Introduction – What Is Socialism?
Socialism is the belief that children should not have to go to sleep hungry at night. Socialism is the belief that sweatshops are an abomination to the ethic of humaneness. Socialism is the belief that no man should worry about their family’s welfare because of a boss replacing the older employees with younger ones. Socialism is the belief that everyone should get paid as much money as they deserve for their job, the belief that we should not have to crawl through each day, the belief that other people should not be the ones in control of our lives. Between the crevices of the individual personality, Socialism arises as naturally as a desire to be affectionate. It arises in ourselves, like any characteristic, this one being dedicated to fairness. Socialism is the belief that cruelty is a vice and kindness is a virtue. This is Socialism.
Specifically, Socialism is the control of the economy to reasonable standards. Laws and regulations which control the sale and purchase of any item or service is a form of Socialism. It has been stated by numerous philosophers that Capitalism, lawlessness in economy, will produce the best effects in the economical standard. Ayn Rand is known to have called selfishness a virtue. Capitalism can be defined as a complete lack of regulation in the economy. That employers have no obligation to pay their workers. Capitalism can be defined as a restrictionless economy. The alternative to Socialism and Capitalism is Communism. In a Communist economy, all of the property is owned by all of the people. Every economical transaction in a Communist government is regulated, as opposed to a Capitalist government, where no economical transaction is regulated.
Justification — Why Socialism?
With the Industrial Revolution, the way of life for the average man changed forever. No longer were things hand-made in shops — the process of production was entirely different. Instead of the old way of doing things, the machine increased productions hundreds of times. With factories and quick production, the average man was forced into a horrible plight. Those who still ran shops and built things hand-made quickly went bankrupt. Factories could sell more of their products for a cheaper price. The worker thus was forced into working, the only alternative being starvation and the death of his family. Thus, the worker became dependent upon his wage. It was the equivalent of food for him. With no other source of income, the worker was forced into the position where he was: unappreciated and overworked. There have been those who have said that this Industrial Revolution was the beginning of Capitalist exploitation. It is true that these early factories forced men, women, and children to work in horrible, unbearable conditions. The machinery in the mills was dangerous, resulting in the death and maiming of many of the workers. For the children, there was an overseer with a whip to make sure they worked every hour there. On top of these inhumane conditions, the workers were paid pennies an hour. These were the inhumane and cruel conditions created by the employer for the worker. The employers could get away with it, too, because the workers could only go to another factory with conditions which were matched. Thus the worker was forced into a hole that he could not get out of: every job opportunity offered the same indignifying conditions, dirt-cheap wages, as well as ludicrous hours. Some had to work 16 hours a day. Capitalism has caused a horrendous amount of destruction around the world and the Industrial Revolution only lit the fire underneath it.
However, as I said, many believe that the exploitation of Capitalism began with the Industrial Revolution. Some would disagree with this point, claiming that Capitalism did not exploit. The exploitation of Capitalism, even in the 20th century, was widespread and brutal in all its forms. Bosses and businessmen were vindictive in their pursuits of wealth. The rights of the workers meant nothing to them. They broke up unions, silenced dissent of opinion, made workers dependent upon their jobs, destroyed hope, made peace unattainable, fostered violence, nurtured hate. For them, nothing was too brutal, and every method that could improve profit was embraced. With this great ethic of competition, all consideration for the workers was stripped and given to profit. Greed, the so-called “virtue of selfishness,” spawned so many, terrible cruelties. All for the sake of wealth, these businessmen committed the deeds which would turn the stomachs of every humane-minded person. As Capitalism had it, there were no restrictions and there were no limitations. These men, these Capitalists, held no value for the rights of their workers. Monopolies slowly formed and the rights of workers shrinked. Conditions worsened for the worker as the most tyrannical of the heartless businessmen survived. Life for these workers was a struggle. They crawled through every day and did not know what know what affection was. Work hardened their hearts and weakened their spirit. Their life was condemned to the exhausting and excruciating toil which consumed their days.
In this great republic, when the workers were forced into unbearable toil without any consideration given to them, what did the politicians and leaders do? In a republic, the population elects the rulers. What did the rulers do once in office? The mistrusted government officials shook the hand of hypocrisy and brought corruption to an entirely new level. Corporations bought out representatives and senators. It was no longer a nation for the people and by the people. It was a nation for the rich and built on the sweat, blood, and tears of the people. The Capitalist economy became a haven for legalized slavers. The corporate interest was held over the public interest; this can be simplied as saying that more effort was put into being selfish than inhumane. Ayn Rand, the Capitalist philosopher, called selfishness a virtue. When we compete, she argued, then prices are lower and conditions improve. The leaders and rulers of the nation ascribe to this “virtue of selfishness” — they imposed a rule that gave no consideration to the workers, they allowed their people to die in their factories, they betrayed the public interest, made ignoramuses of themselves, enforced brutality — the politicians which abused and manipulated public interest only so that they could enrich themselves, cruel and unfeeling in their endeavors — they were Capitalists, not Socialists. Heartlessness and brutality: these were the vices embraced by the government officials and businessmen who were concerned more with the amount of dollars they have than the amount of suffering inflicted on the common man.
The Capitalists are fond of Social Darwinism. They will be quick to side with the Evolutionary Theory of Natural Selection. The strongest, quickest, and smartest will outlive others — this is their prediction. They will even point to the wild and how animals are themselves competetive with each other and striving to survive. However, even Charles Darwin noted numerous times that animals have a kind of sympathy for each other. To quote Charles Darwin…
Many animals, however, certainly sympathise with each other’s distress or danger. This is the case even with birds. Captain Stansbury found on a salt lake in Utah an old and completely blind pelican, which was very fat, and must have been well fed for a long time by his companions. Mr. Blyth, as he informs me, saw Indian crows feeding two or three of their companions which were blind; and I have heard of an analogous case with the domestic cock. We may, if we choose, call these actions instinctive; but such cases are much too rare for the development of any special instinct. I have myself seen a dog, who never passed a cat who lay sick in a basket, and was a great friend of his, without giving her a few licks with his tongue, the surest sign of kind feeling in a dog. [The Descent of Man, by Charles Darwin, chapter 4, part I.]
As seen within nature, even animals have a tendency to show compassion for each other. When an animal sees another animal suffering, there is a chance that it will offer its sympathies and aid that animal. This has been noted by many biologists and confirmed by many eye-witness accounts. However, when a Capitalist sees another suffering, he looks for a way to profit from it, and then claims that he is no worse than any animal.
One of the largest vices of Capitalism is the eventual formation of monopolies. When a monopoly is in control of a certain product universally, either through legal or economical means, it not only abuses the worker but it abuses the consumer, as well. If a car company, for example, owns the steel mills to make its cars and owns the rubber plantations to make its tires, then the competitors are driven into the ground. The golden rule of Capitalism is that competition between companies creates better products at less costly prices. The competitors, however, know that they will profit more and they will progress better when there is no competition. With control of the resources to produce a certain product, such as a car, there can be no competition. A competitor in need of steel to make cars, and rubber to make tires, would not be sold such items from their competitor. In this scenario, only one business gains control of an industry and no matter what price he sets, there is no one to compete with him. A car industry may sell their car for $10,000 to $100,000, whether or not it only cost them less than one thousand. After all, when this car business is the only one operating, there will be no place else to obtain a car. In fact, not only can the price be unreasonable, but the condition of the car can also be unreasonable — it may have a badly running engine or other failing functions. This possibility of a monopoly by businesses in industries has been practised by many entrepreneurs.
Communism falls prey to the same flaws of Capitalism. In a Capitalist system, the privilege to guide and control society, to mold the workers into machines themselves, is given to the businessmen. The employers hold no regard for the workers and slowly, the classes quickly seperate: the rich becoming richer and smaller; the poor becoming poorer and numerous. On the shoulders and backs of the workers, the politicians and the corporate leaders made themselves rich to unimaginable degrees. A Communist system, however, gives complete control and responsibility to the worker, making everyone equal. In a Communist economy, whether or not you work hard at your job or excessively, trying to accomplish the most for yourself and your society, you will earn the same meager wage. The corruption of both the Communist and Capitalist states is appalling, both falling victim to corrupt leaders; still, though, corruption is much more prevalent within Capitalist systems. The difference between a Communist and a Socialist state should not be difficult to see: in a Socialist economy, workers are paid the amount that they deserve for their work. Under Communism, the pay is horrendously low because the doctors receive as much pay as the janitors. Under Capitalism, the pay is horrendously low because the corporate leaders have no interest in paying workers anything more than a slave wage. Under Socialism, the pay is adequate, fair, and deserving.
It is obvious that within a Capitalist economy, the rights of the workers are given no weight. To what justification do the workers have when it comes to guiding their own lives for themselves? It is the fact that the worker has built the foundation of every industry and that the worker is the backbone of every strong economy. It is the worker who created the products that make our lives easier, the worker who understands his creation, the worker who builds the things that society uses. Since it is the worker who makes the system produce what it produces, it is the worker who has the right to decide what system that is. Given the current stature of Capitalism, only a heartless tyrant or an unthinking fool would choose it over Socialism. As workers, those of us who foster production, create society, and make the things that make lives easier, we deserve the right to construct society according to our wishes. In this manner, it is obvious that we side with Socialism: the belief that every individual is deserving of the opportunity to better themselves in a fair economy, the belief that every individual has the right to safe working conditions and reasonable working hours, the belief that humaneness is our ultimate goal.