Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Introduction to Socialism

The People's Cause

By Elijah Henderson

"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win." This was the last line from the increasingly famous and controversial Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. Marx and many other men dreamed of a world without exploitation, oppression, inequality, or class hatred. A world in which everyone could have a say in the economic, political, and social decisions that effected them directly and indirectly. A system that developed with hundreds of years that earned the title: Socialism.

This bring me to my next point: what exactly is Socialism? Throughout its years of existence, there have been many divisions within the Socialist movement. But Socialism is the community or state management over the economy. In such a system, the workers would exercise control over farms, factories, banks, stores, and other tools of production and distribution through public enterprise or workers' councils. Socialism will be a society where profit motive is dismantled and democratic control will accommodate it. Incentive will be offered for those who are willing to work for the good of society and the natural eco-systems which it relies on. It will cling to natural resources and live within our finite world with proper and motivated leadership. Socialism will be a society where needed assistance such as health care will be free of charge and accessible to all. Examples of Socialism are Cuba, Vietnam, and Venezuela.

On to my next point: Who are Socialists and what do they believe? Socialists and Communists are some of the most outspoken and misunderstood people in the world. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. Government has been extremely cautious of them. Many blame the cruel events that happened in the Josef Stalin era on Socialists, saying that USSR and China were Socialist countries. But this is not true. Socialism only exists when the people have full control. In reality, Socialists see a revolutionary change in world in the future. And although many of them do not, Socialists tend to have left-wing ideas about the world. Socialists hope to see a new era in which man finally controls the world he lives in. They are proud of their citizenship of the earth, their love for humanity, and their visions vision for a classless society.

Many of you probably have objections towards Socialism. I will give you some objections towards Socialism and then I will answer them. The first one is: Why would I want the government to run the economy? There is a reasonable answer to this. You will never have a say in any corporation. However, you will always have a say in democracy. And now to my next question: Isn't Socialism godless? The answer is very simple: no. Socialism has had a history of secularism. Being secular means not based on based on any religion. And in countries like Cuba, people are free to worship their God without religion belonging in the Government. Here's another question: Isn't Socialism a huge tax burden on everyone? No. Socialism will not require income tax because the government will get its revenues from industry. On to my final question. In Socialism, isn't everyone equal and no one allowed to make more money than anyone else? Socialism is reliant on the idea that "all men are created equal". The system will ensure everyone a decent wage and basic necessities as opposed to equal wages. Instead the workers will share the profits according to need based on democratic control. This will create more incentive for economic growth and success.

On to my next point. How might Socialism be established? Through democratic reform, grassroots activism, or simply the people's decision as a whole. The people must grow tired of belonging to a class-divided system. And ultimately, capitalism will culminate like Marx predicted, calling capitalists "their own grave diggers". This will start with protests for better working conditions, public services, higher wages, and the nationalization of the means of production. People must campaign for freedom from government oppression in the areas of everyday life. Police brutality, phone tapping, homosexual persecution, along with racism and sexism are what Socialists strongly stand against.

Society's evolution is simply not complete. We as humans must understand how and why society operates only for the select few. With this information at hand, we can understand the inequality and class oppression that divides us bitterly. This is a day where millions go without health care, the earth is being polluted, children are being forced to work long hours for little pay. This world is crumbling at the hands of profit-interests. We the people have the power to end these things all over the world. Socialism may very well be the cure to our society's problems. If I haven't made you see differently than I hope you will understand. Thank You.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this thoughtful essay!

    I would consider Venezuela to have a mixed economy, however, and both Cuba and Vietnam have adopted some free-market elements to deal with post-Soviet collapse shortages. If an individual country cannot produce enough to meet the needs of its people due to a lack of resources or production capacity, it cannot hope to maintain a purely socialist economy, as it must engage in global trade and take "trade liberalization" measures; of course the world itself produces far more than enough to meet the needs of all people, which is why any successful socialist revolution will be international in nature.

    The state will have outlived its usefulness, as capitalism already has--the rapid increase in production capacity provided by capitalism has now become problematic in a world with finite resources, and although it does ensure enough is produced to meet the needs of all, the mechanism of capitalist distribution does not ensure this end. Again, great post!!