Communism vs. Capitalism : See The Difference

You can argue until you’re blue in the face but sometimes a picture is worth much more than a thousand words. These photos are a stunning punch-in-the-gut example to people on the left attacking consumerism and capitalism; THIS is the difference that economic systems make.

The work is by photographer Stefan Koppelkamm and were featured in an article in Der Speigel called A Massive Facelift for Eastern Germany. The before pictures show the scenery from the communist days and were taken in the early 1990s. The after pictures are today after unification.

As the article says:

Although fascinated by his time travelling, Koppelkamm realized in the early 1990s that no one but him was interested in the sights of the unspoilt East. Looked at in the cold light of day, his photos depict buildings with gray facades, broken windows, tattered blinds and bricked-up entrances. In front, temporary scaffolding protects pedestrians and parked cars from falling bricks and bits of masonry.

The widespread decay of East German buildings in the 1980s was clearly visible. Hardly anyone wanted to live in the gray buildings with moldy entranceways, where when it rained the water would pour out of the broken drain pipes and pummel against the outside wall. No one wanted apartments without a functioning bathroom, with coal heating and damp in the walls. People preferred the large residential complexes, which despite being rather bleak and cramped, were at least solid and came equipped with “full comfort,” as it was known in the GDR — central heating and a hot water supply.

Go look at the whole stunning gallery.

All photos copyright Stefan Koppelkamm


  1. Wish I could get that picture blow up and hang it on my wall next to the Constitution

  2. Reuben Tuck,

    What is going on in the national zeitgeist is not some benign campaign against obesity or consumerism or whatever.

    It is a very deliberate, very precise call for nationalization of entire sectors of the economy, the destruction of the very concept of contractual obligations (provided you are a member of the 99%, of course), and–as has been stated by so many Occupy protesters in signage, words, and deeds, the end of capitalism as an inherently abusive, unjust, evil system.

    Now that’s a lovely red herring you’ve dragged across the trail, but it’s pretty insulting to thinking people’s intelligence to say that this movement is basically just the grassroots version of Let’s Move. Give me a break, man.


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