fusion of socialism and capitalism. Where every business is owned directly by the workers in them collectively, but the economy is a market economy instead of a planned one. The only examples of this would be the odd worker cooperative that you'll find here and there.

Communism: A stateless, classless, moneyless society without borders, without property, and where everything is free and publicly owned, and people freely volunteer their time and labor for the benefit of the society that they live in. Beyond communes like the Kibbutz of Israel and Twin Oaks commune in Virginia, you won't really find communism anywhere.

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