Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Capitalism vrs. Socialism: Part I

A list of inventions due to the effects of a capitalist economic system is quite impressive. (Not necessarily American) I boiled them down to:

1) The Steam engine (Steamboat)
2) The Cotton gin
3) The reaper
4) Mass production of steel
5) The Electric light bulb
6) The Phonograph
7) The telephone
8) The internal combustion engine
9) Mass production of automobiles
10) The airplane
11) The computer
12) Nuclear power

These inventions were world changing. (I left out all of medical innovations and innovations in rocket science) Many more exist but I needed to make it a VERY short list. (How about the transistor?)

My study of history has enabled me to find two world changing inventions from a socialist economic system: (The Soviet Union)

1) The T34

The T34 was the most advanced tank design in the world when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. The T34 was so far advanced over ANY other design that it took more than 2 full years for Germany to begin to catch up, which they never fully did. Germany built the Tiger tank to fight it off. The T34 enabled Russia to hold off and push back the German invasion. The “Russia Front” during World War II meant for Germany that 75% of its tanks and men went there from 1941 until the end of the war. It also meant 70% of the air force until 1944. In other words, the United States and England needed Russia to win the war. This is world changing. The problem here is that the T34 would not even make the list under capitalism. Invention of the tank would be well down on the list, but it was not Socialist or Russian, but English.

2) The Katyusha rocket launcher

This artillery was an innovative and VERY effective way of helping to drive Germany out of Russia. Germans made newer versions and the U.S and England began to make their own copies before the end of the war.

I am certain that I have missed some but I would like to point out how ALL twelve inventions in the capitalist list CAN be used as weapons of war, but are mainly weapons of commerce. The two socialist inventions I have found are purely weapons of war. One of the good things about capitalism is that it is good at waging wars of commerce. This channeling of human aggression, greed, and ambition into economic activity is much better than declared wars by national governments. In any case, socialistic economic systems fail miserably to manage and run an economy well compared to the inventiveness and organizations of capitalism. (*NOTE: Both of the ‘inventions’ by Russia would be listed down below 50 if combined with the capitalist list.)

Do you know of any that I have missed concerning socialist economic inventions?

(I can also think of laser eye surgery, but this was considered to risky to use on people until after improvements. In my subjective view, this is NOT a world changing invention. )

1 comment:

  1. Best article I have read on the current status of the economy since finding Ezra Klein's blog: