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Questions About Capitalism

I chanced upon this site while trying to find a text of the Communist manifesto and could not help but notice your response to Ash. I have a response to the two reasons that you isolate as the inefficiencies of socialism.

First the argument that in a socialist society there is no incentive for workers is based in a certain mindset. This mindset is indicative of a capitalistic mode of thought i.e. A person needs to have material interest to invest his or her time. This selfish nature is what drives the competition that is so necessary for a capitalistic society. The idea is focused on what is best for me type of rational. In this mindset a socialistic society can never exist. Instead socialism strives to change the focus of incentives. Instead of personal gain one would gain satisfaction in the betterment of the community. If all actions taken by an individual are meant to better the community then all actions in turn would better the individual in a society. The obvious answer to what I just typed is that itís a utopian idea. This is only true in the Status Quo, if one adopts the mindset that capitalism advocates i.e. itís a dog eat dog world and ill get mine the current situation can! not help but exist. In this mindset socialism is not given the change to work. As for the references to the USSR that was never a truly socialist society, more of a banter for the US to attack during the cold war. In actuality the USSR under Stalin was more a totalitarian state then the ideal socialist state i.e. a wolf in sheepís clothing.

It has dawned on me that I have not answered the first response. A simple question should be sufficient to answer the first point, Would you be happy doing nothing all day? I say no, when people are bored there is no joy in fact its one of the worst things that can occur, maybe itís just me but I am miserable when I am doing nothing and bored. Also the part about the socialist mindset answers this on point. A society where the community is the focus would be the incentive. Itís a win win scenario without the selfishness that can lead to oppression and transformation of people into labor.

Thanks for your time in reading this and if you would like I will be accepting money orders in penny increments for my thoughts.

D Li

Author's Response

Dear D Li,

Thanks for your kind and learned note. However, I must point out one minor factor which you overlook. You can't possibly get people to conform to your ideal without imposing force and deadly force at that. You see freedom is the ability to do what you want and how you want with the resources you own. Your one true resource is your time. If the state forces you to work only for its benefit and the benefit of the community then it takes away your freedom. The Soviet Union, North Korea, China, et cetera were all repressive regimes, not because they were mere thug states, but because to impose communism requires thuggish tactics.

On the other side of the coin, in a capitalist society such as the United States we put out 50 percent of our earnings in taxes of one kind or another in order to prop up the utopian ideals of our elected officials. Beyond that, people freely donate vast sums on a constant basis to help their neighbors and people all over the world. Capitalism provides a better life for everyone while providing the maximum possible freedom to the individual especially when it is coupled with a republican democracy. Communism only provides power and wealth to the apparatchiks who think they know better than individuals how those individuals should live their lives.

In a free country, you in fact have the freedom to be a communist. You can pool your resources, combine with other individuals, form a commune and live your ideal existence. It has been and is being done here. Why involve the state? Why make other people live the life you crave? Take the bull by the horns and live it for yourself; if it is a superior way of life others will naturally gravitate to it. But if you find out that human nature creates a situation where there is competition for the resources of your happy commune. If you find out that people become wasteful because they do not have personal responsibility for those resources. If you find that people become disgruntled because they no longer control their own time, don't say that I did not warn you.

Cordially,

WJR

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