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.”

Citroen learns genocidal dictators aren’t good advertising

The French car company issued an apology to China because of an ad that ran in Spain featuring Chairman Mao making a face at a hatch-back.

MeowUnder the Biblical quotation “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s,” the text talked up Citroen’s position as a car sales leader in a bombastic tone. “It’s true, we are leaders, but at Citroen the revolution never stops,” the advertisement said.

The ad drew the ire of people at several Chinese web sites.

Oddly they didn’t object to using Mao’s image because it glorified the person directly responsible for murdering and starving tens of millions of their countrymen — (which is what Citroen should really be apologizing for). No, the quotes ran more to … “Chairman Mao is the symbol of China, and what Citroen did lacks basic respect to China.” Apparently they are just as bad at teaching history in China as they are here in the US.

In case the situation wasn’t ripe with enough irony, the image used in the ad closely resembled the ginormous Mao poster that waves in Tiananmen Square.

Jack Yan has a copy of the original ad at his blog here.

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