Capitalism, Socialism, and Behavioral Theory

Richard F. Rakos


My personal observations of the conditions in and behaviors emitted by citizens in several socialist states and their capitalistic neighbors are first described and compared. I then discuss the applicability of behavioral theory to individual behavior in all environments and how those principles can be applied to an understanding of the emergence of capitalistic relationships. I suggest that behavioral theory is highly consistent with capitalistic arrangements, but quite problematic for socialistic ones. The difficulties include restricted variety of reinforcers, lack of response-reinforcer contingency, stimulus and response generalization, and modeling effects. TheĀ implications of the analysis are then briefiy discussed.

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