Is Socialism better than Capitalism at helping people?

First off, I want to apologize for not posting this Monday. My family went to get a new van and we had to drive a while to get it.

A while back a question was posed to me that got me thinking: Who did more to help people, Mother Theresa or Steve Jobs. My gut told me to say Mother Theresa right away, but then I thought about all that Steve Jobs has done. He’s provided jobs to thousands upon thousands of people, he’s invented relatively cheap, hard-working computers for everyday people. Nowadays almost everyone has a phone or a tablet, for the most part, because of technology that he pioneered.

If socialism/communism is such a good idea then why does every manifestation of it commit gross violations of human rights? If socialism/communism is such a good idea then why does every manifestation of it produce dictatorial regimes where no one wants to live?

So in light of all this evidence, I would submit to you that it is Capitalism and freedom that allow for the best allocation of goods and thus better for the average worker.

I want to thank shatterthefourthwall for nominating me for the Friends for Days award.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always if you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to contact me in private by heading over to the Contact Me page, or just commenting below.

 

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10 thoughts on “Is Socialism better than Capitalism at helping people?

  1. Woah, woah, woah! Those are some broad statements there my teenaged friend! Every manifestation of socialism has committed gross violations of human rights and dictatorial regimes where no one wants to live? Your lacking some research here, though I hate to be the one to say it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I find it interesting that you include Denmark in there, but I don’t have the time to search through Danish history so I digress. You said that “every MANIFESTATION” of socialism has been hallmarked by these violations of human rights and a progression to dictatorship. This is inaccurate.

        Socialism is manifested in almost every functional society in some form. While they may not be socialist based on their chief means of production (being government owned) many successful and democratic countries employ vast social support programs (which by Marxist theory constitute socialism because they create an unequal distribution of goods and pay when considering work done), making them social democracies and not truly capitalist countries. I would argue that both capitalism and socialism will fail when instituted in their purest forms.

        The social democracy model has been clearly shown to be effective by a number of Scandinavian countries in recent history. It has also produced some of the highest happiness indexes in the world, as well as some of the shortest work weeks (both in school and in the working world), well respected school systems (many of which have abolished homework and have done away with the assembly line style used during the industrial revolution to produce large numbers of unskilled workers which the US and other countries still favour), and communities better adjusted to accommodate and include all ages, particularly the elderly.

        While they are considered capitalist based on their means of production, their high taxes and social programs provide a more Marxist version of what functioning socialism looks like. That said, they are social democracies based on the production definition.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Wow thanks for commenting, but before we continue could you please cite your sources? Especially for the statement “It has also produced some of the highest happiness indexes in the world, as well as some of the shortest work weeks (both in school and in the working world), well respected school systems (many of which have abolished homework and have done away with the assembly line style used during the industrial revolution to produce large numbers of unskilled workers which the US and other countries still favour), and communities better adjusted to accommodate and include all ages, particularly the elderly.”

          My sources say the exact opposite:
          “Visitors say Danes are joyless to be around. Denmark suffers from high rates of alcoholism. In its use of antidepressants, it ranks fourth in the world. (Its fellow Nordics the Icelanders are in front by a wide margin.) Some 5 percent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Denmark’s productivity is in decline, its workers put in only 28 hours a week, and everybody you meet seems to have a government job. Oh, and as The Telegraph put it, it’s “the cancer capital of the world.””https://theyouthjournal.com/2017/06/14/debunking-the-scandinavian-myth/

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I apologize that I don’t have time to engage in more discussion but I will touch on a few things you mentioned.

            First: The happiness index is an annually compiled report from the UN done by independent, expert researchers evaluating each country on a variety of factors, if you want to check it out http://worldhappiness.report.

            Second: the article you quoted (the youth journal) actually acknowledges that multiple school systems are “just above” the United States and only highlights Sweden (which is only one rank lower in math and is actually one above in reading). Truth is, this is inaccurate to the 2015 report, in which Sweden scores 3 points lower in science and 22 points higher in math (and three points higher in reading), it also has a higher percentage of “top performers” and a lower number of “low achievers”. Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands beat out the US in every category as does Finland, and, while not Scandinavian, Canada. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisa-2015-results-in-focus.pdf

            So, I am unsure which year your source is quoting.

            Third: I won’t address the short work week thing because you do in your own quote (they put in short hours which allow more time to do other things).

            Fourth: Care for the aging (to give an idea what I mean by community accommodation) can be looked at here— https://www.ageinternational.org.uk/Documents/Global_AgeWatch_Index_2015_HelpAge.pdf — where the US falls 9th (not too shabby overall). However it is below Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Iceland, and Japan (note the Scandinavian representation in there) .

            To address your objections:
            Danes being “joyless” is a subjective assessment, as is the opinion that the things we take pride in are disgraceful to talk about in that country (your author provides no true references for these “facts” other than “people say” etc.).
            On the subject of alcoholism I can’t find support for Europe having significantly higher rates of dangerous drinking habits (one point here, one there, but relatively similar), in fact alcohol-attributable deaths as a percentage of total deaths are lower in these countries compared to the US. See here: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msbgsruprofiles.pdf
            As for the “high” use of antidepressants the OECD attributes portions of this to increased duration of treatments, use for mild, or unrelated disorders (anxiety, sleep issues, insomnia etc.) but also to increased social acceptability and willingness to seek treatment (which the Americas are still struggling with). Notably, Canada is also relatively high on the list of countries for antidepressant use. Also consider that many of these countries experience longer periods of dark during the winter which increase the incidence of seasonal affective disorder which is often treated with antidepressants as well. http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/health_glance-2013-en/04/10/index.html?itemId=/content/chapter/health_glance-2013-41-en
            Your source does not quantitatively define what they mean by declining productivity but much of it could likely be tied to the European crisis as well. It also only mentions one country in this criticism which hardly debunks what I’ve said.
            For cancer Denmark and Norway are ahead of the US, yes. As are Australia, France, and Belgium. However, while in the US you will be paying for private treatment and may not have full unemployment coverage they will.

            As for the sex with an animal stat… I have yet to find a proper source as to where it came from but assuming it’s correct, I can’t find any other country that has done research in this area. The absence of stats on this matter does not constitute an absence of participation in the activity in other countries (just like how incest is not condoned but is surprisingly more common than expected in the US and other countries). Also note that Denmark currently has not outlawed beastiality, they only have a law that says that the act cannot harm the animal (which means this stat can be obtained without the survey participants feeling threatened by legal action against them).

            Overall, the facts you have presented don’t refute my own. Further, your sources are not primary (one is a wordpress site which, I hate to say, has no academic authority and hasn’t provided very many references themselves). The Telegraph has not been a bastion of credibility lately either.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. First and I quote: “However, it will be many years before
              the accumulated efforts of national statistical
              offices will produce as large a number of
              comparable country surveys as is now available
              through the Gallup World Poll (GWP),” http://worldhappiness.report/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/03/HR17.pdf

              Second, “However, it will be many years before
              the accumulated efforts of national statistical
              offices will produce as large a number of
              comparable country surveys as is now available
              through the Gallup World Poll (GWP),” http://worldhappiness.report/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/03/HR17.pdf

              Third, I was actually quoting your first comment when you said: “It has also produced some of the highest happiness indexes in the world, as well as some of the shortest work weeks.”

              While researching I came with this quote from the Danish Prime Minister “I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy,” Rasmussen said.
              https://www.thelocal.dk/20151101/danish-pm-in-us-denmark-is-not-socialist

              With that piece of evidence in mind, I ask that we strike Denmark from the list of “socialist” countries that I cited earlier.

              Like

  2. Interesting question, Ethan, and interesting discussion in the comments. I have to agree with Erika. Not every manifestation of socialism has resulted in violation of human rights—because not every manifestation has been put into practice.

    Take libertarian socialism, for example (“anarchism” as we say in the U.S.). People who call themselves socialists may not necessarily be advocating the ideology in its true form. To be a socialist requires one to be an anarchist. A prominent theme in anarchism is that social hierarchies must abolished. You mentioned Russia in one of your comments as being a failed socialist country. The USSR contained social hierarchies in the form of the Communist Party in rule. True socialism would have abolished this type of hierarchy. Socialism, as libertarian socialists envision, has never really been put into practice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting, though I fear you might have misunderstood me. What I meant to say was that every time socialistic doctrine has been implemented it has violated the human rights of its citizens in some form, shape, or fashion.
      Not that every theoretical form of socialism has been tried much less violated human rights.

      Liked by 2 people

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