Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Divided Power: what different systems look like


One of the strongest critiques of capitalism is its inability to produce good architecture. Notably, this critique is not limited to capitalism but applies to democracy as well. The images below show the architectural effect of the unification of power with economics. These are heavily biased towards a European frame of reference but apply to East Asia and the Middle East just as easily. Wherever there is monarchical absolutist feudalism there is good architecture. Since we are only comparing the best to the best it would be unfair to contrast a palace with a a gas station. Only the best of each type will do. The highest architecture capitalism can produce is the skyscraper while the highest form of architecture democracy can produce is the neoclassical government building. They are all compared here.

Capitalism is the original divided power with the state separating itself from economics. Notice that even is demotism (under democracy) power still looks pretty good. Only when socialism creeps in does power look consistently worse than capitalism.

Absolutist Feudalism

































Capitalism




















Demotism



























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