Friday, November 18, 2011

Who Wins? A Taxonomy.

As a follow-up to my last post, here's my attempt at a taxonomy of "who wins" under various economic systems. You may perhaps detect a smidgen of a hint of bias, but pay no heed. ;-)

Hunter-Gatherer Society: No one wins.

Classical Slaveholding Society: Those who choose the right parents win, everyone else loses.

Feudalism: "Winning" means knowing your place, serf! Now be so good as to polish my boots.

Theocracy: "Winning" comes only in the next life. Now send us your money and you will be on God's good side.

Marxism (theoretical): Everyone wins equally! (details to follow...)

Marxism (applied): Everyone loses equally...but if we had just implemented it correctly, everyone would have won equally! (details to follow...)

Laissez-Faire Capitalism: Anyone can win big, if he works 0.001% harder than the people standing next to him!

Ayn Randism: The Ubermenschen would win if those darn Untermenschen just stopped their looting and mooching!

Nazism: The Ubermenschen will win, the Untermenschen will make lovely decorative candles.

Japanism: Everyone wins (as long as he is born with a Y chromosome, does well on his entrance exams, and swears lifetime fealty to a large famous corporation with good connections in the bureaucracy, mafia, and ruling political party)!

Europeanism: We just need to define a better measure of "winning." Such as how many teenage girls are currently partying at my villa. Bunga bunga!

Tea Party Conservatism: Every Real American would win, if those lazy blacks and Mexicans stopped stealing our hard-earned money with All Those Government Programs. Now keep your hands off my Medicare!

Mushy Milquetoast Middle-of-the-Road Mixed-Economy American Liberalism: Everyone can win a reasonable amount, as long as they work hard and play by the rules. And if someone gets lucky or has a great idea they can win even more.

And the winner is...Ayn Randism!

Easy choice, right? :-)


  1. Hi! Just wanted to give you a thumbs up. I wandered over from Slacktivist and now will be stalking you electronically for the forseeable future. ;)

  2. Anonymous8:10 PM

    Other than the mafia part (maybe), Japanism is exactly 1% GOPism.

  3. Anonymous8:38 PM

    Wait, in Michigan is it the case that you have to "play by the rules" to do well in our milksop mixed economy? From where I'm standing, that's not the way it looks.


  4. Will: "Wait, in Michigan is it the case that you have to "play by the rules" to do well in our milksop mixed economy? From where I'm standing, that's not the way it looks. "

    Well, 'playing by the rules' in Michigan, as everywhere in the USA means:

    1) Be born with money, at least upper-middle class. You can drop out of college and succeed, but it helps if the college is Harvard, and you mother is on the board of a charity alongside an IBM bigwig.

    2) Commit only white-collar crimes, and those only against your lowers. Madoff's going to prison, but G-S and the elite just keep on stealing.

    3) Commit only white-collar crimes - this bears repeating. It was pointed out that thousands of people had been arrested in connection with the Occupy movements, which was probably a thousand times as many has had been prosecuted for a multi-trillion dollar fraud.

    4) Buy politicians. The best ones, the very best pleasing wh*res, of course, those who bleat the loudest about the 'free market'.

  5. I think I would appreciate the inclusion of Social Democracy as a category... oh well...

    I just posted a new blog post on what I consider to be four fallacies that are rather in vogue...

  6. "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

    Not sure who the original author was but it was Paul Krugman who brought this line to my attention.

  7. @Noah, isn't it interesting how there seems to be an alignment between Ayn Rand and the National Socialist German Workers' Party?

  8. Julian - almost all comparisons using the Nazis are odious. Yours certainly is.

  9. Anonymous9:02 PM

    I agree that NAZI's and other socialist "progressives" are offensive!

    The 1%

  10. @ -"Hunter-Gatherer Society: No one wins."

    Or everyone wins, depending on your point of view.

    Perhaps life was just a little too simple back then for the highly intelligent? Think again.

    No poetry, wit, entertainment? Au contraire

    I like your blog a lot -- precisely because you are one of the few liberals on the web who are interesting, especially on matters economic. However, don't slip into the mistake a lot of other liberals make -- too many easy, unexamined assumptions, stock attitudes, and presumptions of superiority.

    "You can be in my dream if I can be in yours." Dylan