Beyond Capitalism – Albert Einstein, 1949

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About Christopher Chase

Co-creator and Admin of the Facebook pages "Tao & Zen" "Art of Learning" & "Creative Systems Thinking." Majored in Studio Art at SUNY, Oneonta. Graduated in 1993 from the Child & Adolescent Development program at Stanford University's School of Education. Since 1994, have been teaching at Seinan Gakuin University, in Fukuoka, Japan.
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34 Responses to Beyond Capitalism – Albert Einstein, 1949

  1. Pingback: Beyond Capitalism – Albert Einstein, 1949 | Talesfromthelou

  2. Jean says:

    Yet you think when the government owns the means of production – ultimately, that is YOU – that things will be better?

    More like you need a revolution every 20 years or so, as Thomas Jefferson said….

  3. stan foster says:

    Hey, Everybody read this, please,, please,thanks..

  4. Silly article. Have your planned economy, the perfect place is North Korea. What a great place to live

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  8. Gary Reber says:

    The core problem, as Albert Einstein identified, remains CONCENTRATE CAPITAL OWNERSHIP among the few. The solution is to abate all forms of CONCENTRATED CAPITAL OWNERSHIP and broaden personal capital asset formation simultaneously with the FUTURE growth of the economy. This can be accomplished by reforming monetary and tax policies to empower EVERY child, woman, and man to acquire personal capital asset OWNERSHIP in America’s FUTURE economy using INSURED, INTEREST-FREE capital credit, repayable out of the FUTURE earnings of the investments, without the requirement of past savings or ANY reduction in wages or earnings or benefits, should one be employed.

    The result can be an unprecedented engine of responsible green, sustainable growth whereby EVERY CITIZEN would be productive and OWN wealth-creating, income-producing capital assets and see their OWNERSHIP portfolios grow simultaneously with the growth of the economy, resulting in a FUTURE economy that can support general affluence for EVERY child, woman, and man.

    To achieve this FUTURE will require legislation as embodied in the proposed Capital Homestead Act (aka Economic Democracy Act) at,, and

    We will also need to ensure Monetary Justice (see

    These proposals are part of the greater Agenda of The Just Third Way Movement at,, and

  9. Reblogged this on just a girl in the whirl and commented:
    it’s nice to know that i have had similar thoughts. does that make me genius material? 😛

  10. johndjasper says:

    This is terrible! I hoped that the point of the post was to point out how Einstein was not the genius he was purported to be but instead I find people lapping it up like his flawed STR. You don’t need a genius to show what happens when socialism or communism rule.

    Recent examples of the USSR, China, Cuba, Germany under the National Socialist (NAZI) party are clear demonstrations of the failures of these systems. The USA, UK, and many other countries are examples where socialist programs overwhelm what free market economics remain and drive violent and repressive foreign policies.

    I suspect that Einstein was well aware of this but was smart enough to be on the winning side at all times and not fighting to the death for his beloved socialism.

    • Neall West says:

      What we have isn’t responsible capitalism anymore, though. It is socialism for the wealthy and corporations at the expense of everyone else. Consumer buying power is in a steep decline while prices and costs of living are increasing drastically. There is no ethical or moral justification for such a small number of people owning such a massive share of the wealth. It is impossible that they, themselves, did anything worthy of such compensation.

      • Barbara Tweten says:

        No ethical or moral justification is needed in capitalism. The system is set up for some to succeed and others not. Socialism is set up for some to be in control and others not. Each system will logically grow out of the ruin of the other. The juxtaposition of the systems would be the only way for an economy to survive. Could that have been the 20 year revolution cycle Jefferson talked about?

      • Joseph Schueler says:

        I agree with you, Barbara on some level. As seems to be true in most things in life, the best answer likely is somewhere in the middle, which is why I advocate for a mixed economic model, which is proving successful in many of today’s “socialist” titled countries. Norway, Denmark, and Sweden still maintain open capitalism and the ability to start and maintain a business not controlled by government, with regulations to ensure impacts are mitigated. A progressive, higher tax burden is placed on the wealthiest and it ensures things like health care, education, and progressive adjudication services are in place (educate, medicate, and adjudicate). These market failures are thus maintained while allowing the freedom to operate and live a high quality of life, regardless of your station within the system. No matter your social placement, everyone is afforded a high quality education to provide for their own future and healthcare is in place so that every citizen is able to ensure basic health. Adjudication avoids punishment and replaces it with skills training, with the understanding that people themselves are not inherently bad, but were lacking in basic tools for social and economic cohesion. This is the closest thing to a fully functional society I’ve ever heard of and invests in quality over quantity, an issue the USA desperately needs to understand. We are till in the throws of barbarism, labeling, judging, and discriminating against anyone who does not reflect our values or opinions, liberty being forfeit in the process as our neighbors are not treated as ourselves.

  11. Joseph Schueler says:

    What is becoming increasingly clear to developed societies is this; capitalism is the bedrock of every economy, however it does not resolve market failure scenarios. Market failures can be defined, described, and quantified in real and static terms (education is a commonly accepted market failure in that private education only deepens the divide between those with access to quality education and those without, a requirement to live and work as a sustainable member of society). Government is best described as E Pluribus Unum, from many, one. It exists to respond to market failures, but does a poor job of artificially effecting the free and private market. The private market relies on mutual consent and that freedom to consent or decline is the basis of Liberty. Therefore, it is not the role of government (the public), to infringe on the rights of the private citizen (the individual) in the private market and conversely, it is not the role of the private citizen (the individual) to infringe on the rights of the government (the public) through self interest. We have police for this reason. We do have an individual voice to represent us all (Unum) and that is our sacred right to self govern through voting. The economy needs to remain incorruptible by overt government control of production, while focusing public government programs on the market failures in society (education, health care, military, infrastructure, foreign affairs, anti trust) and otherwise let the free market ensure that free people can make free and independent choices about their private life.

    • johndjasper says:

      Mr Schueler, do you really believe this or are you just trying to convince the slaves that the system of tyranny imposed on them is noble? What supreme being gave us the police? Where did the government/public derive rights above the individual that the individual did not possess?

      How does the economy remain incorruptible by the actions of the most corrupt and corruptible institution known to man – government?

      The many market failures that you list are and always have been seizures of power by a small group of people over the many. Education became a tool for indoctrination of the masses and molding them into useful subjects in the eye of self-appointed elite. Defence became perpetuation of the political system and the ruling elite and a means to extend power beyond accepted borders. Healthcare became an unnatural monopoly for petrochemical sales. Antitrust – destroying naturally occurring monopolies, destined to be shortlived, in favour of those incapable or unwilling to compete in the free market. In all cases, whatever the public gained from this interference in their lives, they lost more precious treasures in the way of freedom and inalienable rights.

      What’s more, none of us chose the system of tyranny we live under. Our rulers don’t ask our permission to rule over us. Ironically, they spend our money to convince us that they are the only thing standing between us and tyranny, that we’ve somehow signed a binding social contract with them. They’ve even made it a crime of treason to question their right to rule over us.

      The only way that people can make free and independent choices about their private lives is in complete absence of government and therefore, within a free market.

      • Joseph Schueler says:

        Mr. Jasper,

        You sound very angry and on some level I don’t blame you, I am angry as well. I believe it is easy to poke holes in a system without ever having to grapple with the realities of a better system to replace it. Your solution is anarchy. ISIS can attest to the relative benefits and problems inherent in anarchy and like all anarchy, they will eventually fall from chaos into order (and back into chaos as do we all). In a perfectly free market, a perfectly legitimate response to a failed bargain is murder. With no oversight, rule of law, or system of justice, we return to a time when might makes right. Do you endorse this world view as the means to manage supply, demand, and production? If so, our current systems of governance come close to that result when contrasting nations. Democracy is the only thing in its way. A system of, for, and by the people.

        Do you vote? Do you engage our systems of governance to ensure the public trust? Do you look for ways to enshrine our sacred and inalienable rights in equality and act as a private citizen to shield and safeguard those who are not able to safeguard themselves? Do you maximize your own utility function as do all other humans? From the unrealistic conclusion you draw, I’m not reassured. I believe you are better than that, but your theoretical framework breaks down along these lines. Yes, power corrupts. And yes, we must fight this corruption for a free society to remain free. A mixed economy with democratic socialist systems to account for market failures is the best approach to economic liberty we can get, sustaining an educated middle class who can retain it if they can learn from history, but the current system is beyond repair and I agree it must be torn down on some level.

        However, it can only be torn down through a nonviolent, internal struggle that reclaims power from the oligarchy elite and hands it back to the people, as the senate did from Caesar (back then, the loss of one life to reclaim the lives of the rest was a win), as Gandhi did from imperialist Britain, as George Washington did to our republic when he clearly could have stayed president, but stepped down. We can stand for more or we can fall to less, great people are separated along the same line. The funny thing about economic principle is the variables may change, but the theoretical framework that governs it does not. Communism will always place too much power in the hands of the government and pure capitalism will always place too much power in the hands of the rulers of production, who then seek control of the government to maintain power (oligarchy). It’s a bit of a paradox, but where free people can self govern, they can and will find a better path towards sustainability. The free market plays an important role if left to remain free. Government also plays a role if left to remain democratic. In these settings, the body politic possesses the means to account for the inherent problems in any society, leaving the free market to ensure liberty while accounting for the market failures that must be controlled to ensure any one entity cannot usurp it. however, it takes work and cooperation to do so. We live in the lowest violent time period per capita in human history. We are interconnecting in many ways the likes of which were never thought possible. We know the lives of those who would sit at the end of our barrel and in that knowledge, we see ourselves there and withdraw. Those who cannot see this have created the hell they sit in, I only wish you good things, so hope this is not the space you spend all your time in, it is so much brighter and sustainable in society. Make your society, do not tear it down, for you havbe nothing to replace it with, but hopelessness.

        My closing thought: Who are these slaves you are speaking of? Are you leading the slaves towards justice or certain mayhem? That was rhetorical, the answer is no one and mayhem. Your pulpit is facing an empty room, it’s easy to lead a revolt of no one, I’m sure they all agree with you.

      • johndjasper says:

        Mr Schueler,

        Why be angry? We’re merely standing here on the graves of millions and probably billions directly or indirectly murdered by governments just in the last century and or so, arguing about how bad things would be if anarchy ruled the world.

        You use the phrase “grappling with realities” and then speak of ISIS as though it were an independent, grassroots movement that wasn’t created, trained and fully supported by Western governments and their intelligence agencies. You’re understanding of the words “chaos” and “anarchy” leave much to be desired. To save trouble, I’ll use chaos to mean a society without the rule of law which can include the complete lack of laws or the arbitrary application of thousands of laws. I will always use anarchy to mean “without rulers.” The latter implies the rule of law otherwise it would be chaos.

        Yes, A perfectly legitimate response to a failed bargain or contract is murder. Yes, might makes right! These are true even now under the many systems of government in use around the world. The only difference is who can legally pull the trigger. Countries, with the exception of the USA, manage quite well under the current global system of anarchy. Why is it considered impossible for individuals to do the same?

        Democracy – the tyranny of the majority – is actually worse than tyranny by a monarchy. A ruling family at least has an incentive to nurture the country for the benefit of their offspring. Democracy suffers from the tragedy of the commons, where each short term leader maximises their gains at the expense of the future health of the country. We do not “enshrine our sacred and inalienable rights” by surrendering them to a group of people who supposedly are immune to the failings of humanity. We do not ensure our security by enabling governments to aggress against individuals, companies, or whole countries under the guise of protecting national interests.

        We protect our rights best by forming voluntary associations for mutual trade and defence preferably without artificial borders, flags, and patriotic labels. We safeguard those who cannot fend for themselves best by creating a wealthy society that can afford to care of the unfortunate. We establish the rule of law by recognising and adhering to natural law based on property rights, (as Monica Perez ( is fond of saying, “don’t touch me or my stuff!” and apply the law globally. As for education, anyone who wants to provide “free” education for the masses is perfectly entitled to setup an education system funded by voluntary donations. Similarly, healthcare, housing, sanitation and clean water, safe-homes for orphans, relief for disaster victims, etc can be provided by a voluntary model. If people aren’t willing to fund these programs voluntarily, any attempt to force them to pay for it amounts to robbery, a criminal act under natural law.

        The current system doesn’t need to be torn down – it is destroying itself. The elite use government power to transfer our wealth into their pockets, transform our blood into their continued rule over us and to extend their rule over others. Yes, the elite can hire violent thugs (armies/police) to enforce their rule over us but that costs a lot of money. They ruled for centuries on the strength of superstitions, then religions, and now on patriotism, and taxed us to pay for our violent subjection. However, their greed has no bounds and the massive transfer of wealth since 2008 has made their position untenable. The escalation of wars helps to obfuscate this situation while it further undermines the foundations. Yet, the growing ranks of homeless will not sit idle forever. The continued tightening of the yoke will not go unnoticed. When the money becomes worthless, the power goes off, the food disappears, the fuel supply ends, all hell will break loose and the illusion of democracy will die.

        Our challenge is to end this downward spiral before the complete crash and rebuild a system that doesn’t put us back on the same cycle of power, corruption, and failure that is inherent in government. The system will cease to have power over us when we choose to stop supporting it. This is partially an education issue as most people believe that government is just and inescapable despite what they actually know about its failing. It is also an issue of courage as we have so much invested in the system and turning away will be hard and dangerous. When we reach a critical mass and run out of excuses, the change will happen quickly. Failing that, it will be up to the remnant to salvage what they can of civilisation and start over again.

        You say “The free market plays an important role if left to remain free.” and then say, essentially, that the government has to manage the economy to account for the market’s failures. Obviously, the contradiction escapes you or you have a different definition of the word “free!” Free doesn’t mean do anything you want within the limitations that we’ve set for you. It most assuredly means that any two parties may trade between themselves as they see fit without a third party deciding what can be traded, who can trade with whom, what currency must be used, if any, or how much of the value of the trade must be paid to the third party upon pain of death. Freedom means that you cannot be conscripted into an army or labour force, be vaccinated or medicated against your wishes, detained (except when caught in a criminal act), searched, robbed, or similarly aggressed upon. The alternative to freedom, to any degree, is slavery. You’re either 100% free or you are enslaved.

        My closing thought is on how people such as you, judging by your words, believe that society must be established and controlled by the educated elite. Once again, the masses are not capable of building a system to meet their needs and provide for civilised society. This is the same rhetoric used to support central control of whole economies and justify repressive state bureaucracies and police states. It is self-serving for those in power or desiring such power. History teaches us time and again that central control brings nothing but bread lines, inefficient and wasteful production, misery, starvation and concentrations of wealth in the top tier. The graves, mostly unmarked, are still there, as testimony to the truth I’m passing on here.

      • Joseph Schueler says:

        Established and controlled by all people equally, the definition of democracy. In regards to your anarchistic state, tell me how all that works out for you in the near future, the distant future… or never, as it will never actually happen in real terms. Humans are too inquisitive, too greedy, and too invested in themselves to not search out a higher social function than anarchy, it is where we start, but will never be where we end, we’ll destroy ourselves first, then perhaps start all over, order into chaos. It’s a beautiful dream, but in reality, together we accomplish more and fighting that social construct is as doomed to failure as creating it. Yes, there are flaws in any social order, but so too are there flaws without governance. Greed and violence are normal elements of society and are only curbed through rule of law. In nature, the might makes right principle accounts for this as you agree, but when a person has the capacity to act beyond instinct, remaining in a base line state of instinctive reaction is regressive and fulfills nothing. Your bitterness towards social well-being is perhaps a symptom of your social fears or perhaps the social rejection you have endured, true social acceptance being a dream we all wake up to enjoy from time to time. We all experience the best in life in a social manner and love… well, I hope you understand. To search for something and someone greater than ourselves is the eternal desire of human kind. You give humans too much credit for being able to live without government, yet too little credit to master the variables that create harmony and peace. I can only say it is belief, but I believe that peace is possible. It may not be very probable at this point in time, and certainly you will never eradicate crimes of passion and ignorance. However, the means with which we can control the variables that make war necessary or unnecessary are in fact within our reach currently and we continue to diminish violence per capita annually to that end, on an amazing trajectory towards a world without mass warfare. Alas, we all have to believe (and trust) for it to come true. Yes, you can read about the tragedies in this ever interconnected world, but taken as a whole, we are safer, more empathetic, and self aware of our impacts on the world around us than ever before. I think perhaps we can both have a sense of these issues and try them out in our minds and mouths and ears. However, our own senses have little to do with reality. I respect your candor and do indeed hope you find this world of non-governance that somehow masters what the governed world cannot. I enjoy the thoughts you bring to mind, but I also will not be holding my breath. My bet is on society, a society which cares not at all what either of us think and will not bet on anything. It will just survive as it has always done, while extremists claim Armageddon and live their own wretched world view into destruction. And while peace advocates are killed and never see their ideals come to fruition, life will continue to survive and perhaps in their death they will know peace finally. I know that my peace comes from acting in a manner that is fair and just to others. I am troubled by the same issues you are, but will always do what I can personally to make the world a better place and do not see the path you describe as doing so, just making it harder for any amount of people to survive without tearing their opponents apart. I get it, the world is bad, I know. Everyone is evil and you know a better way. I do not hear anything remarkable in your false claims for a better approach to society, only regurgitated thoughts about a false utopia you probably read about. To me, your statements are hubris, the usual feeling of someone who has never had to carry the weight of true leadership. If the life of ten people fell on your shoulders, you would likely yearn for some organization, much less having to carry the weight of billions of people. Or is your approach to shrug off that responsibility? you would necessarily defy human nature itself in doing so and there too goes your social anarchism as another, perhaps like me, takes up the challenge.

    • Pointless, methinks, to comment to all your platitudes, considered actual facts by Mr Schueler. I would simply point to the last sentence: “The economy needs to remain incorruptible by overt government control etc…”, and ask how you think that is going for us earthlings?
      Perhaps you may have a moment of vision by closing your books, going out for a week-long hike, thinking about how people across Earth live, exist, or subsist. Then, write about that, instead of repeating what you have been taught.
      Are your rights still more important than the rights of a homeless person?
      In a free market; who consents to business dealings?
      Do you believe that the latest Wall Street crash was a surprise, inevitable, and that it was juste to have tax payers shore up the fallen structures?

      • Joseph Schueler says:

        How is that recovery going for you? I’m flush, but not only in money (enough perhaps to not live by other’s leave someday hopefully when I’m old and can’t work if I save well, the rest will go to help the world, if my kids don’t learn the value of hard work I will not be helping them at all, they need to build their own future), but in my community where true value exists. I agree a nice long walk in nature will help, headed there now, thank you for the reminder! I work in the nonprofit sector, I didn’t only read my views in books, I experience and reinforce them daily in fellowship with the poor, not to hand them out things, but to empower them to help themselves and support them in their struggle upword. Education is the unifying element, so don’t be too hard on books. Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Look at Russia, WW II, the Iron Curtain still engulfed in the same issues we currently face. Our history is so blatantly exposed in today’s technology, the communication link a product of capitalism. It all has a cost. and I am never so fixed in my views to learn, help me please, if you will. What is it you are saying? we should hand our liberties over to a centralized government? We should destroy capitalism? We should own the means of other people’s production and thereby destroy innovation and the motive to create? If your society is not fee, it is your job to free it. If your society is not innovative, by all means there is a market to do so, please get out there and create it. If you had the ability to sit and collect and not contribute, would you still get up and go to work each and every day? Even on the bad days? You prefer another to tell you what to do? I will then. We all have to work and for most it is intense work just to not feel or see their own incompetence. If we choose not to work in school, our life becomes a life of manual labor toil. Well hot hell, that sucks, but what to be done about it? I prefer to whistle while I work, that attitude is invaluable and always makes me smile, especially on the worst days. How about you, does it feel good to work to you or are you just wanting to get others to do the work for you? Appreciation is the most sacred gift. I am open to most ideas, but none that would subjugate free people from thinking freely or limit their ability to maximize their own utility. Doing so is folly as much so as holding money as the end in itself. However, we should certainly care for everyone and provide for basic needs (the truest form of socialism, and likely the end result of democracy with capitalism at its base). It’s a means to an end rooted in the common good of all people. We should all be understood, but for anyone to claim they should get something for nothing and still not have to carry some weight for it, is the oldest farce, just a new form of slavery. Believe me, I understand that power corrupts, just look at the American Government. Corruption at its finest, but don’t blame that on Capitalism, don’t blame it on liberty, don’t blame it on government. Blame it on ignorance that allows a democratic society to absolve itself from responsibility for the terrible things done in our name. We should all be ashamed. Now, let’s get to work and do something about it. Let’s become better selves. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Be better, get to work. I believe in you.

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  13. Vasant Chotai says:

    And that is the reason why governments must not be run like a corporation – in the manner business leaders and right-leaning ideologues tell us. Government has the responsibility to care for all people, not just the shareholders; Government has to consider not only delivery efficiency, policy effectiveness, fiscal responsibility but also the impact on the environment, effect on people at each stratum of community, security of the society, societal progress, etc. That calls for much more than just profit.

  14. Andrew Klein says:

    Reblogged this on andrewpaulkleinblog and commented:
    The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

    • Joseph Schueler says:

      She or he is certainly the citizen on which democracy depends! Power over, power under, power with. I choose power with. Will you help me maintain power with others, or will you seize upon the safety and removal of work that comes with maintaining power over? These are the fundamental questions we must ask any representative of power, but ultimately ourselves first.

  15. chrioni blaze says:

    Powerful sentiments from a renown philosopher. I like this line of thought.

  16. kk16085 says:

    Reblogged this on kk16085 and commented:
    SImple way to understand moribund capitalism and futuristic Socialism

  17. hima lal parajuli says:

    That’s why the entire wealth has gone to the hand of some 8 handful persons (around 2017)…but we, educated people are still advocating for the safe of such ugly capitalism….let us save the people and earth, through social revolution advocating for People’s Political Economy( PPE), which can solve the contradictions presented between haves and have nots , the base of whose is Marxist economy.

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