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.”

Italy unleashes PR stunt to stop inflation

Shades of Jerry Ford and Whip Inflation Now

WINItaly’s government has decided to appoint a special commissioner to try to curb price rises after inflation hit a three-and-a-half year peak in November … The ombudsman, dubbed “Mr Prices” by Italian media, will inform the industry minister of any “anomalous” or unjustified price increases and can also make proposals for legislation.

What exactly is an “unjustified” price increase? Isn’t that basically at the heart of the theory of capitalism? I set a price and either the market meets it or it doesn’t. If I can sell bananas at $500 each then shouldn’t I? I’m not saying this is a good thing but it is how we’ve designed the system.

This brings us back to the debate over “price gouging” by oil companies last year.

Just as no one can define terror, no one has any idea what price gouging is either. This fact is made plain in the GOP-sponsored House bill, which leaves it to the Federal Trade Commission “to develop a definition of price gouging.” You have to love a law that is so specific about the penalty and so vague about the crime. (and if I do say so myself the rest of that rant is pretty good … I suggest reading the whole darn thing.)

I expect Signor Prices will, in some form, be coming to the US soon.

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You know you have too much money when … your pills, lollipops and dog’s MP3 player are made of gold

  1. pillsIndulge your ‘inner’ self with these 24k gold leaf capsules. Digest to increase self-worth. Price: $429
  2. Swiss-based DeLafee International SARL announced today their 24 Karat Gold, totally edible, strawberry-flavored Lollipop. Price: $29
  3. The JooZoo, this heart-shaped 18K gold and diamond encrusted MP3 player necklace created by Korean company Innobitz. It’s touted as being able to “enhance your pet’s physical health and relieve stress through automatic content responding to various pet behaviors.” Price: $1500 – $2000. But is it compatible with iTunes?

It’s a weird day when “Let them eat cake” starts to sound like the height of sensitivity. Y’know communism is a very bad thing, but it’s not like capitalism doesn’t make it look appealing sometimes.

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