Socialism vs. Capitalism Sports Analogy

Discussion in 'Non Sci-fi Debates' started by Ladiesman, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Spacebattles Resident Racist

    I saw something along the lines of this somewhere, and wanted to see the reaction to it.

    Socialism is like Basketball.
    People from all walks of life can pick up the game and play it. All of the players are on the same team. There are a few superstars (the rich), there are mediocre players, and there are the bad players (the poor). However in Basketball, it benefits the superstars to help out the bad players because if they try to take all the spotlight and do everything by themselves, the team usually ends up losing. Even everyone works together, the good players helping the bad, the team as a whole is stronger and the team wins. The superstars still will have most of the spotlight, but the rest of the team wins!

    Capitalism is like Golf.
    Everyone is playing for themselves. If you grew up a privileged life playing golf since you were 5 years old, able to afford the best equipment and the best golf trainers, you will likely be much better at the game than somebody who has just picked up the sport and has a cheap set of clubs. And really, if the two are playing a game together, this is great news for the first guy. He will likely beat the beginner every time, unless the beginner randomly gets extremely lucky. If the beginner starts to do poorly during the game, nobody is there to help him. He just gets beaten. Sure, the opportunity is there for the beginner player to better his game, but there's little chance of him ever playing anywhere near the level of the other guy.
  2. I don't really care for it to be honest. First off, where in the Hell do the "rich" and "poor" factor into Socialism? It was always my understanding that these kinds of people weren't supposed to exist at all under any true "Socialist" system. There is supposed to be a kind of "leveling" over the whole playing field, with a place for everyone and everyone in their place.

    Secondly, the analogy to Golf sounds a whole lot more like ideological Objectivism than any form of economic Capitalism.

    Honestly, I would think that our current system is much more like Basketball than Socialism. The top 1% of super-athletes rule the court based upon their abilities and genetics (the Colbys, Shaqs, and Michael Jordans of the world) get all the girls, and snatch up all of the publicity, while everyone else is basically subordinate to them in terms of importance and skill and rises or falls in their own relative standing dependent upon how these super-athletes perform (if the team does well, they potentially make more money, and vice versa). The system is largely meritocratic, as all players have the potential to become super athletes, but this isn't really how things tend to work out in practice. Some players are simply predisposed to become super-athletes due to grooming, genetics, background, or skill. However, these top 1% of players do not hold the system in a deadlock. The fortunes of super-athletes rise and fall over the years as the old gives way to the new, and younger and more able athletes move in to replace their predecessors.

    Socialism, on the other hand, I'm finding to be a bit more difficult to analogize. Something like Curling maybe? Everyone has a part to play and no one part is more important than the other?
  3. De La Chretiens

    De La Chretiens Chaos is the only true answer.

    Well, in my humble opinion I always thought of Socialism as somewhat anti-Darwinian in nature. There is no rich, no poor (or if you count previous iterations of Socialism, everyone is poor...), education is universal (but white-collar jobs are less emphasised. I hear at one point a factory worker made more money than a schoolteacher in the old Soviet Union, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I heard it in History class like... 3 years ago?). I mean, some people do require more education in order to fulfill their maximum potential, but that's another story.

    Capitalism is the opposite, I guess. The richest are the *fittest* in the Darwinian sense. However, the actions of the fittest, such as using their wealth and power to curtail any intrusion into their space, often go against the standard idea of "Survival of the fittest". In effect, making others less "fit", by controlling the environment their "lessers" live in.

    I do however accept the Sports one as an approximately accurate analogy, makes sense to me.
  4. Lokar

    Lokar Je suis déplorable

    In basketball the good players leave the bad player behind and move on to greener pastures where they can accumulate greater wealth and/or glory. :p

    Maybe football would work better: each player has their assigned role to win the game and they are directed by the centeral authroity figure (the QB).
  5. Bulltreyu

    Bulltreyu Shocked and appalled

    Socialism is just the idea that the state has a place in the market and it should assure everyone of a basic standard of living/rule of law etc. You're thinking of communism which is enitrely different. Most socialists prefer the market economy.
  6. Xort

    Xort Mahō Shōjo

    I'm not sure socialism is compairable to capitalism.

    Either / both systems when taken pure are posion.

    I find it easier to dismiss hardcore socialists as retards because of the class of people attracted to it. I find hardcore capitalists to by more annoying because they seem to mimic rational and objective thinking, athough I have my doubts if it is anything other than a mimic.
  7. Alyeska

    Alyeska Beast Slayer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time


    I am seeing this a lot. People are comparing Socialism and Capitalism. They are not comparable.

    Socialism is a government philosophy. Capitalism is an economic philosophy. You cannot compare them anymore than Unleaded Gasoline and WD-40 Engine Oil.

    You can have a Socialist/Capitalist society, and you have have a Republic/Communist society. As it stands, many of the Republics today borrow elements from socialism while still retaining capitalism.
  8. Yitzi

    Yitzi Jew

    This. Pure socialism (100% income tax, anything left over after public services is divided equally among the citizens) is doomed to failure for basic economic reasons, and pure capitalism leads to a concentration of wealth and power that's not much better and is frequently worse.
  9. Actually, "Socialism" can be both. In its most pure forms, it attempts to be an all encompassing ideology covering all aspects of statecraft, economics, and even religion.

    In post Cold War era, however; it seems to have become analogous to something of a remora riding on the underbelly of the capitalist system. Its aims are now largely political, though Socialist policies do still occasionally have economic effects as well (higher taxes, more regulation, etca).

    This isn't entirely correct. States have been interfering in markets since long before any concept of "Socialism" existed.

    I think you are confusing "market socialism" with "socialism." The later is the actual ideology as originally imagined and defined, and it does advocate "equality,""redistribution," and "classlessness" to an absurdly anti-darwinistic degree. The later is the watered down "consolation prize" that the Far Left has had to content its self with in the wake of the original ideology's failure.

    Supporters of the later generally hold supporters of the former to be posers.
  10. Reaper_93

    Reaper_93 SB's Fav. Dungeon Master

    The golf one kind of works, the basketball one doesn't. If you understand the systems at work it should be fairly easy to see what the basketball one is clearly glossing over. I'd imagine there are flaws with the golf analogy, too, the most prominent being that the only way to win for the "new guy" is not merely extreme luck, but whatever.
  11. Bulltreyu

    Bulltreyu Shocked and appalled

    Sorry, thought the term evolved a bit more, I'm personally a fan of market socialism, (American twist on say Sweden basically) because no socialist of any stripe can not say that capitalism inspired ideas (market) don't work.
  12. No, that's right. The highest Soviet income bracket was miners. "Working class" professions typically earned more than doctors, scientists, etc.

    (I'm pretty sure factory workers make more than schoolteachers in a lot of places though. :) )
  13. Pooka

    Pooka Trainee of Darkness

    Neither analogy really takes into account effort (and I'm entirely talking about the analogy here, not the economic/political systems it's trying to force them on).

    Playing with 'the best set of clubs and the best trainers' alone isn't going to make the rich golfer that much better than the poor golfer if they're putting equal amounts of effort into it. If anything, the poor golfer has to work a little harder without the marginal crutches the rich golfer has and is likely to be the better overall player in that regard. He's also more likely to treat it as an actual pursuit instead of a diversion, and thus put more focus into actually being good at it- that is, be more competitive and ambitious at it.

    The other gigantic failing in the analogy is that when it talks about golf (the bad game) it's "rich players vs poor players", but when it talks about basketball (the good game) it's "talented players vs not so talented players". Nice. Very subtle. Pick one!
  14. Stratigo

    Stratigo The Uber Being

    Soicialism is originally an economic model, not a government model. Socialism is so all encompassing an economic model though, that it will dictate the types of governments that can run it. Communism is not divorced from socialism. They are the same thing with different methods.

    Communism has, however, stayed pure in its concept where socialism has been watered down to mean governmental intervention in the economy.
  15. What is this original economic model? Marx doesn't have one. I don't think Proudhon or Bakunin did either. Fourrier did but it's so batshit crazy no one takes it seriously.
  16. Yitzi

    Yitzi Jew

    Communism is the opposite of capitalism, socialism is the opposite of economic libertarianism. The former deals with who should own the means of production (the community or whoever paid for them), while the latter deals with how much people should pay for things that do not directly benefit them enough to justify it.
  17. Q99


    You are misunderstanding darwinism.

    Darwinism is not "strong survive and weak die," it's "whoever's best at survival survives," and if out of a population of 2,000 that's done by all 2,000 beings banding together to make sure none of them dies, then *that* is fittist and not an 'fight to see who's left standing' rubbish.

    Mutualism is entirely in line with Darwinism. Mutualism is highly successful in evolution.

    It's anti-Social Darwinism but that has squat all to do with Darwin's theories or evolution.
  18. Reaper_93

    Reaper_93 SB's Fav. Dungeon Master

    To say that communism deals with who should own capital is like saying pacifism deals with who should have an army :p
  19. Lerticus

    Lerticus ☭ Senile Old Coot ☭

    What would the following be: (?)

    Marathon running
    Figure skating

    ... because it's probably doable to shoehorn some style of governance into each of these.
  20. Yitzi

    Yitzi Jew

    Firstly, "pacifism deals with who should use violence" is a better analogy.

    Secondly, that's not really true: capital clearly exists, and someone has to be in charge of what's done with it; communism simply says no private ownership of capital.
  21. Gaius Marius

    Gaius Marius Fluffiest mod Moderator

    Capitalism is American football, hurting other people to score is part of the game.

    Socialism is soccer, hurting other people to score is part of the game but everyone politely pretends its not.
  22. Skyzeta

    Skyzeta Friendly Oppressor Moderator

    I kinda like the analogy, though it does have it flaws. Capitalism is straight social Darwinism, often backed up by theology. It's greatest problem however it's the source of its' strength: competition, which has a way of shooting itself in the foot. The socialist answer is a little different. Socialism ironically enough, fits with ethical egoism and other similar movements. I'm paying a little extra money on my taxes and allowing the government to handle a few things with the expectation that if I get into trouble, the government will work for me. For all the hand wringing that often goes on, it really isn't about money. Socialism means you cooperate with the greater whole in exchange for a safety net, capitalism means you have absolute control but no safety net.

    Which one is better is very much motivated by personal ideological, theological/spiritual beliefs. If you believe that God will provide for the righteous and allow the wicked to starve, then by giving a safety net, you're aiding the wicked in their descent into sin. Likewise, there are very socialist Christians who believe that it is the responsibility of the state to serve all and see it as showing compassion and charity. For Christians it's a function of which particular branch of the faith they subscribe to. Some are very much "hunger=positive motivator for spiritual redemption=getting a job"." And if you're Catholic, you're just crazy scchizo :p You have an obligation to help the poor and unfortunate, you want government help but the moment the word socialist comes up you're excommunicated :p
  23. Yitzi

    Yitzi Jew

    I think you're confusing capitalism with economic libertarianism. Capitalism itself is not incompatible with socialism (unless it's extreme socialism.)