Enron a Symptom of What's Wrong with Capitalism? Please...!

Capitalism took a huge hit when Enron went under. People with either clear political agendas or monumental ignorance fed and/or believed this blatant falsehood. A look into the reality paints a completely different picture, however. Enron was in virtually in no way a capitalist organization. Other energy companies have learned from "the best", and they are as well profiting handsomely from what should in reality be (but isn't) providing proper stewardship and protection to the earth. The faux environmental movement is being led by the incestuous orgy of government and prison market profiteers.

General Electric knows how to best get its bread buttered. Go green!! (Or at least pretend as much.) So does British

Isn't it funny how the best schmoozers of government have somehow come to give the free market a bad name?

Petrole...sshhhh!!...I mean BP. Duke Energy fawns at the feet of the bread butterer as well. T. Boone Pickens is attempting to set the record for the most buttered bread. Referring to these companies and people as capitalists may in a very peripheral way be appropriate, because they are definitely capitalizing on their unfair advantages. To call them free marketers is sheer chicanery, however.

All of these firms learned how to milk the bread butterer--the federal government--from the best. The best butter-receiving bread holder, in its day, was Enron.

The faux environmental movement is being led by the incestuous orgy of government and prison market profiteers.

A few of the heads of these companies were close associates of none other than Ken Lay (see Red Hot Lies, by Christopher Horner, pp. 108-110). They have learned very well.

As my definition of capitalism (despite my attempt at humor above) I use the following non-Marxist one:
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
Hmmm....wealth made 'chiefly by private individuals or corporations'... Does that mean with or without the special favors of government? It seems here appropriate to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen's famous retort to Dan Quayle:
I served with capitalism: I knew capitalism; capitalism was a friend of mine. Mr. Lay, you're no capitalist.
Isn't it funny how the best schmoozers of government have

It doesn't have much of anything to do with "green". It has everything to do with the appearance of good and the acquisition of raw power.

somehow come to give the free market a bad name? As you re-read that last sentence, don't think that you'd suffered a momentary bout of deja vu. It was, rather, the United States financial sector that just crossed your mind.

In case you didn't know, Ken Lay was, in his pre-Enron life, a government regulator. Ironically, it has been said of Enron:
Marjorie Kelly in her Enron interpretation, “and it’s time we said goodbye to the invisible hand.” Princeton economist Paul Krugman predicted in the New York Times that the demise of Enron—an event that was bigger than 9-11 in his view—would sour society against free-market capitalism.
and that
For three decades now, the dominant strain of economics from the University of Chicago has been teaching gullible undergraduates and journalists that there is no such thing as the public interest. Efficient outcomes are just the aggregation of selfish private interests, and government’s main job is to get out of the way. Well, after Enron, these theorists should learn some other useful trade.
News flash!! Government, rather than being out of Enron's way, was the pickle in Ken Lay's pocket. From previous regulatory experience, Mr. Lay and his Enron cronies (not the Enron serfs, mind you) knew just how to jump in with both feet.

Enron was in almost no way

Government, rather than being out of Enron's way, was the pickle in Ken Lay's pocket. Ken Lay fooled you once. Don't let his proselytes and pimps fool you again.

a free market company. It was completely dependent on government and its mutual back-scratching associations with power-hungry "climate control" organizations. It began its own campaign for sustainable development in 1988. Lay sought for and achieved massive taxpayer funding for his company, as well as access to his competitors' transmission infrastructure. And to think it was all with the willing help of free enterprise...er...uh...wasn't it?

Ken Lay, in perhaps the least told facet of the Enron debacle, was a huge "friend" of the environment, exclusively because being so was "friendly" to him and his company. His "benefactors" surely knew this.
  • He received the Climate Protection Award from the EPA.
  • Enron advised the President’s Council on Sustainable Development; the Business Council for Sustainable Energy; the Pew Center on Global Climate Change
  • He supported the Clinton Administration's drive for a Btu tax.
  • In an effort to reap huge profits, Enron incessantly lobbied the federal government to regulate emissions of CO2.
So don't give me this crap about Enron being capitalist. One of the most important lessons of history to be learned is that Ken Lay

There really, simply is not much capitalism going around anymore. And that is the problem. The invisible hand of the market has been replaced by the mailed fist of federal and world government.

was not a member of the free market, but was rather one of its chief detractors--a "prison market profiteer".

There really, simply is not much capitalism going around anymore. And that is the problem. The invisible hand of the market has been replaced by the mailed fist of federal and world government.

In the 1930's Ken Lay would have been best friends with Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. His friends from GE, Duke, BP, and Pickens Energy would love to have dined at the same table.

The current climate control movement doesn't have much of anything to do with the kind of "green" that you were just thinking about. It has to do with...yes...that kind of green. It has everything to do with the appearance of good and the acquisition of raw power. Ken Lay fooled you once. Don't let his proselytes and pimps fool you again.




Comments

  1. Okey, if it is not capitalism, not a free market, then what is it? Communism? fascism? Socialism?

    FYI, another NON-Marxist definition of capitalism from dictionary.com is: "An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market."


    Another one on the same page: "An economic and political system characterized by a free market for goods and services and private control of production and consumption."

    So, as I previously have stated "free market" is just another obscure term for capitalism.

    "it was all with the willing help of free enterprise" or capitalism that Corporations got super rich, consequently, capable to buy out the people's government with an aim to drain the people's money and to divert it into their own pockets. So, whatever has happened in the Enron case and is both quietly and at times obviously happening everywhere in the economy is called monopolism.

    You are right that capitalism is currently non existent. Whatever we have currently is monopolism.

    Your term "prison market" is the same monopolism. In other words, capitalism which has become interwoven with the people's government thus controlling and directing it.

    If it were socialism or communism, the government would be in full control of those corporations. The government would own them rather than helping them from the people's pocket.

    Nobody is giving you the crap that Enron is capitalist. It is pure monopolist. But do not try to convey that it has nothing to do with capitalism.

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  2. "Nobody is giving you the crap that Enron is capitalist."

    Except for the people Frank quoted in the post.

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  3. Cameron,
    Could you please remind me the names of those people that Frank supposedly quoted? Can you bring up a corresponding sentence or a phrase from the post?

    Why are you answering for Frank, though? Has my comment wounded Frank so badly that you have come to his rescue assuming the role of his mouthpiece?

    What are you, actually, trying to convey? Are you saying that whatever is happening in our economy has nothing to do with capitalism? Would something like Enron come to existence if not for capitalism? How about all those ponzi schemes and bank stuff?

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  4. Reminders, from the post:

    Ironically, it has been said of Enron:

    Marjorie Kelly in her Enron interpretation, “and it’s time we said goodbye to the invisible hand.” Princeton economist Paul Krugman predicted in the New York Times that the demise of Enron—an event that was bigger than 9-11 in his view—would sour society against free-market capitalism.

    and that

    For three decades now, the dominant strain of economics from the University of Chicago has been teaching gullible undergraduates and journalists that there is no such thing as the public interest. Efficient outcomes are just the aggregation of selfish private interests, and government’s main job is to get out of the way. Well, after Enron, these theorists should learn some other useful trade.


    Mouthpiece, no. Reminder to read before commenting, perhaps.

    The anti-capitalist drumbeat has been pounding for some time now, with every failed company and corporate scandal being blamed on capitalism and used as an excuse for more government control. Even by you, Anon. I think Frank's post shows how it's just not accurate.

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  5. Cameron, in your first passage Enron is NOT directly classified as capitalist. Again, there is NO DIRECT CLASSIFICATION. It is ONLY what the reader MAY INFER. Also, Enron and all other ponzi schemes and half-ponzi corporations are direct products of capitalism, rather than socialism or communism or any dictatorship. There were no Enrons, Menrons, or Whateverons in socialism and communism. That is why Paul Krugman has a legitimate ground to fear that cases like Enron will sour the society against capitalism.

    Your second passage DOES NOT contain any word, like capitalism. Why did you infer that it is about capitalism? Maybe it is about MONOPOLISM?

    I guess somebody else needs to read carefully while refraining from subjective assumptions and biases.

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  6. "Marjorie Kelly in her Enron interpretation...“it’s time we said goodbye to the invisible hand.”

    It's clear that these journalists are using Enron's demise to attack capitalism.

    Which, of course, you are doing as well Anon. That's why you write, "Paul Krugman has a legitimate ground to fear that cases like Enron will sour the society against capitalism."

    So I'm not sure what you're trying to argue here. Are you saying that the passages Frank quoted don't accuse capitalism of causing Enron, or that they do?

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  7. What am I arguing? I have put it in a very simple form above. Please read carefully my first comment. Before I put it in even a simpler form, let me notice that you are still not answering my question, what is Enron if not capitalism?

    Those people who blame capitalism for cases like Enron are right. Actually, partially right. Enron is monopolist. Monopolist is the same capitalist who has hijacked the people's government. Monopolism is when the people's government is no longer from, by and for the people, when it is from, by and for the capitalists. Unless you answer the question, at least for yourselves, whether Enron is a product of capitalism or communism, you may never be able to clearly see and define occurrences in our economy.

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  8. I know we've gone the rounds over this, but "monopolist" isn't "capitalist". Monopolist is a greedy corporation that has achieved monopoly status through the help of government.

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  9. Frank, you are still stubbornly dodging the question and are using invented terms if only not to use the real ones.

    But from your own response "Monopolist is a greedy corporation=[capitalist] that has achieved monopoly status through the help of government."

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  10. And now we've come full circle. To which I again say, "Don't give me this crap about Enron [or any other monopoly] being capitalist." Because they're not.

    You said you weren't, but you just did.

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  11. Frank, you still do not get it. I did not say Enron was capitalist. I said it was monopolist. You still do not want to admit that monopolists are those capitalists who have bought off the people's government. I agree with you that Enron is not capitalist, but only because it is monopolist. Which is capitalist+usurped government (people's government). In other words, MONOPOLISM = CAPITALISM + GOVERNMENT. Monopolism is when the people's government is no longer from, by and for the people, but from, by and for the capitalism.

    Perhaps you are actually saying the same thing, while using different terms. Maybe you better abandon obscure terms and start calling correct ones.

    And again, the road for enterprises like Enron was paved through capitalism. It is capitalism that brings to monopolism. Enterprises like Enron also all sorts of ponsi and half ponzi companies are possible only in a free market=capitalist environment. Only freedom of a market gives birth to ponsi schemes and bank machinations.

    Am I calling for a totalitarian regime?

    Let's talk about it after you agree to use correct terms, and finally answer my question whether Enron and all others like it are products of capitalist (used as general term denoting also monopolism) or communist economic systems.

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  12. Sorry, I missed to answer Cameron's question, "Are you saying that the passages Frank quoted don't accuse capitalism of causing Enron, or that they do?

    The passages, again DO NOT DIRECTLY classify or accuse. They may have different INTERPRETATIONS, though. For example, it is your interpretation that they are condemning capitalism for phenomenons like Enron. What they are possibly saying, however, is that: since the people think Enron is capitalist, then "the demise of Enron...would sour society against free-market capitalism." It is a possible interpretation. The concept of "invisible hand" may be attributed to invisible government support. Which actually Frank was clearly demonstrating in his article. So the passages quoted by Frank are maybe condemning monopolism, or in Frank's terms 'prison market' rather than capitalism, 'free market.'

    The second passage, actually, is saying that there is no free market=capitalism any more. It is actually saying that those three decade old teachings, that the "government’s main job is to get out of the way" of the private interests, (which is a characteristic attribute of the free market=capitalism) is not a useful teaching any more, since the free market is non existent. So, the second passage is admitting that free market is nonexistent, and brings Enron as an example of a non free market entity (again avoiding to call it momopolism or anything else).

    So, answering your question, NO the passages quoted by Frank, are not accusing capitalism of causing Enron, they are accusing monopolism=capitalism intertwined with government.

    But you have not answered my question, "Was Enron a product of capitalist (used as general term denoting also monopolism), or communist economic systems?"

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  13. Enron was a product of government control. This could happen in a predominantly capitalist or a predominantly communist society.

    The problem is that government is dispensing special favors.

    My point is that such an environment is not free market. Whether you want to equate 'free market' with 'capitalism' will determine whether you think Enron happened in a capitalist environment. I happen to think that they do equate, which is why I think that Enron can not be used to advocate the shunning of capitalism.

    Monopolism can happen just as easy (perhaps even easier) in a communist (read socialist, marxist) environment as it can in a supposedly capitalist one.

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  14. What do you mean by "predominantly capitalist" or "predominantly communist". You are introducing new nonexistent concepts now. There is no such thing as predominantly capitalist or predominantly communist. It is either capitalism or communism. Two completely antagonistic systems such as capitalism and communism cannot be mingled together. How can capitalism tolerate a little communism. Are you saying Marxism has ever allotted a little place for capitalism in communism? Frank you are stretching for absurdities. Are you saying the environment of Enron is a little, or maybe entirely communism? How can monopolism happen in a communist society? Monopolism and communism are antagonistic concepts. Therefore they can never coexist. Monopolism cannot and has never happened in communism. You are urging me to read Marx? You better read it yourself. Marx despised monopolism, not speaking of giving it a place in communist society. You are disappointing me.

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  15. "Monopolism can never happen in communism"?

    Good heavens, have you been drinking too much postum? That's all communism is is one big monopoly.

    It doesn't matter what Marx's theories are; it matters what is and what was. Communism is/was a gigantic monopoly. Stop confusing the issue with your bizarre definitions of monopolism. I'm also surprised that you can't see how something can be predominantly (not completely) capitalism or communism.

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  16. What do you mean "It doesn't matter what Marx's theories are"? Are you serious or you are joking?

    You are juggling with those concepts and theories while ignoring their author. Like your beloved 'prophet' Mister Benson, you too are deliberately ignoring to bring any quotes from the theory you are criticizing. It is at least pure ostracism. Like Benson, you too, are obsessed with capitalism without seeing that it is antagonistic to Zion. Benson too did not see that since capitalism is also antagonistic to communism, then communism and Zion are on the same side of the equation.

    It is quite a new theory, though, to claim that communism is a gigantic monopolism. It is the same to say that communism is total capitalism. As I said you have a special talent in mingling two completely different realms and still be comfortable with it. I guess you are confusing monopolism (1. The existence or prevalence of monopolies, in the capitalist environment, of course. 2. A company or group having exclusive control over a commercial activity granted by government, of course) with communism (a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state).

    Visit dictionary.com, at least, to find those definitions.

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  17. I am afraid I have to do it for you Frank. Find below excerpts from dictionaty.com:

    Monopoly

    A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. By definition, monopoly is characterized by an absence of competition - which often results in high prices and inferior products.

    For a strict academic definition, a monopoly is a market containing a single firm.

    Investopedia Commentary

    Monopoly is the extreme case in capitalism. Most believe that, with few exceptions, the system just doesn't work when there is only one provider of a good or service because there is no incentive to improve it to meet the demands of consumers. Governments attempt to prevent monopolies from arising through the use of antitrust laws.

    So, "Monopoly is the extreme case in capitalism." There is no word about communism being a gigantic monopoly. I wonder where did you get that. My 'bizarre' definitions of monopolism are in compliance with the generally accepted ones. Whereas yours are not.

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  18. Actually I got (again) it from your own definition:

    A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service.

    It's just that in the case of Communism a single group owns pretty much ALL of the market for pretty much ALL the products and services that is probably confusing you.

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  19. What confuses me is that you are probably intentionally failing to notice that "MONOPOLY IS THE EXTREME CASE IN CAPITALISM." None of the definitions of monopolism mention any affiliation of it to communism. Monopoly has absolutely nothing to do with communism. It starts with capitalism and grows inside it.

    Your theory that capitalism is monopolism is an overkill.

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  20. Sorry I meant to say, "Your theory that communism is monopolism is an overkill."

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  21. Your theory that my theory that "communism is monopolism is overkill" is simply an inconvenience that you would rather not deal with because it might require you to change your mind, something that I don't think you've done since you started commenting on my blog.

    To "monopolize" is to "to acquire, have, or exercise a monopoly of." or to "to obtain exclusive possession of; keep entirely to oneself". Please--honestly now--tell me, how does that NOT explain Communism?

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  22. You may twist it that way and apply the term monopolism to communism.

    But the argument here was about the term itself. I showed you that the common knowledge of the term ties it with capitalism not communism. It particularly states that "MONOPOLY IS THE EXTREME CASE IN CAPITALISM." Please show me a definition from any dictionary where monopolism it somehow more tied with communism.

    What I am saying is that it is a pure dereliction from your side to deliberately refuse to use the term monopolism, moreover in its commonly recognized meaning. You rather invent other terms, like
    'prison market' if only not to use the term monopolism. Why? Because monopolism is the product of capitalism. And since capitalism is a totem for you it is a taboo to say a word against it.

    Again, I have used the term monopolism with its commonly accepted definition in mind. In contrast you have come up with new theories, and attributed unrecognized, uncommon meanings to it, thus deranging any communication.

    You are more stubborn than me. Notwithstanding any evidence, you will not change your mind. Look, I am familiar with the feeling. It is hard to recognize mistakes, moreover delusions.

    Communism is a "system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common" (in other words, ZION) While monopolisms is "Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service: "Monopoly frequently ... arises from government support or from collusive agreements among individuals" (Milton Friedman). So, monopolism is a control by one group, not the government, which frequently arise from government support. So, monopolism cannot be the government itself.

    You may say that communist government in Russia had a monopoly over the production and actually everything. But to fabricate a theory that monopolism is not a product of capitalism but rather is the communism itself, sounds like a paranoia.

    I have been harsh at times with my criticism. I may have exaggerated something to the level of grotesque, or may have used sharp epithets. But here I have only touched a sensitive to you issue, capitalism.

    P.S.
    Just recalled that anti-monopoly laws are being passed by governments in capitalist economic systems. So, monopolies are a capitalist phenomenon after all.

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  23. Also, you are wondering what is wrong with capitalism? Man, everything is wrong with capitalism. Capitalism freely promotes all natural man endeavors, thus dehumanizing the society and driving it downhill.

    Production of material goods is NOT the only aim of humanity. Remembering, "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." In other words, capitalism is from Satan not only because it is the legalized jungle relationships, legalized plunder of working class people. With its Satanic materialism, it is contrary to the religion of Christianity, as a matter of fact, any religion promoting righteousness, justice and fairness. Capitalism with its freedom of art making and distributing caters to lower senses of mankind, thus promoting low forms of art and continually driving the society down the path of decadence. The very few, rare examples of high forms of art in capitalism are products of selfless sacrifices of artists, who by jeopardizing their reputation, and despite financial losses have gone against the stream.

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  24. I can see your point that the definitions of monopolism generally center around capitalism, but I'm sure you can see my point as well that Communism is the largest monopoly of all--it's just that you don't seem to want to admit it.

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  25. Frank,
    It is not MY point. It is the dictionary point. In other words, it is generally accepted definition. It is what people understand when they say monopoly. I have met none before you who would identify monoplism with communism. You are presenting a totally new twist.

    Again, it is not hard to see your point. It is hard to agree with it, moreover after your refusal to see the obvious connection between capitalism and monopolism. and most of all after your refusal to use the term "monopolism" in connection with capitalism and Enron. According to all the dictionary definitions of the term, Enron was a pure monopoly. Instead you ascribe it only to communism.

    In my post above I admitted that "You may say that communist government in Russia had a monopoly over the production and actually everything." But to theorise that monopoly is communism is absurd. By the way, how rational it is from your side, to direct me to read Marxist sources and then turn around and say "It doesn't matter what Marx's theories are.."?

    Let me tell you why I do not agree with your theory. "Monopoly frequently ... arises from government support or from collusive agreements among individuals" (Milton Friedman). You would not argue against this. Also, that Enron perfectly fits in the picture.

    In contrast, communism cannot be classified as monopoly since it is based on common property, at least because it is the government itself. In communism there is no government support to a privately owned company. Additionally, whatever the communist government may do is not a collusive agreement between individuals. The only similarity between monopolies and communism is that both dictate prices. But monopolies benefit from it financially, while in communism all is done for the benefit of the whole country.

    It seems that you do not want to admit that monopolies are only a capitalist phenomenon. Even if communism is a total monopoly of the government, it has its name, communism. SO, we better refrain from mingling terms, thus stripping them of their original meanings. Again, there is absolutely no dictionary definition of monopolism alluding to any affiliation of it to communism.

    Frankly, monopolies are monopolies because they are NOT the government. They rather use government support. In contrast, Communism is communism because it IS the government.

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  26. "from collusive agreements among individuals". You mean like Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky, with all of their Communist flotsam and jetsam?

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  27. Why do you think that speaking Russian a little, or having a Russian friend, or maybe having served an LDS mission in Russia makes you knowledgeable in all the aspects of the history of the country.

    The individuals you have mentioned were not even friends. They all despised each other. They were enemies. Stalin was holding Lenin under almost a house arrest. Lenin and Trotsky were ideological enemies. Stalin, actually, had Trotsky assassinated. Stalin, additionally, assassinated a lot of other revolutionaries. SO, they were no friends and could never have any agreement, moreover bond between each other, not speaking of any collusive one.

    FYI, all of them never were rich, did not have secret Swiss Bank accounts, and died penniless. Whatever they did was not for their personal aggrandizement. Again none of them accumulated any personal riches. So, they did not have anything in common with monopolists. Therefore cannot be classified as such.

    FYI, Stalin would bring down the price of one commodity a year. Usually it was in April. Again whatever he would do was not to accumulate personal riches. He even sacrificed his son during WWII for the common good. His son was caught by Germans and was a prisoner of war. Germans offered Stalin a deal, to exchange his son with a high ranking German general taken by Russians as a prisoner of war in Stalingrad. Stalin refused. Which of your monopolists would do that? Has any rich person sent his son to the army? Don't tell me that prince Charles sent his son to Iraq to fight. He sent him to Iraq to spend time surrounded by an army of bodyguards and has never participated in actual combat.

    However I may hate Stalin and Lenin, I have to admit, for the sake of the truth, that they were not in collusive bonds and died penniless.

    Frankly, none of those people you mention qualify to be classified as monopolists. Find something else.

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  28. So....drumroll please...Gnostic, you are on candid camera...

    If you had to choose one or the other--capitalism (free market) or communism, which one would it be?

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  29. Why are you acting like a clown, Frank? What is you are upset about?

    I'll answer your question, though, but only after you answer mine, particularly whether Enron is a product of capitalism or communism?

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  30. My Answer:

    It is a product of neither. It is a product of wicked men, who could just as easily be members of a democratic government as they could a communistic one. It could happen in a free market, just like it could happen in a communistic society. It is actually much likelier to happen in a communistic society, because communism turned out (that's what I meant by "it doesn't matter what Marx said"--because the reality is starkly different) to be all about the monopolization of the means of production, distribution, etc. Just as Marxist principles perhaps don't advocate what happened in the case of Enron, neither do free market principles advocate it.

    Now, you may not like my answer, but you said you would answer my question after I answered yours. I would appreciate it if you would return the magnanimity by doing so.

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  31. Why do you think I may not like your answer? Also why do you think your response is an act of generosity? I have already been magnanimous by conversing with you after your ludicrous insults and levity.

    But since I said I would answer to your question, here it is: NEITHER.
    I am not playing with you. I have lived long enough in both realms. You are maybe right that the Russian implementation of the idea of communism was going a different direction. Actually, they never claimed they had achieved communism. They always said they were striving to it. While our beloved LDS are not even thinking to build their own theory, the Zion.

    You have often criticized the theory of communism itself without bringing any quotes from the source. As a matter of fact Marx predicted that monopolies like Enron would occur in the last days of capitalism=free market. Marx knew that free market would eventually bring to monopolistic capitalism. No antitrust law may reverse the process. You are also still failing to see that communism assumes total nationalization rather than total monopolization. These are diametrically different processes. It amounts to absurdity to identify nationalization with monopolization.

    Again, nationalization (means of production becoming the common property of the nation) is the opposite process of monopolization (means of production becoming the private property of one or few individuals). In the theory of Marxism the ruling party or even top leaders were not the owners of all the economy. The people was. Russian practice was not different. Although, in the last days of the country corruption started among the leaders. Brejnev was the first to accumulate personal riches. But he did not do it by owning or operating a business, moreover the whole industry. The accounting was running as it was the people's property. Brejnev got his diamonds through bribes, i.e. money stolen from the people's property, rather than taxing or owning any part of it.

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