If you can tell me the name of one dictator who didn’t exploit the economy and employ his wealth…
Martin Øverby

I appreciate the civility of your response to my admittedly snarky one. I suppose some of the difficulty in this type of discourse stems from:

  1. a tendency toward tribal affinity (“capitalist” vs “socialist”), and to project or ascribe that tribal affinity onto others (guilty as charged)
  2. arguing in one-dimension when we should be considering two-dimensional space at the very least. So rather than “capitalism” vs. “socialism” as a binary, we should consider the intersection of capitalism or socialism with government power

In that vein, I have no objection whatsoever with “socialist” collectives into which people can enter (and leave) freely. I would suspect too that rates of violence from such organizations is negligible. It is the intersection where socialism must be enforced that things turn ugly (or murderous and tyrannical as we saw, and still see e.g. North Korea, an absolute human rights horror show). Continuing, were the US a small government capitalist society, things would never have devolved to the meltdown in 2008; there would never have been the bailouts that inspired the Occupy Wall Street folks. But that was not the case, and is not the case. The US is a big government “capitalist” society, where “capitalists” are protected and supported and propped up. This intersection is not good. On that we can certainly agree and I would concede the Occupy folks have at least a legitimate gripe. It is their oft-stated solutions to which I strenuously object.

To put another spin on it, I would agree that tyrants will use whatever tool they can to obtain and maintain power. But irrespective of whether capitalism, or “capitalism”, or x-ism is their tool, it is the concentration of power that we must guard against.

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