Quote Originally Posted by vt View Post
Socialism fails in any national experience.

China is not socialist. As EJ said, China has a mercantile capitalist economy and a one party political system.

A market economy is necessary for sustained economic growth.

Problem is in the definition, vt. I think socialism is just another word for sin for those who pray at the altar of Mammon.

To me, socialism is a very specific thing. Public ownership of the means of production and capital. Much like China's massive state owned enterprises controlled by their communist party. To you, that's capitalism, because China is growing in material wealth, and therefore must be pleasing Mammon and cannot be sinning.

Worse still, I think to you (plural), things like the op article make sense. Of course Joe Kennedy's private philanthropic partnership with corporate Citgo is socialism because over time Chavez captured Citgo, and Venezuela is losing material wealth, so it must be sinning.

I think that's the logic anyways. Market is Good. Material wealth is proof that Market loves you. Therefore all material gains are due to Market. Material poverty is proof that one has sinned against Market, therefore proof of socialism.

To me, the relationship between markets, state ownership, firms, private non profits, and all the rest are much more complicated and nuanced. The USSR, to me, can be much more Socialst than Putin's Russia, and still enjoy periods of greater growth in material prosperity. Or visa versa. But it's not always one way. It's an optimization problem, and you need well structured institutions and education and broad access to capital and property rights and uniform rule of law to really crank it up.

Take Ukraine. It's far poorer and worse off today than it was 30 years ago. To you, socialism must be the reason. The possibility of oligarchy using a market system to loot the population simply doesn't exist. Or if it does, we can't say markets and billionaires did it, and must blame it on the state somehow. Because Market is good, always and everywhere. And if they were giving thanks to Market properly, riches would be showered upon them. Their very poverty is evidence that somehow they are more socialist now than when they were... actually socialist and wealthier.

I simply cannot buy that reasoning. I don't worship the same God you do. There is no Prosperity Gospel in my world. And I don't think you'll ever convert me. But you will goad me into responding to some of these articles written by Mammon's disciples. Just know that I seriously view them as proselytization by missionaries of a foreign religion. And I'm not in the business of deprogramming heretical cults. I'll leave that for the Priests. All I can do is point out the fact that the cult of mammon exists and move on.