Political ideologies explained!

Consider this a work in progress.

Democracy:
– The government takes some of everyone’s money and puts it in a great big pile.
– Then we all vote on who gets to be in charge of the pile.
– Those who want to be in charge describe what they’ll do with it.
– If they get elected, sometimes they do what they promise, sometimes they don’t do what they promise, and sometimes they can’t do what they promise.
– If the people don’t like what is done by those in charge of the pile, then they vote for someone else to be in charge of the pile.

Aristocracy
– The government takes some of everyone’s money and puts it in a great big pile.
– A group of rich male landowners, who inherited their lands and wealth from their male ancestors, decide what to do with the pile.
– The rich male landowners sometimes do and sometimes don’t use the pile to benefit the people, but they always use it to benefit themselves.
– If the people don’t like what is done by those in charge of the pile, that’s too bad for the people. Their only real choice is to grin and bear it, or die.

Theocracy
– A church takes some of everyone’s money and puts it in a great big pile.
– A group of priests, bishops, rabbis, imams, monks, or whatever, decide what to do with the pile.
– The religious leaders sometimes do and sometimes don’t use the pile to benefit the people, but they always use it to benefit themselves.
– If the people don’t like what is done by those in charge of the pile, that’s too bad for the people. Their only real choice is to grin and bear it, or burn in hell forever.

Mercantilism
– The government takes some of everyone’s money and puts it in a great big pile.
– The businessmen tell everyone that they put the largest share of the money into the pile (whether that’s true or not) and therefore say that they should decide what to do with the pile.
– The government uses the pile to give the businessmen exclusive monopolies on the trade of certain strategically important commodities.
– The businessmen sometimes do and sometimes don’t use their monopolies to benefit the people, but they always use it to benefit themselves.
– If the people don’t like what is done by those in charge of the pile, that’s too bad for the people. Their only real choice is to grin and bear it, or go live somewhere else. Or die.

Soviet Communism
– The government takes almost all of everyone’s stuff and puts it in a great big pile.
– The government then re-distributes the pile to everyone in accord with how enthusiastically each person acted like a cheerleader for the Soviet system.
– The people also vote for who gets to be in charge of the pile, but the only people allowed to run are the cheerleaders.
– And only the cheerleaders get to vote for the Head Of All Cheerleaders.
– If the people don’t like what the cheerleaders do with the pile, that’s too bad for the people. Their only real choice is to grin and bear it, or go to “political re-education”. In a work camp. In Siberia.

North Korean Communism
– The government takes almost all of everyone’s stuff and puts it in a great big pile.
– The people vote for who gets to be in charge of the pile, but the only person allowed to run is Kim Il-sung. Yes, I know he’s dead. You can vote for his grandson instead.

Ideal Marxism
– The government takes a lot of everyone’s money and puts it in a great big pile.
– The government then re-distributes the pile to everyone in proportion to each person’s actual contributions and actual needs.
– The people also vote for who gets to be in charge of the pile, although people who believe in a political ideology other than ideal communism are normally not allowed to run.
– If the people don’t like what is done by those in charge of the pile, then they vote for someone else.
– Those who say “this is all well and good in theory but it will never work in practice” are told that it’s never been tried in practice so therefore nobody knows whether it will work in theory.

Democratic Socialism
– The government takes some of your money (more than in regular democracy, but less than in communism) and puts it in a great big pile.
– The people then vote for who gets to be in charge of the pile.
– Constitutional laws are enacted to ensure that the people in charge of the pile use that pile for the benefit of the people.
– If the people in charge of the pile break those laws, then the Supreme Court and/or the Head of State stops them from doing it. And the people vote for someone else.
– Those who say “this is all well and good in theory but it will never work in practice” enjoy their free public education and health care.

Democratic Capitalism
– The government takes some of your money (usually less than in regular democracy) and puts it in a great big pile.
– The people then vote for who gets to be in charge of the pile.
– Anyone can run to be in charge of the pile. But those who are cheerleaders for big corporations are much more likely to win.
– The big corporations tell everyone that what benefits them also somehow benefits everyone (whether it’s true or not), and therefore their voice influences the people in charge of the pile the most.
– If the people don’t like what is done by those in charge of the pile, they vote for someone else.
– If the people don’t like what is done by the big corporations, they can spend their money on the products of some other big corporation. If they have any money to spend.

Fascism
– The government takes some of your money and puts it in a great big pile.
– The people then vote for who gets to be in charge of the pile. But those who are racist, sexist, class-ist, war-mongering, scapegoating, half-paranoid, violence-obsessed thugs are much more likely to win.
– The people in charge of the pile then hand the pile over to the thugs anyway, and those thugs use the pile to benefit mostly themselves.
– But to be fair, the thugs also build some big and awesome-looking monuments.
– If the people don’t like what the thugs do, that’s too bad for the people. Their only real choice is to grin and bear it, or go have a shower. In Auschwitz.

Classical Libertarianism
– The government takes some of everyone’s money and puts it in a big pile, but the government is careful to take as little as possible.
– The people then vote for who gets to be in charge of the pile.
– The government then spends the pile on a small number of social necessities. If the people have problems or needs they can’t handle on their own, the government offers them a little bit of help, but not much, because the people are expected to be as self-reliant as possible.
– The government also works to stop people whose personal piles are really big from exploiting or oppressing people whose personal piles are really small.
– If the people don’t like what is done by those in charge of the pile, they vote for someone else.

Ayn Rand Libertarianism
– Some of the people voluntarily take some of their own money, as much or as little as they wish, and put it in a little pile.
– The people then vote for who gets to be in charge of the pile. Anyone can run, but it really helps if your personal pile is bigger than most other people’s personal piles.
– The government then spends the pile on a small number of social necessities. If the people have problems or needs they can’t handle on their own, that’s too damn bad.
– Those whose personal piles are biggest are allowed to use their personal piles to exploit, manipulate, control, lie to, steal from, and pretty much oppress anyone with a smaller pile, in any way short of outright slavery: this is somehow called “freedom”.
– If the people don’t like what is done by those in charge of the pile, they had better get a damn good lawyer.
– And if the people don’t like what is done by those who’s personal pile is bigger than theirs, it’s their own fault.

Westeros Feudalism
– The government takes some of everyone’s money and puts it in a great big pile.
– Anyone who wants to be in charge of the pile declares himself king, and tries to kill anyone else who wants to be in charge of the pile.
– If the people — wait a minute. The people? Who are they?

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2 Responses to Political ideologies explained!

  1. Tim says:

    I like this, except for your description of Fascism. When Germany practiced something which they did NOT call Fascism, it happened to have a component of systematic race based mass murder. When Italy practiced something which they DID call Fascism, there was no systematic killing of any kind, neither race based or otherwise. They did kill a lot of people, but it was because of an excess of enthusiasm for capitol punishment for crimes (or what they perceived as crimes). Fascism is the focus on industrial productivity, on nationalism, and on expansionism. My point here, especially with the obsession with industrial progress, is how similar your description of Democratic Capitalism is with the way that I understand Fascism to be.

    Otherwise right on.

  2. Kyle says:

    Awesome.

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