A rightwing capitalist from India posts:
So the problem that you have is basically with the ideals and goals of capitalism, which are to make money. I really don’t have a problem with talented and deserving folk making money with the sweat of their brows or the tapping of their keyboards or whatever.
I also realize that some sort of socialism is necessary, say, for making public parks, public roads, public hospitals and schools and so on.
But you need to weigh practicalities of each system. While I applaud the lofty ideals of Marx and Engel, I agree with the far more practical considerations of Machiavelli, who considered humans to be motivated by selfishness and greed. That selfishness and greed are what drive the economy, at least in capitalist countries.
Want more money? Work harder, work smarter, find out new ways to get the shit done, indulge your selfish fancy and think up new stuff that plugs in a wall socket… so on. Thing is, such systems tend to have a better overall life quality, because opportunities are inherently legion. It’s no wonder that while nobody would want to cross jungles full of poisonous snakes and swim dangerous waters for getting to India, a whole lot of Indians would cheerfully do so to get to the US.
Let’s consider a country still mired in socialistic ideals: India (China cannot be considered, thanks to Deng Xiaoping). In the 1990s, things got so bad they had to ship their gold bullion to the Bank of England just to meet the deficit. They then realized they had to get rid of their over-bloated behemoths of Public Works companies. These companies were a direct result of socialist practicality: they devoured huge amounts of money to feed their officials and never got anything done.
How did things go that way? I call it “crony socialism”. The government officials, perpetually in power, simply did not give a shit about anybody or anything, and answered to no one. The socialist government reveled in its poverty and penurity, and wore it like a crown.
The mindset of the government, upon acquiring power, became so draconian that a for-the-people, socialist state saw major uprisings, like the Naxalite movement and later secessionist movement in Punjab and the Jayprakash Narayan Movement in Uttar Pradesh and Behar. And these weren’t exactly occupy wall street stuff, these were very serious and sometimes armed insurgencies, and resulted in actual bloodshed and thousands of deaths.
Coming from an inherently socialist state, I say socialism is evil, having experienced it myself. Coming from an inherently capitalist state, you say capitalism is evil, having (I assume) experienced its excesses yourself.
No system is perfect, I suppose.
PS> I’ll give you a good point of attack: you can say that since Indians suck, their version of everything sucks, even socialism. However, socialism has been abandoned the world over. China abandoned it, and later USSR states abandoned it too.
We do not think that they ever had any real socialism in India. Indian socialism was a sick joke. It was “crony socialism.”
The world is not giving up on socialism. Most countries on Earth are a mixture of socialism and capitalism. A place like the USA has too much capitalism and not enough socialism, and a place like Cuba has too much socialism and not enough capitalism.
China is still a very socialist country, but they have gone much too far in the capitalist direction. It’s been a catastrophe. For instance, millions of Chinese are now dying for lack of healthcare. THIS is what the capitalists all over the world are cheering about! All those people dying!
You can’t have any kind of functional state under capitalism with public roads, schools, health care, parks, etc. because the capitalists hate all of that stuff and will always try to dismantle it. Most capitalists are not like you. Most capitalists do not even believe in public schools, health care, roads, parks, etc. They want to get rid of all of that stuff, especially the roads, schools, etc. So the media and the state in capitalist society soon get captured by these capitalist radicals, which are the super-rich and their bought politicians and owned media outlets. So the schools, health care, roads, and parks in a capitalist state gradually start to wither away and get destroyed.
Schools: Since 1980, conservatives have declared war on public schools in the US. They have defunded public schools at all levels out of ideology. The want it to that only the rich can afford to go to college. They are also ideologically committed to privatization of schooling and they oppose public education out of ideology. Since 1980, countless public schools in China have been closed down. Many of these were opened during the Cultural Revolution. In most of the 3rd World, public eduction is defunded and the rich send their kids to private schools.
Health care: Since 1980, there have been continuous attacks on the NHS, the British health care system. That is because the Thatcherites and the neoliberal rightwing “Labor” are ideologically opposed to the NHS because they don’t believe in public health care.
Austerity has been delightfully pushed by the capitalist classes (the very rich) all over the world since 1980. It ruined Africa and Latin America for decades. Now they are pushing it in Europe and the US. There is no real reason to engage in austerity, but the rich simply see this as an opening to destroy the public sector which they hate, so they are using this opportunity. In any fiscal crisis under capitalism, the rich and the capitalists will use this crisis to engage in austerity to destroy the hated public sector.
Roads: US roads are falling apart because the rich and the capitalists do not believe in funding them out of ideological opposition. They simply think it is a waste of money.
Parks: US parks have been defunded for many, many years now, ever since Reagan. The rich and the capitalists always hate public parks and they always try to defund them and shut them down. Here in California, many of the parks have shut down. They probably do this out of sheer ideology. You can’t make money off a park, and the capitalists and the rich only care about things that make money. If you can’t make money off something, it’s worthless by definition.
I actually think that capitalism is absolutely evil, but I also agree that it works better than its alternatives. It’s the worst system on Earth, except for all the others, something like that, borrowing from Churchill.