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Why I Cautiously favor Capitalism over Communism

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posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:25 AM
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There have been a few threads in the past few days that have ended up in debates between these two systems.

I'd like to share my thoughts on the subject.

Keep in mind, that at 22 years old, my outlook is still developing and seems to change daily.

When I first became politically interested, in 2008, my initial leaning was toward the left. I thought for a while that our society would be best served by nationalizing some key industries: banking, health care, energy. In the aftermath of the economic collapse, I was convinced that the private sector could not be trusted in such a consequential industry such as banking/finance. I agreed with the Health Care Act, and figured that many more people would be able to receive treatment without threatening to cripple them financially. I saw many instances of environmental abuse, and thought that the energy sector may be better served by a command style shift toward environmental protection and alternatives to oil.

When reading the US Socialist Party Platform, I find myself agreeing with the majority of ideals. I thought that the fastest way to higher wages, lower prices, high employment, widespread health care, affordable education, peace, and environmental responsibility was aggressive government action.


But during the past four years my thinking has changed some.

I still agree completely with this type of sociology. Educating everyone, access to health care, support for the struggling, etc. But now I believe the means of achieving this are best done in a different manner.

When imaging the ideal society, the perfect communist state and the perfect capitalist state are essentially the same. The difference is in the communist state, all social and economic changes are legislated. They are mandated.

So, I think I was hypnotized by the hypothetical promises offered by the socialist...and further the communist model. The issue is that humanity in it's current state seems not capable of this type mutual responsibility. In communist countries, power gets concentrated in the hands at the top of the chain in the same way we see in nations with capitalist economies.

What is needed is a change in ethics, and I believe this is better achieved within the capitalist, free market system.

In a socialist country there would be a highly graduated tax system and generous social programs aimed at liberating the poor, administrated by a vast bureaucracy.

It would be better, and more authentic, if the rich used their wealth to help the poor within their freedom.

Authenticity.

When attempting to create a better society, it is much better for a people to gradually advance their ethic and morality than for such practices to be coerced.

Socialists/communists look at a state like America and see all the wealth, productive capabilities, and resources to drastically raise the quality of life for a huge portion of the population. It follows that by instituting a government that follows this type of morality, great goals can be achieved.

The fallacy is that there is no reason to think the people in government are any more capable of a higher morality than people in the private sector.

The answer to our issues, in my mind, is to one by one hold ourselves to a much higher ethic. Even if you have little disposable income, most have disposable time. Volunteering and doing community service is the capitalist response to a government with an increasing social reach. If the private sector does not prove itself to be capable of taking care of each other, then the argument against collectivism is not so strong.

If the middle class were more charitable, the upper class would have to be as well. We need to raise the standard of social responsibility within our freedom, before that freedom is lost.

There is a growing dissatisfaction with the wealthy coming from a lower class that really isn't much better. The general population has it within it's power to demand better companies, better communities, and better government.

Since 2008 I have reversed by position on nationalizing these industries. By doing so people give up their power to the Capitol. It would be more authentic progress if health was prioritized within communities and localities, and care was approached from a preventative standpoint.

People are capable within their capitalist freedom to increase local production in food, energy, and goods of all kinds. A business owner is capable of sacrificing some profits to provide a few more jobs and better benefits to people in the community. Education costs can be driven down if more people volunteer and participate in the learning process of the local children.

I still agree with all the ideals of a socialist/communist society, besides the legislative means of achieving them. I do think the wealthy should sacrifice more of their income to provide jobs and security to the working class. I do think we need to be more environmentally responsible.

But if these goals are not achieved by a free progression of ethics and standards by which we hold ourselves at all levels of society, then the outcome will be illusory. Corruption will plague those in power, until there is a mass change in conduct motivated by an authentic desire to be better people.

I'd love to hear feedback on that little essay. I'm sure my thinking wasn't fully expressed, and any additions or discussion is appreciated....as I said my outlook is developing, and any one of you may change my mind or even inspire me to the point of epiphany.
edit on 12/10/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: typo




posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:30 AM
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In sum,

I cautiously favor capitalism because I believe progress made with freedom of choice is superior, and more authentic to progress made through legislation.

Ideal capitalism and ideal communism are essentially the same societies, but with central law and administration in the case of communism.

Because of this centralization, there is a loss of individual empowerment.

The reason I say "cautiously" is because to this point, this freedom has not resulted in the idealistic society. Socialsim/communism may in fact be the faster route to achieve it, but it would be flawed beneath the surface because of social mandates..instead of genuine social responsibility.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:31 AM
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Personally, I think your essay has a good deal of wisdom in it. Socialism is, in my view, the outcome when you have like minded people working in Good Faith and for the true common good. Communism is what normally happens when human factors intrude and the ugly beasts of greed and ambition insert themselves into an otherwise great idea.

Like you note, Capitalism is characterized by forming much of the mindset and way of life by those living it and adapting as necessary. Socialism is mandated, forced and imposed by the power of the State irregardless of the will of the people. One hopes the State has their best interests in mind...but alas, under that system, it's just a hope with almost no recourse but to defect if it goes badly. Of course, now the question will be...defect where? We were the place people defected to when Communist nations got to be too much. Err..... Who do the helpers call when they need help?



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:34 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Yeah, I may have lumped socialism and communism together a bit much. But they are essentially cousins of the same ideology that conflicts with the free market, as I understand it.

Thanks for the comments.

ETA a little more: I am from NY, a very liberal state. 2008 was my first year voting and I was so impressed by Obama, that I lined up with the Democratic view on everything and even took it a bit farther in some places.

Where I take pride is my desire to learn both sides of the coin. As I studied the arguments on both sides, I found myself agreeing more and more with a decentralized ideology.

I still voted for Obama this year, mostly because the GOP doesn't impress me much more than the Democrats and I thought Obama may be better in assisting to resolve foreign conflicts. Surely there is some lingering feeling from my first impression in 08 too, which is more emotional than logical. I like Obama, I really do. I think America will be alright in the next 4 years, Obama will play a key role in avoiding WW3, and once the economy is more stable we can address serious spending reform.

Very conflicted about it all, though. So is being young and learning about politics, I guess.
edit on 12/10/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:39 AM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 


I think Humans, in nature, were suppose to live in a True communist setting, sharing and supporting each other, but our "morality" is so screwed that, when one singe entity is given so much power, it will lose its mind and act in favour of itself. People who are influenced by this role, will be greedy as well.

Capitalism is born out of trying to beat another in something and using the demand and supply tactics.

Current world population is not ready for true communism, we need to be wiped out by something and restart with nothing.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:40 AM
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You're making a mistake with lumping in the nature of the state within socialism. Not all socialists believe the state is the solution. In fact, proto-socialists tended not to included the state at all. You might be interested in the concept of mutualism, the co-operative movement and so on. It's 'socialism without the calories of the state'.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 


Well said. I has always boggled my mind that so many people think that government has their best interests at heart and automatically would be more moral than the private sector. Well said.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:41 AM
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reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


I'll look into it, thanks for the reply. I just posted about how I probably equated socialism and communism to a higher extent than they should be.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:42 AM
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True Communism, i.e- working for the community, shall never be attained by the ugly, greed-driven people our planet is made up of now.



Until the day comes that people wake up and realize that we're a global community, the dollar shall rule you.



Communism for the win.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:45 AM
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Originally posted by Unrealised
True Communism, i.e- working for the community, shall never be attained by the ugly, greed-driven people our planet is made up of now.



Until the day comes that people wake up and realize that we're a global community, the dollar shall rule you.



Communism for the win.


True communism is unatainable because people are not insects. Some will not want to work, if they can get just as much as a worker. Some will try to work on the side to get more value to themselves personally. If you wanted to get fresh vegetables in the Soviet Union, you didn't go to the collective, you went to the black market. People would just do enough to get by on the collective and then would go home and work backyard gardens and sell the vegetables on the black market because they could get a direct benefit from their labor.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:48 AM
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Originally posted by NavyDoc

Originally posted by Unrealised
True Communism, i.e- working for the community, shall never be attained by the ugly, greed-driven people our planet is made up of now.



Until the day comes that people wake up and realize that we're a global community, the dollar shall rule you.



Communism for the win.


True communism is unatainable because people are not insects. Some will not want to work, if they can get just as much as a worker. Some will try to work on the side to get more value to themselves personally. If you wanted to get fresh vegetables in the Soviet Union, you didn't go to the collective, you went to the black market. People would just do enough to get by on the collective and then would go home and work backyard gardens and sell the vegetables on the black market because they could get a direct benefit from their labor.



It isn't about being insects.


It's about knowing that the world needs you as much as it needs the next person.

It's about giving a part of yourself so that others can thrive, too.






It's about being proud of your life, your community, and your world.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:52 AM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 


Nice essay. Petty clear cut thoughts. I like it.

Socialism vs Capitalism...in my mind...it is the same. The problem are not ideologies, man made greed destroys any social structure.

There will be no change for the lowly...until a man changes. Any of the ideologies would work...if we were to be fair, honest and tolerant as beings. But instead, we are what we are, and no system is gonna change it. Only a shift in conciousness.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 08:03 AM
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reply to post by NavyDoc
 

I'd like to chime in and say that's not exactly true. Communism IS attainable and that IS the problem. True Communism in all it's "glory" can be had and can be seen to demonstrate. The problem..that is lost on the people usually intended for the lessons...is that it works among like minded individuals who come together expressly for the purpose of living that way. Communes were an interesting example in some cases and still are.

So it makes it infinitely more difficult to put down this notion of Communism as a good thing ,..or Socialism without the VERY likely slip into the ugly variant of Communism when we say it never works.......and the cadre of recruiters running all over the place these days can show that it does ..however selectively it's shown, eh?

^^ I thought out and chose the words for that too....I think it's an accurate description of what we're watching in many cases right now. There is a war for hearts and minds...and even the language often used is a throw back to other times and places.
History repeats alright. In the worst ways sometimes.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 08:13 AM
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Very thoughtful and well written op! I too have looked into both political ideologies, and I am left with the same conclusion regarding both:

They are ideologies....they are based on "ideals". Therefore, they both could potentially work great in theory.
But they both fall apart when applied to reality.

Why? Because they are both based on the ideal that humans are these noble creatures and aren't succeptible to any moral flaws or human mistakes and weaknesses. Once you take into account that humans have a tendency to corrupt everything they touch, or be corrupted by everything they touch, then it becomes clear there is no "right" political system.

Whether its the greedy and power hungry communists or the greedy and power hungry capitalists, makes no difference to me. Once people attain a certain amount of wealth and power, they all seem to become corrupted by it (with exceptions of course).

The only way any of these political systems could really function the way they are supposed to, is if people followed them the way they are supposed to. If we had people "doing the right thing" I think any of these systems would be just fine. But then we get into the deeper philosophical issues of what the "right thing" entails.....

I personally prefer anarchism, because it allows for maximum freedoms and requires maxium personal responsibility, but again there is always that "human nature" factor that mucks it all up!



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by Mijamija
 





I personally prefer anarchism, because it allows for maximum freedoms and requires maxium personal responsibility, but again there is always that "human nature" factor that mucks it all up!


Yeah, I was almost defining perfect capitalism as nearly equated with idealized anarchism.

The entire question here, is whether or not people are capable of building a just society with maximum freedom. And if not, how much freedom is too much. Right now I think we are seriously approaching the threshold where there is not enough freedom for people to authentically develop.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:03 AM
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reply to post by luciddream
 


I agree that humans would be best served living in a communistic way...but it can only be achieved by doing so as a result of free progression. Otherwise, the ideals of communism will get lost because people have no other choice.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:30 AM
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reply to post by PatrickGarrow17
 


I agree that taking away freedom is stifling and repressive and any political system that denies freedom is sure to fail. In this sense, it would seem that the US model is in theory preferential over say, the former USSR version of communism. I think choice is healthy and necessary, but I also question at what point does choice become overwhelming? Having too many options can be just as difficult as not having any. It is a hard but necessary question to ask. And I imagine that everyone has a different level of comfort concerning choice.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by Unrealised

Originally posted by NavyDoc

Originally posted by Unrealised
True Communism, i.e- working for the community, shall never be attained by the ugly, greed-driven people our planet is made up of now.



Until the day comes that people wake up and realize that we're a global community, the dollar shall rule you.



Communism for the win.


True communism is unatainable because people are not insects. Some will not want to work, if they can get just as much as a worker. Some will try to work on the side to get more value to themselves personally. If you wanted to get fresh vegetables in the Soviet Union, you didn't go to the collective, you went to the black market. People would just do enough to get by on the collective and then would go home and work backyard gardens and sell the vegetables on the black market because they could get a direct benefit from their labor.



It isn't about being insects.


It's about knowing that the world needs you as much as it needs the next person.

It's about giving a part of yourself so that others can thrive, too.






It's about being proud of your life, your community, and your world.


And not being an individual and not having desires, abilities, and needs that are different than your fellow man. Pure communism cannot work because some will not want to work if they can just live off the giving nature of others. Why dream and innovate and work hard to create an idea if all you are is a cog in the machine? How does this utopia make certain that everyone pulls their own weight? Ultimately we come down to force.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by NavyDoc
 

I'd like to chime in and say that's not exactly true. Communism IS attainable and that IS the problem. True Communism in all it's "glory" can be had and can be seen to demonstrate. The problem..that is lost on the people usually intended for the lessons...is that it works among like minded individuals who come together expressly for the purpose of living that way. Communes were an interesting example in some cases and still are.

So it makes it infinitely more difficult to put down this notion of Communism as a good thing ,..or Socialism without the VERY likely slip into the ugly variant of Communism when we say it never works.......and the cadre of recruiters running all over the place these days can show that it does ..however selectively it's shown, eh?

^^ I thought out and chose the words for that too....I think it's an accurate description of what we're watching in many cases right now. There is a war for hearts and minds...and even the language often used is a throw back to other times and places.
History repeats alright. In the worst ways sometimes.





Communes did work briefly, but look at all of the communes during the heyday of the practice. Almost all have broken up: jealousy, rivalry, some working more than others, laziness--human nature broke up those communes. Those that survive, survive because there they are surrounded by a capitalist world so when they need something they cannot produce they can go off the commune and get it.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 10:08 AM
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Patrick, you mentioned the ability to "authentically develop". I agree, in our current conditions this ability has severely been diminished, both by too much government regulation and red tape, and also by humanity's own shortcomings.

Again, if people "did the right thing" and were intrinsically fair and cooperative and strove for the "common good" we would not need a bazillion government regulations, suppressing our ability to create, produce, innovate and improve.

And our ability to do these very things are at the heart of the matter because if we were a society rich in these aspects and we were given the freedom to pursue these goals in a responsible manner I think many of our nations woes would evaporate. As it stands, this stifling of our goals has impacted us in many ways. I sadly do think we need a certain amount of regulation to keep us from running amok, but I think our current regulation system is a nightmare!





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