Socialism vs. Capitalism: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Socialism fails people. If there is any doubt about how socialism cripples economic health and the human spirit, take a look at this article from the German publication Der Spiegel….and be sure to take the photo tour, so you can see the transformation with your own eyes. A photographer named Stefan Koppelkamm went into East Germany shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain. He took some pics of what the strictest form of socialism brought in the 40 years it ruled over the region. Just 10 short years later, he went back and found an amazing transformation that had taken place in the majority of the areas that he was able to capture on film.

I have spent much of my blogging experience trying to explain why I firmly believe that socialism is a failure of epic proportions. Last week, I wrote an essay about it. But words are sometimes a hindrance to the real experience and this is why these photos will truly speak volumes.




Filed under Europe, Progressives

3 responses to “Socialism vs. Capitalism: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

  1. I like the artistic concept and find personally the run-down photos more appealing than the renovations. Somehow the ruins have more personality as opposed to the anywhere-anytime clinical purity of the renewals. Further, without a complementary comparison of locations in West Berlin, this photo gallery says nothing about socialism vs capitalism. For all we know, parts of West Berlin were (and perhaps still are) as run-down as these locations. What would photo’s of Detroit say?

  2. As one who lived in West Germany in the late 70s, I can attest that there were no places anywhere like we see in the first set of photos. None. And I was in Munich, Frankfurt, Nuremburg, and many other urban areas. I spent 90 days in Wurzburg, a city that the allies bombed mercilessly to the ground to demoralize the German people… as they did in Dresden. In 1979, there was no place that resembled the run down buildings we see.

    I stood right at the border in several places and saw life moving on the Western side. Cars, flower gardens, children playing, and an entire array of things that told me there was a sense of well-being and optimism.

    On the Eastern side, I saw gray colorless dilapidated buildings, lifelessness, an occasional car going by, with concertina wire and anti-tank ditches to hold it in. Every 100 meters there was a guard tower with two East German Soldiers (who had to be 100% politically reliable) stationed in it, to make sure no one got out. Those two soldiers would never work together again, as the East German government did not want anyone to build a relationship that might result in both defecting at the same time.

    At one point on that border, there was a factory or some kind of workplace stationed right across from where we stood. People came to the windows and stared with the saddest expressions I had ever seen in my life, up to that point. All along that border there were propaganda signs telling us how great life was on their side. And you can bet that what I saw was the best they had to offer, because as one went inside the GDR, it got worse.

    These are some of the photos that proved just how bad it was…..and the others of how good it could be.

    Thank you for your comment

    • (except that I’ve seen him argue against non-market prciing, which is delightful in any case), but as a philosopher there may very well be something to him.Recently, I found this on Marx’ error of class-distribution.Marx argues (as is commonly known) that there is a struggle for dominance between the ‘workers’ and the ‘capitalists’. The Fofoa -writer argues that the two classes are savers and spenders, and that the mechanisms under which power changes are fairly known.The spenders spend until they go broke (this is where we are today), where the savers effectively end up in power. When the spenders later get bored with having to live within their means, they overthrow the rule of the savers, and start spending – restarting the cycle.It’s an interesting piece ,-)-S

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