Some apparently necessary reminders:

Adam Smith's capitalism was a response to protectionism (favoring rich landowners) and required regulation to work, bc it's fucking obvious that without regulation, it becomes pure corruption. It was always about commodities.
Karl Marx's socialism is not the only socialism. Socialism simply refers to the idea that economic equality is a good thing. It has been approached in many ways by many peopls around the world, often successfully.
The Soviet Union was an experiment that claimed to aim to achieve socialism, then communism (in Marxist terms) in what was an incredibly poor & troubled country w few resources even BEFORE fucking Stalin and WWII. It's not a great model for anything or anybody on any level. JFC.
Among JUST the 19thc European socialisms (such a narrow frame!) there are variations from stateless (anarchism) or fairly limited (trade unionism) to nationalization of all property (actually Stalinism, not the same thing, lol).
Socialism/capitalism are both ECONOMIC ideas. Every economic system has or can exist independent of various POLITICAL systems (such as authoritarianism, representative & constitutional govt, oligarchy).
We are not in any way doomed to select how we live from the extremely limited and frankly badly fucked up menu of choices available to Europe in 1920. WTELF? Use your imagination.
A Smithian regulated market for commodities can coexist with universal healthcare, education, housing, & basic income. Local democratic-self government can be loosely tied thru federalism in an internationalist world that consigns the nation state to the ugly past.
A "good economy" can be redefined as sustainable quality of life for all instead of endless profit for few. We can learn to admire the societies that have valued sustainability and quality instead of the ones that killed the most people for the most profit.
None of that requires drumming up admiration for Stalin or Lenin, two of the most fucked up losers of the 20th century, where there's a hell of a lot of competition for that status.
One of the things that is relatively new to our species but is an unavoidable part of our new reality is that we have to learn to live with social diversity. We can focus on inventing a just and healthy pluralism or we can succumb to the massive suicide pact we've got going now.
Our choice. 🤷‍♀️
Yes, I'm a historian of 19th century European thought saying let's pay MUCH less attention to 19th century European thought. My years of close study of the subject have taught me one thing unequivocally: not a good role model for anything.
One of the many stupid, laughably transparent self-interested concepts 19thc Europeans thought up was that history is moving in a continually progressive direction with themselves as the apotheosis and driving force at the same time. Lol, Narcissus - you do you.
Unfortunately this idea of progress has really stuck. If you look at 19thC Europe from the outside with any kind of attempt at objectivity, though, it becomes apparent very quickly that those people represent the worst of humanity and a real jumping-off-the-cliff moment.
It really cracks me how when we point out the staggeringly high cost of industrialization (um, you know, our species), people say, "but aren't we better off with our smart phones?"
Not only are we better off only until that point of imminent death, but also why do you imagine the only alternative to the mass death & suffering of European industrialization as Europeans wrought it is, like, sudden non-development forever?
What if humans continued to invent and develop as we always have, but didn't suddenly put all the power of that into the hands of, like, a few dozen European men with the WORST moral compasses?
Similarly, assholes point to the European Enlightenment like it was the start of everything good. It was just dudes taking credit for what many others knew & using it to their exclusive advantage. Like no non-white or non-male ppl on the planet had ever thought of equality??
Sure, there's science, too, right? Like that wasn't well underway even in Europe long before the Enlightenment, like it wasn't being carried out also by non-whites and non-men. Also, um, it was developing in all those societies Europeans tried to exterminate?
And to the extent that rational thought was truly suppressed, like that wasn't in large part by, um...European Christianity? Sure, rational thought might have developed DIFFERENTLY if it wasn't controlled exclusively by white European men for centuries.
Isn't it possible that it might have developed...better?
I suppose I should add here that I am descended from a long line of xenophobic, inexplicably zealous Christian European peasants and my misspent youth involved some really reprehensible Europhilia and idolatry of rationalism. Then I grew up, read a lot of books, lived a bit.
Me, in 2022, looking at the menu of European ideas:

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More from @kpanyc

13 Jan
Ok, I'm officially declaring myself obsessed with #Yellowjackets. Like everyone in the movie Don't Look Up, I'm burying myself in entertainment while the world burns. At least this show is worthy.
I love seeing those amazingly talented 90s actresses get to be deeply complicated leads in a meaty story that's not about men. But I also love seeing the young actresses be just as good and getting this kind of work at the beginning of their careers! So much hope.
I love seeing what entertainment can be when it's not about what gets men off. At all. It's soooo incredibly rich and gripping and meaningful on infinite levels. What if ALL entertainment were this free to explore the whole human condition??
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