Socialism vs Democracy

2016-08-22 06:00

In order to understand Socialism one needs to first understand Communism.  Please see my previous article on "Does Communism = Democracy = failure".  Communism and Socialism are usually used in parallel, but they are in fact not that similar, as we will see below.  Whereas a Communistic ideal is a political movement and classified as stateless, classless and governed by the people, for the people, this is never the case.  Socialism falls more into the economic rule of things, where the state adjusts the production to economic demands and human needs at that time.  Socialistic states can also coexist with other political movements and has been particularly popular with Social Democratic movements.  Whereas Communism abolishes private ownership, Socialism allows for two kinds of propertyPersonal; which would include houses, furniture, cars etc. and Public property; which include factories, mines etc. owned by the State, but run by the workers.  Religion is also the choice of the individual in a Socialistic state, albeit a secular one, which is not the case in Communistic states.

Socialism is derived from the Latin word ‘Sociare’, which means to share or combine.  Since we are left with the problem of comparing two different ideals, the one being Democracy, which is a Political ideology, and Socialism, which is an economic system, we should look at what they have in common.  Both systems are focused for the greater goals of society.  Some experts say that Socialism and Democracy could possibly be the best combination if they could balance freedom and rights on the one end, while at the same time have social cooperation on the other.  But can this be done?

Through Democracy, everyone in essence, has a free and equal chance to become what they want.  The problem arrives when citizens in a Democracy abuse their equal rights privilege and turn it into Capitalism(Think you had a fair chance just like anyone else of becoming a property owner because you worked hard to get there...)  Then eventually you bought a property, you were lucky to pay below the market value for it and a few years later there is an economic boom.  Soon more people are looking for houses in your area due to a new shopping mall that has been built around the corner.  All of a sudden you realise, that you can sell your property for 3 x times the original value due to the high demand for housing.  Of course you would have been dumb not to do exactly that.  Of course this opens your eyes to an opportunity in the market and you are much chuffed with your wise investment.  The problem is, now you want to do this again and again.  So you buy more properties in other areas and wait for another shopping mall to be built…  Just because you can...

Although you are operating in a mixed economy and you have either worked to get to this point, or by luck, or by inheritance… you are now making it extremely difficult for other people to have the same chance as you, in obtaining an affordable property.  In other words the rich get richer and the poor stagnates.

Socialism on the other hand would allow you to buy your property and sell it as you wish, but it would have to be sold at the same price you bought it, plus maybe extra for the improvements you have done.  Sharing is caring, right?

Now we all know that this is the case in real world Democracies.  Just think for example; how can a business be run and not capitalise on its profit?  That in itself would not be a business.  In Socialistic states the employees would all get paid the same wages according to the profit of the business.  Socialism also believes in everyone having access to the same medical treatment and educational systems, for free.

Let us compare Democracy with Socialism directly by looking at their benefits and negative attributes:

Democracy fights for peoples’ rights, protecting individual interests, the power to vote, majority party rule and in general prevention of monopoly of authority.  The negative sides are: too much red tape, no economic freedom, no political freedom, inefficiency and elimination of the individualist.

Socialism on the other hand fights for economic growth, better welfare, greater efficiency, absence of monopoly and absence of business fluctuations. The same can be said for the negative sides in comparison to Democracy: too much red tape, no economic freedom, no political freedom, inefficiency and elimination of the individualist.

It is clear from this, that although it is possible to combine them into one ideology, as has been done by numerous European countries, there are more negatives in common than positives.

As Albert Einstein once said:  “The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even his economic existence… Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely and deprived of the naïve, simple and sophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.

What do you think?

(The views in this article are not necessarily the views of the writer)

Follow me on twitter: Neil Holtshausen@HoltshausenNeil

Or my blogspot: http://nhfoodforthought.blogspot.com/

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