Some Common misconceptions about socialism

by N. Arvind Kumar


* Socialism achieves equality, freedom and takes care of community.

  If at all socialism achieves something, it is rampant corruption.
  Socialism breeds corruption. Socialism breeds laziness. Transparency
  International lists India as the 8th most corrupt country. As
  expected, socialist  and dictatorial regimes are among the most
  corrupt while capitalist countries are among the least corrupt.
  Socilaism also violates the freedom of people to start their own
  businesses.

* In a capitalist system, the rich get richer and the poor become 
poorer.

  False. The rich definitely get richer but the poor too become better 
  off. The fundamental flaw in the socialist system that wealth is a
  constant assumes that if somebody has become rich, it must be at the
  cost of someone else. There is no greater untruth than this. Wealth 
  is not a constant. Wealth is created out of efforts put in by human
  beings. Some of this wealth is taken by rich poeple and some by poor.

* Middlemen make all the money in a capitalist system

  Middlemen cannot make ALL the money. Middlemen make some money.
  There is no need to have a heartburn about this. Some middlemen are
  necessary to stabilize the system, some of them are necessary for
  their services and some of them might even manage to exploit the
  system and make some money without actually contributing anything.
  Those cases are exceptions and do not change the fact that the
  quality of life under a capitalist system is better than under a
  socialist system. A few people who exploit the system will exist
  but they form only a tiny negligible fraction. Most of the economic
  activity is due to the efforts of people striving continuously to
  improve the quality of life.

* Under a capitalist system, exploitation takes place.

  Exploitation takes place due to lack of jobs which itself occurs
  by passing laws preventing industries from existing. Allowing 
  industries would have created jobs and the market forces would have
  seen to it that there is no exploitation. Countries like US and
  Singapore actually import labour.

* Private schools pay only Rs.400 as salary to their teachers clearly 
  proving that exploitation would take place under capitalism.

  The reason that private schools pay a low salary is that suitable
  jobs do not exist due to stifling of industry pushing people to
  desperation. This is clearly exploitation of the socialist system.
  Had there been enough jobs and competition to get good teachers,
  the pay wouldn't have been so low.

* There is wealth disparity in capitalism

  Wealth disparity should never be a criterion. The minimum standard
  is what counts and it has been established that the minimum standard
  of capitalist countries is far above those of socialist/dictatorial
  countries. The capitalist countries occupy the top slots in UNDP's
  Human Development Index while the socialist and dictatorial regimes
  are at the bottom.

  The concentration of wealth also helps the society when the capitalists
  invest their capital to build skyscrapers, run businesses create jobs 
  and improve the infrastructure in many other ways.

* We should take the best of socialism and capitalism

  There is nothing called the best of socialism and capitalism. No
  system is perfect. Capitalism has a few flaws which can be corrected
  with appropriate laws. Correcting the flaw in socialism, i.e., allowing
  entrepreneurship removes socialism from the scene!

* Microsoft is too big. Capitalism creates monopolies.

  The answer is to have strong monopoly laws, not to have socialism
  instead of capitalism. Junking an entire system just because it has
  a minor flaw which can be corrected easily is like giving death
  penalty for traffic violations.

* MNCs just want to loot the country

  MNCs or other businesses want to make money. There is nothing wrong
  in that. We should not be paranoid about MNCs. Let them make money
  and in the process, let us also benefit from the jobs they create,
  the taxes they pay and the goods and services they offer. Nobody 
  plans to loot anyone. It is for us to create a win-win situation.
  The people deserve the world's best and this can be obtained only
  by allowing competition from all parts of the world.

* Capitalists are greedy.

  Everybody is greedy. In a capitalist system, greed manifests itself 
  as competition. In a socialist system, a few politicians and bureaucrats
  get to oppress the rest of the country.

* It took 70 years for socialism to collapse but only 7 for capitalism
  to collapse in Russia.

  It is wrong to assume that Russia has a capitalist system. 85% of
  all banks are still under government control. All mines are in government
  control and the Rouble was fixed at the time of collapse. The people
  of Russia fled the country during the period of socialism and do not
  want a return to the oppressive system.

* Citibank hasn't gone to villages. This proves that USA has ulterior
  motives.

  Nobody is here to prove anything by going to villages. All businesses
  are in for money and we should accept them as long as their actions
  are legal and constitutional.

* American subsidies and social security are socialistic.

  If that is so, why not create an American type of "socialist system"?
  America is not a socialist country. It is a country which gives
  freedom to its people and has been successful.

* South East Asian crisis proves that socialism is the best system.

  If at all anything is to be learnt from the SEA crisis, it is that
  we should liberalize our economy. Crisis ridden Indonesia was 
  ranked at 96th in UNDP's Human Development Index. India was ranked
  at 139th. There is no reason to believe that India is in a better 
  shape than any of the SEA countries. The reasons for the crisis can
  be taken note of and measures to prevent such a crisis can surely
  be taken instead of banning the whole system.

* But look at the way America has behaved in the middle east.

  What USA has done in Iraq is a foreign policy matter. This in
  no way undermines economic theories. Some ideas emanating from 
  the West will be good and some bad. Just as we have accepted
  western ideas like democracy and universal primary education,
  we should also be ready to learn from their successes.

* Socialism is actually a good system. It is the implementation
  which is flawed.

  Socialism makes many mistakes in its assumptions. It discards
  human behaviour. It assumes that humans work in self interest
  under other setups and therefore exploit other human beings.
  It assumes that the same human beings will be magically transformed
  into philanthropists under a socialist setup. A person who exploits
  under capitalism is bound to be corrupt under socialsim. 
  Exploitation disappears with competition or is at least brought
  to a minimum. It is unfair to compare socialism with good
  people against capitalism with villains. The same standars
  must be used to compare the two systems.

* Amartya Sen
* Swadeshi section? - indians deserve the best.
* USSR was heaven - People fled USSR risking lives.

France under socialism flopped. The same Mitterand who nationalized 
went in for privatization.

Political stability has nothing to do with economy. Italy has seen
56 govts since WW2. the real reason lies in having a capitalistic setup.
Che Guevera fighting against a despot is a hero. George Bush fighting
against a despot is a villain. Such is the power of socialist
propaganda.