Communism v. Capitalism

Der Speigel

Der Speigel has an astonishing photoessay of buildings and towns in East Germany. They are before and after shots. The original photos were taken just after the fall of the Berlin wall and now some 20 years later.


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  • johnbronkhorst

    WOW what a difference…wonder if Marx forsaw this?…No didn’t think so!!!Lends a footnote to what I have always believed………Socialism is an experiment requiring capital and capitalism to work (it can’t live in a vacuum). Capitalism has no such restraint, and leads the economic and human race to advancement and prosperity. WOW didn’t mean that to sound too preachy.

    • thor42

       Well said! 

  • Phronesis

    Of course all these buildings predate socialism. They have survived the unfortunate experiment and been restored to their former glory. On the other hand Communist architecture has no redeeming features at all.

  • Nice sentiment, but it’s not hard to find photos of parts of New York City which have gentrified that for over the same period – or upper Cuba St for that matter

    • Missing the point as usual. Under communism those building would have collapsed not been “gentrified”

      • Kosh103

        Like many of the buildings in poorer places of the US.

      • Ururoa

        Visit Detroit sometime to see successful capitalist gentrification NOT

    • Gizzymizzy

       That shows capitalism is imperfect, however, it doesn’t show communism to work any better, or work at all for that matter! Stupid argument.

      • Kosh103

        Which is the whole point. At least someone has clicked on to that.

  • Liberty

    A very good reason why Labour/Mana/Greens with their Marxist

    Should only be in opposition. 

    • Kosh103

      Sigh, its dumbarse comments like that which tell people you have zero understanding of marxsism.

      • Gazzaw

        It is a pity that the top shot wasn’t taken 200 metres further back kosh. It’s missing the Wall, the minefields, the dogs, watchtowers and Stasi border guards. Ooops silly me, they were only there to keep the West Germans out of the marxist workers paradise & not keep the East German citizenry in.

      • Jennydee72

        Embarrassing. It’s Marxism. Not Marxsism.

      • johnbronkhorst

        Really Kosh…………Marxism, is an economic THEORY!!!! When implimented, where ever implimented the above picture is common place and usual, in both architecture and the despiration of peoples lives…Capitalism is the very epitomy of equal OPPORTUNITY (not guarantee)….Socialism / communism has ALWAYS been shown to be the EQUAL sharing of MISERY!!!!!

      • Patriot

        Piss Off Kosh, – a teacher cant spell

         Communist East Germany’s peoples car was the Trabant — a piece of crap. like Russia’s Lada
        Capitalist West Germany Peoples car was any one of VW, BMW, Mercedes .

        For left wing Communist believers like you — you should own  crap cars  like the Trabant or Lada…. suits your socialist personality  .

        I’ll stay with VW and Beemer.

      • Pukakidon

         The reality is Kosh, that if you were under a Marxist government you would not be able to participate in a blog like this.

        Straight to the gulag for expressing your opinion if it is apposed to the state.  If you like it so much I hear North Korea are accepting migrants.

      • Random66

        I had lunch today with an elderly gentleman who was once a well respected school teacher /headmaster in his day.  He was genuinely concerned that there seemed to be an obvious trend in the young and new teachers being very ‘left’ in their ideology and he shook his head when pondering the effect of this on our society of tomorrow.  While he saw this as a bad thing I appreciate Kosh you will see it as a good thing.  I ask that you please remember he has the benefit of time to give him wisdom and the experience of war to remind him what is worth fighting for.

      • Kosh103

        Its sooo sweet when the idiots pretend they know what they are talking about.

      • Random66

        Gosh Kosh, you soooo speak like a 16 year old girl (complete with the insolent and rude attitude).  That may explain why you perhaps like 16 year old boys.  Honestly if I knew what school you taught at I would do all I could to have you removed and not because you are gay, but because you are completely lacking in basic courtesy and goodness and I would view that as being harmful to the children.

      • Kosh103

        Oh Random, you can say whatever you like, safe in the knowldege that I will just laugh at you for making the comment in the first place.

      • Liberty

        Kosh would you like to explain why the inhabitants of East Germany
         didn’t paint their houses.  Was it because there didn’t have the freedom
        to choose what colour or were they just too depressed.  Which would be expected living under a draconian
        Government.  Which might be your idea  of utopia.  

    • AngryTory

      in jail. Should only be in jail. A free, democratic society cannot prosper – indeed cannot last – while such people are tolerated, celebrated, or even allowed to govern!

      • Kosh103

        The more you talk the more you belong in China.

  • Alex

    Now in Wellington, the first picture would result in some insufferable hipsters calling the place a “heritage area”, and that the place has “character” due to addicts, homeless and the unemployable loitering around; and the same hipsters would decry that turning the place into the second picture would destroy the character.  We had this battle over the upper Cuba St with the bypass; formerly a derelict slum, now tidied up and smart.  And now we’re having the same battle over Newtown, because gasp horror supermarkets and apartment buildings are going up.

  • Mark

    Being communist apparently means you don’t know how to give a building a lick of paint to tidy it up a bit. Are communists lazy?

  • Jackhenderson00

    They would prefer the poor were poorer, provided the rich were less rich.

    • johnbronkhorst

      “The poor getting poorer while the rich get richer”, is the common LIE of the socialist….The truth is the poor, since Marx, have got substancially richer (under capitalism) and the rich have got slightly poorer but more numerous. Except in “socialist states where everyone stayed the same except the rich either left the country, were persecuted by the state or even assasinated by the state and their wealth squandered, mostly into the military, so the state could retain it’s grip on power!

    • Jester

      Jack refer Thatchers speech via YouTube. I believe she said something to the tune of ” they don’t care if the poor stay poor as long as the gap closes up”

      Envy politics. Nothing more, nothing less!

      • Jester

      • johnbronkhorst

        An earlier UK Tory also said….”The trouble with socialists is, they always run out of other peoples money!”

  • Scanner

    Again more proof that Helen Kelly should be ignored, given a free hand her and the band of merry men could take this country back 30 years, and still call it progress.

    By the way Helen, what did you say you earned a year, your quite keen to promote others salary package.

    • AngryTory

      Ignored? Hoeneckr died in penury and exile. Ceaușescu was executed. Kelly and the rest of them deserve no less!

    • acting up

      Yeah, come on Helen. Your rate of pay is the major issue of teh day.

      Fess up – what is it?

      I bet your salary could buy much paint, to paint many buildings.

      • Acting Up

        Still waiting Helen. Why haven’t you answered?

        I bet your house needs painting. In a neo-liberal economy, there is no excuse for a faded paint job. We have  all shades of colours, and many willing painters.

  • captain Kidd

    I can not for the life of me understand why someone like kosh doesnt fuck off to say Cuba or N Korea and live in paradise. 

    • Kosh103

      Because you are an idiot and dont understand the point that was being made.

      • Pukakidon

         If you think that a communist state is best, move to Korea or China, with all your Marxist buddies.  However, I am not sure that they are as tolerant as we are as far a Homosexuality is concerned.  I would not think Gay marriage is anywhere close to being discussed in their country.  They say they can cure homosexuality – through re-education camps, and guess what – it is a free state provided service.

        What a great tolerant society to live in eh!.

      • Kosh103

        Oh Puka, it seems you also missed the point. Although now that it has been shown that this pic is of a building in West Germany, well kinda shows that the West isnt as grand as some would like to pretend.

        Dont get me wrong I very much love living in a western world country  – but I am sure not blind to the fact that we have issues.

    • starboard

      they wouldnt have the poof

  • captain Kidd

    From time to time i come across die hard socialists,mostly they are comtemptable but also to be pitied,fancy going through ones life  with such a negative outlook.You just need to look over the ditch at the HSU union and the  coruption involved to find out how totaly moraly bankrupt so called socialists are.

  • jay cee

    true everyone loves capitilism when they are at the top or near it of the heap those same lovers of free enterprise always do a pretty good imitation of a stuck pig when their living standards drop and wonder why the government doesn’t step in to protect their bottom line, ie good old socialism.
     but for all that i still hold to the old joke:-

     whats the difference between communism and capitilism?

     under communism, man exploits man.

     under capitilism its the other way round! 

  • Le Sphincter

    A fact check shows the above Street – Gorlitzer Strasse was NEVER in East Germany. Yes it is near the old wall but  was opposite the ruins of the Gorlitzer Bahnhof which was allways in  WEST BERLIN.  Its between the Landwehr Canal and the River Spree in Kreuzberg.

    mmmmmm seems to make a mockery of  ‘most’ of the above comments.

    • Boss Hogg

      The Arshole – are the other 37 photos on the link all in West Germany as well??

      Lets think – how about North vs South Korea.

      I have been to an old Communist holiday resort near the town of Gustrow on the edge of a lake.  Very nice indeed.

      The comments from Arshole, Kosh and Jaycee bring me safely to the conclusions that you are all delusion little minded fuckwits.  The evidence of what this post is about is still there to see and is work in progress – if you happen to actually travel to see.

      Communisn has failed in all respects.  Capitilism is never going to be perfect – but you idiots have some little fantasy world that you must go to when you sleep…….fuck off.

    • Pukakidon

      What an arsehole.   Big picture you nut job, did you see any of the other photos.   If you don’t like it here in this capitalist country of ours, bugger off back to your socialist surrender monkey shit hole.   You wont have to worry about socialism there shortly, as projected birth rates and the changing population will mean surrender monkey land will be predominantly Muslim in the next 20years.  Lets see how you commie religious intolerant idiots survive in a Muslim fundamentalist country.

      • AngryTory

        “capitalist country of ours”

        Dunno which fucking country you’re living in but it sure ain’t NZ.

        John “Smile’n’Wave, the State House Kid” Key – Said Hellen’s policies were communism by stealth.  But he didn’t change any of the policies: I guess it was the stealth, not the communism, he was objecting to.

        Just this week, That well known hard-right propaganda mouthpiece, the NZ Listener: NZ cares only about fairness, not about freedom, success, prosperity.  Fairness creates property. Unfairness creates Wealth.

        Fact of the matter is in East Germany you could live in a state house, send your kids to a state school, and go to a state doctor or state hospital when you needed it. Income + Sales tax was around 30%, and you could drink as much as you could afford, and smoke wherever you wanted. Oh and you were allowed to discipline your children, even though they belonged to the State in theory.

        In NZ today  you can live in a state house, send your kids to a state school, and go to a state doctor or state hospital when you need it. Income + Sales tax is 50%, there are massive taxes on booze & fags & not to mention the Turia Nanny state, and of course, your children totally belong to the state so you can’t even discipline them! 

        NZ is more controlled than East Germany was in 1960. 

      • Pukakidon


        Difference is I have a choice to use all those state services, but I don’t. I use private medical pay for my doctor and have my own house and property.   In East Germany in the 60s there was no choice.  State makes all the choices.  I don’t partake in all the bludging services that you mention, however I am quite happy to pay taxes for those who are in real need.   Unfortunately many living off the state are now taking the piss.  I pay for myself and my family and have the freedom of choice. Big difference than the example you paint.

      • Boss Hogg

        Angry Man – you are totally correct.  Currently there is not one truely capitalist country in the world I can think of.  The US is about 1/2 way between Capitalism and Socilaism on a scale that has Socialism 1/2 between Capitalism and Communism.

        NZ is a socialist state that has a small number of Capitalists that are being strangled.

        Angry – Try doing the sums on taxation in EU countries and Scandic countries – that will make your eyes water.  Our company has done it and the only place that you can consider setting up a new venture looks to be Holland.  You can head east – but you have other “taxes” and security issues to consider……

        Then look at the taxes and business environment in SIngapore – – that’s better !!  When will we learn.  Mr Key talked about forging closer ties in ASEAN when he was here, I hope it will one day be more than talk.  NZTE and Min of Econimic Development also talk – but when will we get some tangible ACTION????

      • acting up

        Good on you for showing the way Pukakidon, you non-bludging paragon, you.

        Good to know that it is indeed possible never to have an accident and need ACC; never get laid off and need the dole; never get a bad illness and need the invalids benefit; never get old and need the pension; never need an education so never need a state or integrated school; never need to leave the house so not needing roads, foothpaths, the road code and other socialist impediments to freedom; never need a house and so not need building inspectors to be sure the damned thing doesn’t fall down; never need to worry about family and friends who might need access to a benefit cos they are also never going to get laid off, or get sick, of have an accident……

        Cos that would all be bludging.

      • Pukakidon

         Go fuck your self Acting Arse

        As for ACC I paid into that when I registered my Cars, Motorcycles, Played rugby and other sports.  I pay levies for myself and my employees, and unlike you, I have paid and still pay huge levies and I have never used the service. Because I dont need to.  You see what you have pointed as services are for those in need not for those who see it as a right.    ACC is an insurance scheme that I have paid into and have never used.  

        As I said I have earnt my money and pay for myself and my family, I have private medical insurance.   I said I dont mind paying for others, other than for wankers like you, you over inflated entitled arsewipe.  Labour party or Watermelon green leeches like you make me sick, you take and tell everyone what they are entitled to and you never contribute.  Because you suck everything dry you think everyone else does.  I dont, I have saved my  money, invested wisely and have a number of Superannuation schemes that will see me very comfortable in my retirement.   You see welfare is supposed to be a parachute to help you not a lifestyle that you and you piss taker bludgers abuse.

        It is shit sticks like you who constantly drain the rest and think my benevolence is is an entitlement, I have news for you, the Government does not pay you a cent, I do as a net tax payer like every other net taxpayer.    You are a leech and because of my benevolence I support you. So go back to your entitled world you arsehole.  

    • Granny

      And a slow fact check reveals that the photo was taken in Dresden, not Berlin.

      mmmmmm seems to make a mockery of your comment

    • Kosh103

      Oops, well cant win them all eh WO.

    • Tim

      As it is in fact in Dresden, well and truly East Germany, looks like the original point still stands and looks like Sphincter is a bit of a muppet.

  • HeyJude

    Cameron, thank you for posting those. They brought memories flooding back of my very short time there. The grayness and desolation and the sense of nothingness. Empty streets and empty shops. But the most striking thing was what you could see in people’s souls, identical to those pictures of the old buildings. It was a sad, sad place.

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