Capitalism Versus Socialism

I was recently at a copywriter’s conference in NYC. In  another area of the building there was a talk being given  on Capitalism versus Socialism.

I was there speaking on stress management and game theory in one of the breakout sessions and my stress management team from  – – was doing 10 minute back, neck and shoulder massages in the other .


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I took a break from my work to listen in. Being a socialism friendly minded capitalist it was extremely interesting for me, especially with my interest in Game Thinking.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Capitalism an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. Capitalism when practiced to its highest potential is a gift to humanity for it is the most effective example of reciprocal altruism ever created.

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Obviously there are those who practice it poorly and us such are often both ethical and immoral. This being the case does not mean that capitalism is a fundamentally unethical or immoral system.

All humans will have limitations in efficiency, effectiveness and compassion if one uses  the Theory of Multiple Intelligences as a model, which I often do. Any system that defines human relations must on some level be tolerated for the limitations it brings to these relations. This is so with capitalism, socialism or any other economic or political systems. The poet Lord Buckley was rumored to have said that if you truly engage the world the devil is your agent and gets a 15% cut of everything. To call capitalism or socialism evil is simplistic and naïve. Everything at some level has an element that is a necessary evil – it goes with the territory.  The most successful capitalists tend to not only offer products and services based on productive innovations to the populace but often engage in philanthropy. As a young man I had a client whose last name was Rockefeller. He was a Rockefeller and was employed by the Rockefeller Foundation though he was from what called “the poor side of the family”, meaning that he was not a descendant of John D. Rockefeller. Once in my office a negative comment slipped out of my mind and mouth about how the Rockefeller came to such wealth. He simply smiled and suggested I do a bit of homework starting with John D. Rockefeller Jr. I was shocked by what I discovered.

I did as he suggested and was surprised what I has learned. Not only were many of the great research and cultural institutions in America created through the Rockefeller family but even today Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors philanthropic services to many organizations.

For those who see the world in a deification demonization cycle of good and evil the rich are evil and usually victimize the poor. Of course it is much more complex than that. The fact is that while those of great wealth often focus single mindedly on making money, they are often involved in various forms of philanthropy. In a free society others have the desire and to sell us things we were free to buy or not buy – this is the basis of capitalism.

Bad people will do bad things regardless of the prevailing economic system. This can be seen in the corruption found in many socialist systems and the horror of so-called 20th century communism is hard to fathom. When looked act without prejudice it becomes clear that capitalism begins with a big ethical advantage. Capitalist acts among consenting adults are voluntary. Socialism is systemically dependent on coercion.  The presumption of capitalist immorality is built on lazy thinking resting on a foundation false assumptions.

In the end I could see that it is not an either or situation. We need to take care of the less fortunate but not squelch business innovation.

This is probably done with effective public policy rather than ideology and this at the core is best done through game thinking, game theory and economic behaviorism.


Lewis Harrison is a copywriter, motivational speaker specializing in game based thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking. The author of over fifteen books – – Lewis is a  seminar leader, futurist, entrepreneur, NPR affiliated radio talk show ( host, success and life coach and a best-selling author.

He is the creator of a web site –  that focuses on the application of gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme business problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

His company offer Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He offer these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States.