Sunday, October 30, 2011

HBBC: Socialism

Welcome to the HBBC, this week's topic was chosen by Noor. (Why?!)
Warning: Do not expect an enlightening opinion on the matter.

Socialism, capitalism, anarchy and what not. Gibberish. I was 14 and was too curious for my own good, I even thought I could understand these ideologies. Remember VOY? (The good times!) Anyhow. I asked, and asked and asked some more. I think Ash and Rohit explained socialism and capitalism countless of times to me. (Forever grateful to you guys, I still wonder at your patience with my ignorance.) I read so many articles on them. Even printed them out, I am determined. I was going to crack this thing. I was even so ambitious I attempted understanding communism. I won't say I didn't learn anything out of all of those lessons. I did. Socialism is good, capitalism is bad. (Blame Rohit for the last statement.)

Jokes aside, I don't have an opinion on the matter to be honest. I will admit that I can't have an opinion on something I don't fully understand, yes my brain wasn't made to understand politics and economics. So does that get me off the hook or must I form my very own opinion? Or am I simply shying away from the challenge and risking sounding the ignorant opinion-less soul that I am? Whichever really. The conditions some people live in, how poor they are, must make us question governments and the current state of things. There is something wrong. Is it capitalism that's ruining the world? Or our lack of compassion and greed? Or are those basically different sides of the same coin?

Perhaps I should stop and go read an article or two and educate myself, or read a book and wait till all of this magically makes sense. Hmm.


Nothing-but-ordinary said...

"Socialism is good, capitalism is bad." Epic!! :D :D :D

Ashok said...

Perhaps our explanations were lacking. Let me re-attempt the lecture again (hope you don't mind).

Socialism is like a traditional joint family. The head of the family is the state. The remaining members are the citizens. The remaining family members take resources from the head of the family to go about earning their livlihood. Whatever each family member earns is deposited with the head of the family who will use it for the common good of all family members. Therefore irrespective of who is earning how much, every member of the family gets equal protection and compensation from the head of the family.

Capitalism has more anarchy in it. The head of the family more or less protects the family from home invasions or thefts, etc. The other family members employ their own resources and earn their own livlihood. A part of what they earn may or may not be given to the head of the family as tax. But the family members retain a substantial amount of what they earn.

The difference between socialism and capitalism is the amount of significance the head of the family or the state has. The head of the family's role in controlling the earnings and spendings in capitalism is substantially less than when compared to socialism.

On a high level these are the differences. Of course each have their own pros and cons which require a more detailed discussion which I shall impose upon you when your mind is more permitting :)