Why are all these references to Marx popping up?
This isn`t the best written or most enlightening article I`ve ever read, but it at least makes an effort.
''6. Communism fosters uniformity.
'' Apparently, lots of people are unable to distinguish equality from homogeneity. Perhaps this derives from the tendency of people in capitalist societies to view themselves primarily as consumers: the dystopic fantasy is a supermarket wherein one state-owned brand of food is available for all items, and it's all in red packaging with yellow letters.
'' But people do a lot more than consume. One thing we do a huge amount of is work (or, for millions of unemployed Americans, try to and are not allowed). Communism envisions a time beyond work, when people are free, as Marx wrote, "to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner... without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic." In that way, communism is based on the total opposite of uniformity: tremendous diversity, not just among people, but even with in a single person's "occupation."
'' That so many great artists and writers have been Marxists suggest that the production of culture in such a society would breed tremendous individuality and offer superior avenues for expression. Those artists and writers might have thought of communism as "an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all," but you might want to consider it an actual instantiation of universal access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
''You won't even notice the red packaging with yellow letters!
''7. Capitalism fosters individuality.
''Instead of allowing all people to follow their entrepreneurial spirit into the endeavors that fulfill them, capitalism applauds the small number of entrepreneurs who capture large portions of mass markets. This requires producing things on a mass scale, which imposes a double-uniformity on society: tons and tons of people all purchase the same products, and tons and tons of people all perform the same labor. Such individuality as flourishes amid this system is often extremely superficial.
''Have you seen the suburban residential developments that the housing boom **** out all over this country? Have you seen the grey-paneled cubicles, bathed in fluorescent light, clustered in "office parks" so indistinct as to be disorienting? Have you seen the strip malls and service areas and sitcoms? Our ability to purchase products from competing capitalist firms has not produced an optimally various and interesting society.
''As a matter of fact, most of the greatest art under capitalism has always come from people who are oppressed and alienated (see: the blues, jazz, rock & roll, and hip-hop). Then, thanks to capitalism, it is homogenized, marketed, and milked for all its value by the "entrepreneurs" sitting at the top of the heap, stroking their satiated flanks in admiration of themselves for getting everyone beneath them to believe that we are free.''