Thursday, March 29, 2012

Capitalism, or socialism, communism, etc?

Probably these words provoked some of the fiercest battles in our history, more than anything else. There are many thick books written on the subject, so I guess I couldn’t add something new about the philosophy, good and bad sides of any of these real or imaginary societies. Yet, as a man who lived at both systems, I could remind and point out some important facts, to which usually many people don’t pay attention (probably just because they are too blinded by their own believes).
First, no one should think there wouldn’t be exploitation in the so called socialism. Working for all the society could be even more unfair and dreadful than working for one chief. As no matter how hard and well you work, finally you won’t get the salary or money you worked for, but those the system will give you. Of course, this has some advantages – many of the money you worked for will be used for health care, life-saving operations, education, etc. So, when you need to go to a hospital, to heal a sickness (that can cost thousands/millions of dollars), or want to study many years to become a good professional in prestigious professions like a doctor, lawyer, successful scientist, etc, you don’t have to pay anything. Yet, later, working at some of these prestigious posts, again you won’t get all of the payment you worked for… It turned out that nothing was free even in the “perfect” socialistic societies.
There is something else very important we should never forget about the communism/socialism. When all the means of production, factories, schools, institutions, etc become common, that means the end of any development. Actually, then nothing belongs to anyone and no one take care of anything. That finally leads to degradation and the end of the system, which we saw in all of the so called socialistic societies. Here, in Bulgaria there was a period (short one, indeed, right after the collapse of the “socialistic” system) when we had to wake up at 3,30 – 4 a.m. just to stand in a long line to buy milk and bread… Otherwise, we had to starve as later we would find only the vacant/empty shelves in the shops. Sounds awful, right? That’s just one of the bad sides of the “real” socialism, probably in such a society it’s impossible to achieve a good balance between production and needs when the system’s rules have to be obeyed 100% (to buy a car, we had to wait for our turn about 10-15 years; there were so small number of kinds of goods in the shops that when we saw a picture of the full shelves in the capitalistic countries we felt as if we were seeing heaven (just for example, we could buy bananas once or twice a year, standing in long lines again…); to buy a colorful TV set, we had to wait in long lines for weeks, even at night as someone could take our place, and all families took turn to wait outside of the shops even in winter time… There are even worse examples in some other “socialistic” countries, in North Korea as far as I remember people were forbidden to own their own cars…
Pointing out all these horrible things about the ex-socialistic societies, I don’t want to claim that everything in capitalism is perfect and had to be praised all day long. One of the most dreadful events in anyone’s life could be loosing a job, which couldn’t happen in socialistic systems as there’s no unemployment. For many people. loosing their job could be equal to suicide, and many put an end to their life if they couldn’t find a good way to earn their living. It happened even here in Bulgaria, during the first years of the capitalistic/ex-socialistic system. Yet, according to some good friends of mine the worst thing about capitalism is Imperialism. The way some developed countries want to rule the world, leading wars in some problematic places, provoked much anger and finally lead to many killings of innocent people. Then, some other friends of mine would point out when the matter at hand is killing of innocent citizens, the ex-communistic/socialistic societies are unsurpassable. The Russian ex-dictator Stalin for example killed more people in the “peaceful” times of “socialism” in the ex USSR than World War II managed to wipe off the face of the Earth. They would also say that there are stupid decisions in both systems (remember what happened in the atomic power station in Chernobyl, or the first testing of the dangerous chemical DDT in USA when people were sprayed with it…), but nothing could be compared with the funny-foolish slogans we could see in the times of the so called communism/socialism: Now, we laugh out loud when we remember them, but in the past they were everywhere and if someone didn’t obey them, or thought they were funny, he/she could end up in jail: In every home - a cow!, Every jar with conserved fruits equals to a punch in the face of the Imperialism, etc.
Well, finally I’d like to point out that the causes of many problems in any of the people’s societies are governments and other institutions’ greediness and selfishness. Neither in capitalism, nor in socialism/communism is underlined that people should be killed or punished because of their believes or thoughts, it’s what the men in power decided to do to keep the people in fear and to become richer and more powerful… If we want better societies, first we must change our consciousness, values, kindness towards others, etc. “All the problems in the world lead to one – narrow-minded people,” and “When books become more valuable than gold, money and power for the greedy governments and men in power, then we’ll experience heaven on Earth,” that’s what some of my characters say and I guess all our history is certain prove of that…,,,,,,!/ivanstoikov.allanbard,

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