A Bovine Guide to Political Theory from The Utne Reader
Feudalism: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.
Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.
Pure socialism: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.
Pure communism: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.
Bureaucratic socialism: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need.
Russian communism: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.
Pure democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk. Representative democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.
American democracy: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures.
Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
Local governmental capitalism: The government condemns your cows under rights of eminent domain, knocks them over, and allows the mall to expand its parking lot.
Hong Kong capitalism: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank ,then execute a debt-equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cow's milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the feng shui is bad.
Totalitarianism: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.
Anarchism: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows.
Dictatorship: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
Surrealism: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
OK, it's not mine, just borrowed it.