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.”

Headline of the day: Teacher OK after crashing into bear on a bicycle

How the bear got onto the bicycle, I’ll never know.

cf: Marx, Groucho: “I once shot an elephant in my pajamas.”

I am chagrined to see that this is my first ever Groucho reference here at Collateral Damage. I apologize to my readers and promise to do better in the future.

PS:  Walt Kelly’s birthday was last month and I forgot to mention it. Again, my apologies. Why is it this book title never goes out of date?

Spidey and Me…

So over at Magnosticism, O’Regan reveals that he is The Flash, according to the Superhero Personality Quiz. Having played softball with Mr. O’R., I had reason to be suspicious about the accuracy of this test. Then I took it and found out it was 100% accurate.
You are Spider-Man

Spider-Man
70%
Green Lantern
70%
Superman
65%
Catwoman
65%
Iron Man
45%
Supergirl
45%
Batman
35%
Hulk
35%
Wonder Woman
25%
The Flash
25%
Robin
20%
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Spidey and I go way, way back.

We are almost exactly the same age — he was born a couple of months before I was in 1962. Through my brother, Master Sgt. Collateral Damage, I became a devotee of Spidey and all things Marvel, hating DC comics with a passion that would be unequaled until I became a Red Sox fan and learned that The Yankees were even more terrible than Dr. Doom. (There’s actually some justification for this brand devotion. At the time DC comics were all set in an idealized world where the only people ever allowed to frown were bad guys. They had more in common with movie serials like Buck Rodgers than anything I saw in my life. Nearly all dialogue ended with an exclamation point! Marvel brought superheroes back to earth, as it were, giving them real problems and issues to deal with when they weren’t saving us mere mortals from the likes of Paste Pot Pete and Galactacus. This was big stuff at the time. … but I digress …) I learned to read from Spider-Man and his attitudes had a huge aesthetic influence on me. I blame him for the fact that my favorite movies when I was a youngster were the Marx Brothers and Hepburn/Tracey comedies. My most-read book when I was a ‘tweener: Catch-22. Yossarian and Peter Parker were cut from a very similar cloth. Spider-Man wasn’t perfect though. I’m still not a big fan of arachnids.

All of which leads me to say, “Hey Flash … next time could you run the bases a little faster?”