Is Communism cutting into Capitalism’s market share?

It looks like Capitalism’s 19 year monopoly in the market place of ideology may be getting a little frayed. Communism is beginning to show some signs of life. A German book publisher reports a steady increase in sales of Das Kapital. German publisher Joern Schuetrumpf says he has already sold 1,800 copies this year. In 2005 he sold 500 and 1500 in all of last year.

In business terms, this was inevitable. Since Capitalism is showing some serious weekness in its brand, someone had to step up and fill the void. Because nothing else has stepped up to the plate, consumers turn back to the only competition there wasy. Let me make one thing very clear: Communism is a great idea only if you live in a theoretical world. Communism in the real world did indeed totally suck. Stalin & Mao? All they were good at was murdering millions of their own people. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989? A landmark and wonderful event.

But, as Capitalism knows, Capitalism needs competition. It was only a matter of time before the thought-leader suffered the problem of all monopolies and became less and less reliable and responsive. When that happens customers turn elsewhere. I expect Fascism — which has never really gone away — to also gain more market share.

As one of the truly great Marxists — Groucho — put it: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

Year of the (capitalist) pig

So Chinese New Year was last month but … here are a few ways in which Communism vs. Capitalism vs. Superstition is working out in the most populous nation on earth.

  1. Chinese state television is censoring advertisements featuring pigs in order not to offend Muslims in the Year of the Pig. Biggest Western companies to be effected by this: Nestle and P&G.
  2. Retailers are doing big business in gold pig jewelery and knicknacks. This year is considered particularly auspicious as, according to the Chinese zodiac and fortune tellers, it is a “golden pig” year that falls once every 60 years.
  3. Disney hopes the great swine can come to its aid. Its Three Little Pigs characters were featured prominently in New Year’s celebrations at Hong Kong Disney. Also Mickey, Goofy, Donald et al. wore traditional Chinese clothing during the festivities wrapped up last week. “The pigs are part of a marketing campaign aimed at shoring up the park’s reputation which was tarnished last Chinese New Year when overcrowding made officials lock the doors, barring scores of mainland tourists with valid tickets from entering.” Gee, I sure wish I was married to an obsessive Disney fan who could find out how this year’s New Year’s went at HK Disney and blog about it. Oh, wait. I am. UPDATE: The pig pays off for Disney.