Capitalism emphasises competition and individualism.
Socialism empahsises group identity and cooperation.
Capitalism emphasises profit, material advancement and virtually no restraints on freedom of individual accumulation.
Socialism emphasises abundance for all, material advancement in a collective manner (not Stalinist) and places restraints on individual advancement if it results from wage slavery or constrains appropriate economic redistribution.
Capitalism emphasises a state with limited power–at least in terms of corporate regulation–and worships the market as the arbiter of goods and services and the invisible hand of pricing and supply.
Socialism emphasises a state with considerable power–within the framework of democracy–that construes the market as requiring significant regulation and restraint to insure an appropriate distribution of resources to the community. Socialism is based on Social, on Society, on shared communal objectives.
Capitalism worships empire and expansion in its search for new markets, new areas of penetrating market access and generally results in considerable interaction with other nations and economic systems.
Socialism may indeed be global, may indeed sustain significant economic interaction with third countries, but conceptually is driven by a globalisation that is more international than nationalist in outcomes.
Capitalism developed in a strict laissez-faire conceptual world that saw government’s role as virtually non-existent.
Socialism developed as a response to industrialism in 19th Century Europe and saw government’s role as persistent and robust.
Capitalism has evolved in some ways from strict laissez-faire capitalism to a warmed over Rooseveltian welfare state in which some provisions are provided the masses. Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Student Loans, Job Corps.
Socialism, at least in developed nations, does allow a significant component of private property, but also confers an extensive, economically costly cradle-to-grave or womb-to-tomb social security system that includes education, housing, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, old-age assistance and especially national health care for all its peoples: citizens and legal immigrant populations. Some components of this are burdensome but national health care insurance is the crown jewel in socialist states whether it is the United Kingdom or Norway. Admittedly Britain’s is far less extensive than in Norway.
Adam Smith was the chief architect of capitalism and its greatest theorist and economist. His work on the labour theory of value unwittingly set the table for Marxian analysis that workers create the worth and value of a product. Yet their labour is robbed by immiseration and a subsistence wage by the bourgeoisie (capital).
Karl Marx was the chief architect of socialism and its greatest theorist and economist. Marx ultimately advocated a withering away of the state that would suggest an essentially capitalist architecture–laissez-faire government or even no government–but with different outcomes that emanate from human transformation emphasising equality, peace and non-exploitation.
The U.S. needs to move much more vigorously toward a democratic-socialist model with national health care, national day care, guaranteed education for all and true social security for its citizens throughtout the life cycle.
The obsession with the military and the suicidal expenditure of our resources on racist empire are the reasons that one out of every seven persons are on food stamps. The absence of either a Democratic or Republican Party commitment to eliminate much less mention poverty is telling. Shame on this country and its one-party state with two wings that are utterly immoral in their disdain for the vulnerable.
Think socialism, think freedom and think outside the box. Ideas confined to boxes are nothing more than an intellectual Abu Ghraib or Guantánamo. Also socialism is not communsim so no one should misconstrue this and further paeans to socialism as advocating a Soviet or Rumanian style communism. That was more of a state-capitalist model with the rhetoric, but not the reality of class consciousness and freeing labour from the chains of servitude and commodity fetishism. I am not a communist in the operational sense of supporting a return to Soviet style central command economies, although, I embrace intellectually some of the communist ideals of Marx and Engels. More on that as we struggle for freedom–ACADEMIC and otherwise in this Prussian State of war and empire.
I will conclude by saying that America was and is a much greater threat to the international community than communism was after 1917. I am not equating the levels of liberal democracy in state communism with western democracies. Yet I stand by my beliefs that socialism is better than capitalism, recognising they are frequently intertwined, and that the U.S., a liberal democracy, is a greater threat to global stability than state-communism was.