My friend suggested a while ago that I write about communism vs capitalism. I decided to do so today, mainly because I have a cold and can’t be bothered thinking about important things 🙂 Because if you think this is going to be an objective article you need to close this page immediately, I don’t do that kind of stuff when I feel miserable and sorry for myself! 🙂
So here goes: I haven’t read anything about communism or capitalism as theories, only as the opinions of people. I also grew up in a communist country until I was almost 11, then spent my teenage years assimilating a different reality and wishing for an even more different one.
I have this theory that ideas are only as good as the people who apply them, not as the people who think them up. I should know, being an idealist. 🙂 As such, I regard both communism and capitalism as failures, insofar as the ideas go. Because by applying them you ignore huge swathes of humanity and that leads, as it should, to misery.
An example, maybe? Doctors – this has been done to death, but still it deserves a mention. Communism – they are people who provide a service, therefore they need to be recompensated in proportion to their needs… come again? They have spent how many years in university, elbow deep in whatever substances people’s bodies manage to scrounge up and you want to pay them how much? The needs of a doctor are, after all, not that much higher than a labourer’s… perhaps a doctor might need to preserve their hearing a bit better so they can auscultate properly. But a bed, a roof over one’s head, food on the table and clothes on one’s back should be enough, huh?
Capitalism – they are people who are providing a service and need to be recompensated according to their skills, but at the same time we can’t let just anybody use these skills, only those who can afford it, the rest are obviously not really integrated in this society!
Simplistic? You bet! But that is what I saw happening, what I have been told by innumerable people time and time again. I saw my people reach for plant medicine not only because it works, but also because sometimes they didn’t have enough money for a bribe. And the USA leads in the other direction with their user-pays system – google the results.
If one ignores the natural urge to compete, you get misery. If one ignores the natural urge to belong to a community, you get misery. And it doesn’t only have to do with the material things. The very people the system is supposed to serve are damaged, sometimes almost beyond repair. Meaning, faith, enlightment, love, what you tell your children when they go on a date, how and what you communicate, what you hope and what you despair of, what you rebel against, the battles you choose and the principles you crush under necessity…ah, but it is enough to break hearts and spirits!
They have advantages, both systems, and I am aware of some of them and have weighed the sacrifices one must make to get them. Between the two systems, if there is no other globe I could travel to, I would grit my teeth and choose capitalism. There is a difference, and it is enough that one can breathe deeply and feel some hope. Because between two extremes, one should aim for the middle… and I believe it is easier to have a capitalist system with social welfare than a communist system with freedom.