It is that time of year again, asked questions by students and so I will now be fair and post the response here…
This friday Angel and I were both in London at the same time of the evening and I suggested we went for dinner. As I was in Docklands I suggested Canary Wharf as the ideal location to meet and eat. Interestingly when we arrived there was a small anti-capitalism protest in progress, nothing spectacular but a couple of hundred people.
We did a little capitalist shopping and sat down at a capitalist chain restaurant to watch the anti-capitalists at work. They made interesting charges at a line of police taunting them and it was rather childish really.
What really caught my attention was a sign “Capitalism isn’t working!” being heald up by people I think assocated with a group of socialists present. We both thought it was interesting because when did pure socialism work? Well the only examples I can see of socialism are communist and quasi-communist countries such as Russia, Albania, China, Cuba, the list goes on but it lists as a litany of countries which have either complete social unrest, a great deal of poverty or suppression of human rights. Some might argue China is very successful as a socialist state but when you consider it’s reforms involve greater financial liberty tending toward capitalism and it still has a terrible human rights record, I think there isn’t much of an arguement for the alternative to Capitalism.
Personally I think that both systems are flawed, capitalism assumes unconstrained and continued growth when in fact resources are finite and growth cannot be infinate. However socialism does not permit personal growth and requires great self sacrifice, which while noble on paper is actually unworkable. Having read the combined works of Plato I have come to his realisation that no political system is ideal, however you just have to make the best you can of a libertarian state.
Maybe “Capitalism isn’t working” is correct, but “Socialism never worked” is also true.