Phelps Adams Quote

“Capitalism and communism stand at opposite poles. Their essential difference is this: The communist seeing the rich man and his fine home says, “No man should have so much.” The capitalist seeing the same thing says, “All men should have as much.””

~ Phelps Adams

Ratings and Comments

Mick Delaney, Alice Springs

Most of your quotes are by Americans and for Americans. Very insular and biased.

Kimo, USA
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Kimo, USA    8/9/11

Good quote..and YOU, Mick, you must not be an American, so mind ur own buss, you have no right to say anything. You must be one of the "have nots" sorry, but you have no one to blame but yourself.

J Carlton, Calgary

Communists are parasites.

L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada

This quote is based on ignorance and ommission. The original motivation of Communism was to end starvation through people working together for a common goal of self sufficincy. Then the comma was added and the system was corrupted. The intension of Capitalism may have been what's quoted, but as it exists now it must be modified to: "All men of a select group..."

jim k, Austin, Tx

This sounds a lot like the liberals in our government, always wanting to solve the debt problem by "soaking the rich". Question: If you need a job, would you go to the nearest poor person or maybe to someone with some money ? Here in Austin we have Michael Dell of Dell Computers, a very rich man. He has provided good products and jobs for thousands of people. Raising taxes on "the rich" will not solve any part of the debt we have but will, as always happens with government, make matters worse

jim k, Austin, Tx

Thank goodness we have J Carlton on this site to balance out idiotic comments from Canadians like L. Hanson.

L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada

Jim, your ignorance speaks volumes. And quite frankly, I would have expected something a little more thoughtful from J. Carlton.

Anonymous, Reston, VA, US

Lake Wobegon... where all the kids are above average... what a fantasy world...

Mary - MI
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Mary - MI    8/9/11

"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" This sovereign country was founded on the rights of every individual to become whatever they wish to be and if they wish - the best that they can be. It was not founded on allowing and granting the government to take (steal) from one person in order to give the fruits of their labor to another person without their permission. When the government confiscates the wealth of one to give to another then society will all turn into the GRASSHOPPERS of the world, because the ANTS will eventually figure out that it does not pay to strive to be successful if all their efforts are eventually stolen! This is what "Anonymous", and L. Hanson refuse and fail to decipher. They both represent the Wesley Mouch's (Atlas Shrugged) of this world.

TheMANwithNoName, Tampa, FL USA

Typical thinking of an individual who is biased in favor of his own favorite political system... The ideal of capitalism MIGHT be, "all men should have as much", but show me any capitalist who actually feels that way. The ideal of communism is, "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs", but just let a communist get some power and they are just like any other greedy person, saying "more for me". The greed of individuals is the spoiler of all political ideals, it doesn't matter what political system they operate under, and the only way to ensure everyone having a fair chance to prosper is to limit the power of those who have control, whether that control comes through political or economic power.

dick, fort worth

Phelps' "ignorance cover(s) the whole earth like a blanket and there (is) hardly a hole in it anywhere."

Mike, Norwalk

very accurate ! L. Hanson, your conceptualization is in harmony with 'the beatings will continue until morale improves.' The originating intent is to improve morale.

E Archer, NYC

Monarchies, aristocracies, and oligarchies are NOT capitalism, they are MONOPOLIES. Monopolies are unlawful in the USA for the reason that once there is no competition, there is nothing to keep prices down or to prevent the monopoly from holding us hostage for our necessities: water, food, energy, homes, arms, information, etc.. Communism on the other hand is legalized monopoly of all production, in which the citizen is but a slave that must follow the dictates of a ruling class from cradle to grave. Communism/socialism/fascism are all forms of totalitarianism -- the goal is total control over the people, total monopoly of every aspect of life, total dictatorship of everyone and everything. And Democracy is but a tool of designing men to get the poor to 'vote' away the property of the rich -- they think it is for themselves but in the end it only enriches their totalitarian government further until voting is no longer required. We know who the commies are on this list, and they spew the same old BS -- it is the epitome of self-loathing. I think they hate anyone who can provide for themselves -- they defend their dependencies like the perpetual children they want us all to be.

R3, Bristol
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R3, Bristol    8/9/11

E Archer ,NYC.......Well said

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Melehan    2/6/12

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone

rjput, PA
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rjput, PA    1/30/13

Capitalism is the freedom to pursue one's dream, communism is to be pursued by one's government. Regarding the comment by Melehan, I think you meant government not capitalism.

J Carlton, Calgary

L.Hanson...thank you for that. Yes you're right, I generally have more to add than a simple statement of disgust.
Yes the quote is overly simple. It does not take into account that Communism can not actually support itself without innovation, which is lost in that ideology. Nor does it take into account that under capitalism...not "every" man will have as much. In fact few will. That's because only the most innovative and productive rise to the top of the heap. Much the same way that in nature, he strongest thrive and survive.
While that may seem to discount a sense of altruism in regard to those less fortunate, only those with means are truly able to help the down trodden. Which I do. The major division in philosophies is as to just "who" should control that sense of welfare? Me or my government? I choose me...I don't waste the funds. :)

Cal, Lewisville, TX

One cannot create wealth by redistributing it.-Winston Churchill.

Robert, Somewhere in the US

I have never read so much crap - you think the capitalist give a dam about your welfare - most, like monarchies, lie and cheat to get their way to the top. The history of most major companies are fraught with stealing each others ideas, Facebook, Dell, and Microsoft, are just the tipoff the iceberg.
Capitalism, is about shipping their jobs abroad for profit, so don't give me that BS about them giving jobs to Americans - the only reason that happens is economic, and nothing to do with morals or integrity. Three people have more wealth than 50 percent of the people - oh yes, the monopolies commission doesn't exist. Now Monsanto has taken over Blackwater - but of course they that names to hide the intent. Community economics will be the only savior for the world - communism without centralization - like it use to be before we all became greedy and self important. I feel sorry for most on this blog as their intentions may be honorable but their thinking is still stuck in the capitalist boardrooms where the bottom-line is paramount and where profit is king. We have a finite planet and growth is killing it!

E Archer, NYC

Robert, crony capitalism ain't capitalism. Crony capitalism is what you get with a rigged Monopoly game -- which is fundamental to totalitarianism (whether in the form of socialism, fascism, communism, oligarchy, dictatorship). Without the communist slave laborers in China, the Western nations would collapse. And hey, America was not founded upon capitalism, it was founded upon private enterprise and individual rights in-born and unalienable -- our People fought a war to secure these rights, and won.

Define capitalism! The use of the word is not found in any of America's founding documents. When defining capitalism you will also have to define its supposed opposite communism because Marx coined the term capitalism in order to define communism. Note, Robert, that these are not 'labels' but political ideologies seeking to be accepted as the rule of law.

E Archer, NYC

"Community economics will be the only savior for the world - communism without centralization - like it use to be before we all became greedy and self important."

When/where was it like this before, Robert?

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

That which is requisite is a lessened identification with ideology and heightened identification with Reality.

Reality does not reside in ideology.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

The rational approach of justice and equality simply impresses upon us the need for resource allocations distributed fairly and equally. And this describes simply the idea of Communism. Communism which derives from the term community is the correct idea for human preservation.


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