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Roger Schreiver

Communism vs. Capitalism

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No political system has ever proved to be wholly effective. Neither a monarchy nor an oligarchy, a democracy nor a republic has ever found definitive solution. And this is simply because the system of government is not everything. If individuals are not conscious of their duty as citizens, if they don't understand that they must live in harmony with each other, a country will always be in chaos whatever the political regime. There will always be excesses, disorders and tribulations.

Symbolically, democracy represents government by the stomach. Can the desires, appetites and instincts of the masses be relied on to have an accurate appreciation of what is good and what is bad? No. They have been given the freedom to make known their demands but have they ever been known to use that freedom to demand for the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness? No. Have they ever demanded light or love? No. again. The only thing the stomach and belly demand is more to eat and the freedom to vandalize everything and make everything dirty. The masses haven't got an exalted ideal because an exalted ideal requires a head and there is no head. Also, of course, the head must be enlightened, luminous and disinterested for, if the individual at the top has exactly the same instincts as the clamouring masses below, he will be worthless.

Initiates work for the kingdom of god and His Righteousness and the kingdom of god is a monarchy. This means that all the countries of the world should be organized on the pattern of the universe whose king is God. Now, I am not saying that, in our day, a monarchy would be preferable to a republic; no, I am speaking on the level of principles. I have no objection to government by the populace as long as the populace is enlightened. If it is not enlightened it should not govern. Similarly, if the head is unenlightened, ignorant and cruel, it should not govern, either. As a matter of fact, it is ofgen the head, not the stomach, that does the most damage. You must understand, therefore, that am speaking symbolically and that, in the realm of symbols, everything is perfectly clear and mathematically exact. If you try to understand the world of symbols – which is the world of principles – you will never go wrong. but human beings get everything mixed up; this is why the world is still the Tower of Babel and people cannot understand each other.

I want to talk to you about the distribution of wealth, and I know that it is a question that troubles most human beings. It should help you to understand the rightful order of things if we look at the human body. Why the human body? Because Cosmic Intelligence has conceived creation in such a way as to leave clues and pointers throughout nature so that men might find these clues and, by reflecting and meditating on them, be capable of reconstructing all that this sublime Intelligence thought and desired and planned. In this way, when we study plants, crystals, the stars, rivers and mountains, the sun and the planets and, above all, man an the pattern on which he is built, we can discover the intentions of Cosmic Intelligence and the splendour and subtlety of Its design.

One of the things we seen when we study a human being is that every part of him demands something: the stomach demands food; the ears demand sound; the eyes demand light, colours, the sun; the mouth and nose, yes, and the sexual organs, too, they all clamour for something. Our whole body, therefore, is constantly asking for something and this is perfectly natural, marvellous. The only thing is that there has to be a head to guide, control and organize all this, otherwise the results would be catastrophic, for a man would eat and drink too much or too little, he would neither hear nor see the dangers that threaten him. It is right and normal for the body to make its demands, therefore, but the head must judge which demands must be satisfied and which should be denied and exactly when, where and now how much to give. There is never any shortage of demands; they are always there, but what about the head? Where is the head that is supposed to distribute to each member what it needs in accordance with divine rules and in divine proportions?

I don't wish to criticize either monarchy or democracy; they both have their good and bad aspects. What interests me is the spiritual dimension of this question; this is why I say that for the members to clamour for what they want is normal and magnificent but that there must be a head capable of examining their demands and deciding whether they should be met or not. Whether it be inwardly, for an individual, or outwardly, for society as a whole, an enlightened head is needed to guide the members and correct any deviations. And the members must believe in that head and follow its lead.

The pattern on which the human organism was created by nature is our most reliable frame of reference. It reveals the roots of the distribution of wealth as we see it today and of all the contestations, jealousies and revolutions in the modern world. Actually, however far back you go in human history, you will find that this problem has always existed. Someone who was stronger or more skilful than his fellows would be a more successful hunter, for instance, and become richer by bringing back more game. The unequal distribution of wealth is considered unjust but, in fact, it is perfectly just. Nature abhors equality, uniformity, parity.

Since the Revolution of 1789, France's motto has been 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity' but, in reality equality doesn't exist in the universe. It is inequality that reigns. On no level of creation is there equality. You will protest, 'But we have made equality a law!' Yes, but a law is something theoretical and abstract; a text to hang on the wall. The fact is that equality exists nowhere; nature asks for diversity and diversity engenders inequality. Look at minerals, plants and animals: what variety! And human beings? Although you will occasionally find a person who looks exactly like someone else, there are always some differences, for instance, in the colour of the skin or hair and, in any case, in their hands, since they can always be distinguished by their finger prints.

The result of this diversity is that the faculties, tastes and aspirations of individuals are different and, consequently, that each one has different intellectual, emotional and physical capabilities. Some will accomplish noble deeds and win all the prizes in competitions or in the struggle for life, while others will always trail along behind because they haven't got the same capabilities. It is because of this difference in capabilities. therefore, that some human beings have more than others. Is this normal? Absolutely! Should we be indignant about it? Absolutely not! But people never think things through; they allow themselves to be led on by others and start shouting and protesting like everybody else. But the important thing for us, at the moment, is to study and understand the question and be very clear about it. If, on examination, we find that there is something to protest and fight about, very well; but first let's get it all quite clear.

However much people possess, it is normal and just. You will object, 'But they have got all that by exploiting and assassinating others', Yes, that's true: man has a centuries-old tendency that drives him to gratify all his appetites. As time wore on, he saw that it was necessary to have a code of ethics – not that he had any real desire to be ethical, but it was to his advantage to have some rules for, if theft and murder were forbidden, he would be safer – but this moral code is still very far from perfect. Men still try to steal from others, to take what doesn't belong to them, if not on the physical plane (because on the physical plane one is always in danger of being found out and put in prison) on other, invisible, planes: people steal each other's thoughts and sentiments. The same old instincts are still manifesting themselves – more and more vigorously, in fact – but on other, subtler levels.

Everyone knows this today: you are all aware of the existence of industrial espionage, for example, by which companies try to obtain the secret plans or formulae of their business competitors. This is simply one manifestation of those age-old instincts of acquisitivness and domination. It is impossible to get rid of these instincts and, if you do not know how to transform and sublimate them, you may prevent them from manifesting themselves on the physical plane, but they will only seek an outlet on the mental and astral planes. In this case, the crimes are the same but the form is different because it is invisible. As long as Initiation is not there to give a spiritual orientation to these forces, they will keep trying to manifest themselves. What can you expect? Ambition, sensuality and anger are formidable forces which must find an outlet.

The urge to compete and to possess more and more is absolutely normal. At what point does it become abnormal? Our own bodies tell us this so clearly that no philosopher could object. If I gave you only my own opinion, everyone else could say, 'No, no; that's not it at all! In my opinion it is thus and so...' and the argument would be endless. I'm not giving you a personal opinion, therefore; I'm giving you the opinion of Nature herself - and this is something that you are obliged to accept – and you will see how she has solved the problem through us.

The question is this: 'Is it legitimate to amass wealth?' And the answer is: 'Of course it is!' What does the stomach do when you give it some food? It immediately takes possession of all that it needs and sends the rest on elsewhere; it doesn't keep what it doesn't need. In fact, even what it does take is not used only for itself; it processes it and distributes it to the rest of the body.

The stomach only keeps what it needs for a few hours; after a few hours it feels the need for more food so it eats again. And this is what keeps a man healthy and enables him to talk and move about and work and sing, etc. But suppose that the stomach were to say, ' From now onI'm going what I have to those idiots? What do they matter? There could be a famine any day now; you never know what the future holds, and I have a big family to look after.' So it starts keeping everything for itself and, in no time at all, it is very ill, simply because it has broken the law of impersonal unselfishness and brotherhood. And then you have a tumour or a cancer or whatever else you like to call it. And the same thing applies to the lungs, the head and any other organ.

Human beings are all cells of a single body. In fact, the number of cells in our own bodies is far greater than the number of human beings on earth; the brain alone contains billions of cells. And if all these billions of cells in our bodies manage to live happily together as a family, how is it that human beings are too stupid to achieve the same harmony and unity and have never managed to do away with the barriers that seperate them? If only they could achieve this universal brotherhood, there would be such prosperity that neither countries nor individuals would ever feel the need to hoard their wealth and defend it against others; there would always be enough of everything for everyone.

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

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I didn't know anybody still used "the body politic" as a metaphor. It belongs in medaeval folklore.

"Inequality exists" is not a very good argument against equality. Disease exists and doctors have never succeeded in completely doing away with it. That is not a very good reason to stop trying to do so though is it?

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What a load of truely odd old nonsense has been posted in this thread so far.

If any member would like to discuss capitalism and communism here in a sensible manner they are keenly encouraged to do so :o

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Guest Stephen Turner

As no Communist society has, to my knowledge, ever existed any debate will be abstract in the extreme. We can only guess at what a truely Communistic World would be like. perhaps, therefore, we need to start any debate by defining what Communism means, I think we will find that it means different things to different people. and although Capitalism surrounds and invades our every waking moment, there is more than one version of the beast, can anyone say with any degree of certainty what Capitalism means? it will at best be a broad definition. If it would help I will try and define (Marxist) Communism, perhaps Someone could be persuaded to do the same for Capitalism (Keynes? Smith? Hayek? Ricardo?) We will then have, hopefully, an agreed definition with which to begin any debate. Steve.

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Guest Stephen Turner
Stephen, read "The Road to Serfdom." Then talk, Thanks.

Tim, I dont need to read anything to explain Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, just the book in question...

Which I have on many occasions!!!!!!!

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Stephen, read "The Road to Serfdom." Then talk, Thanks.

Hayek's book, written in 1945, was in response to Nazism as a version of totalitarianism, and promoted by the likes of IEA. Is rejects planning because it led to Hitler (sic) and his party's domination of Germany 1933+. It pretty much ignores the Depression but on IEA sponsored foreward to a later edition says:

the mistaken but widely accepted notion that the unpredictabilityof the free market had caused the depression

and I leave it to the individual's judgement to come up with how planning in the USA 1928/9 led to the Wall Street Crash and all that followed and not the chaos of the market.

Every school's history department teaches about the road to serfdom every day, every year.... It's the story of how we got to become a capitalist global economy, and why we should, as Marx said, "change it".

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Guest Stephen Turner
Why bother to read two sides? It only confuses the clarity of the close-minded.

How dare you assume that I have not read this book, and further how dare you call me closed minded. It seems that the very word Communism now causes you to lose all reason. The intellectual arrogance of your last two posts is , quite frankly, staggering. Get a grip man. Now does anybody, for the purposes of debate, wish to offer a definition of Capitalism.

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Stephen: it was you yourself that said "I don't need to read [The Road to Serfdom]." A rather unusual reply if you have read it.

Respectfully, Stephen, I do not see it as "arrogant"t to state that a person is "close-minded" if he says that the only book he needs to read about the merits of capitalism vs. communism is Karl Marx. "Close-minded" in this sense means a mind closed to any new ideas.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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Stephen: it was you yourself that said "I don't need to read [The Road to Serfdom]." A rather unusual reply if you have read it.

Please debate the issues gentlemen rather than exchanging reading lists :rolleyes:

In answer to Stephen's request, capitalism by definition is commodity production. A commodity is an article produced for sale in a market place. Under capitalism an owning class owns and controls all the means of producing commodities. Work itself becomes a commodity because the worker is forced to sell his species being to the highest capitalist bidder in a market place .

Capitalism is anti social because;

1. production is geared to making profits not meeting needs - on a basic level this means that starving people continue to starve because they have no money to buy food

2. labour is alienated from its task of improving the world and reduced to boring repetitive tasks which often meet the false needs of the market

3. profit making is dependent on creating and maintaining false scarcity in a world of abundance.

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. . . and I'd add the the most important product of a capitalist company is probably its customers! In other words, capitalism is also about creating 'needs' where they don't exist, or about changing 'needs' so that they fit in better with what capitalist companies want to make.

Two examples spring to mind:

1) fabric softener … which didn't exist as a product before advertising companies decided that we needed it and started to sell it to us

2) Cornflakes … who'd have thought a hundred years ago that people in northern Europe would see roasted, rolled maize as an essential ingredient of their breakfasts.

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Guest Stephen Turner

COMMUNISM.

an economic theory that stresses that the control of the means of producing economic goods in a society should reside in the hands of those who who invest their labour for production. In its ideal form, classes cease to exist, there is no coercive Government structures, and everybody lives in abundance without supervision from a ruling class. An egalitarian society, with no state, no privately owned means of production, and no social class structure.

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Those who do not read the JFK assassination threads will be unaware why Tim Gratz is so passionate about “The Road to Serfdom". Tim is a former member of an extremist right-wing group called Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). It was created in 1960 in an attempt to get a right-winger in the White House. It was established by William Buckley, a CIA covert agent and Robert Welch, the leader of the John Birch Society. These characters were so right-wing that they thought that Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon were being controlled by communists. This was because between 1954-1960 Eisenhower/Nixon had been talking to leaders of communist countries (they wanted to drop nuclear bombs on them instead) and were upholding decisions made by the Supreme Court concerning civil rights legislation.

William Buckley (who Tim idolizes and will once again get very hysterical when he reads this posting) also founded the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists (ISI) in 1953. This was a CIA fronted organization. By taking money that was originally meant as part of the Marshall Plan, the CIA gave the ISI money to distribute free copies of right-wing books. This included books such as Road to Serfdom (Friedrich A. Hayek) and The Income Tax: Root of all Evil (Frank Chodorov).

For further details of Tim’s mentors see:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKbuckleyW.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKwelchR.htm

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