Under capitalism man exploits man. Under socialism it's just the opposite
That is a joke. Not original, but never-the-less I found it funny and I posted it on a social media site yesterday. I thought it was fairly safe in that it pokes fun at both ends of the political spectrum.
But someone fired back,
“Um, no. I grew up in socialism. Had good education and access to health care at no extra cost.”
So this person did not find this funny because it seems in their view under the socialism end of things no one exploits anyone.
I usually steer clear of politics for the simple reason I am a Brit living in the USA. I am not a citizen (Even though I could be.) I am a Green Card carrying, resident alien, with permanent residency. Under this arrangement I get all the same rights a US citizen gets.
They allow me to have a driver’s license and own and drive a car, to own a home and pay taxes like everyone else. The two things I can’t do are vote or do jury duty; I can manage quite well without those responsibilities, thank you very much.
But because I can’t vote I feel strongly that I should not voice political opinions and try to influence other’s who do vote.
However, it annoys me when left wing eco-nuts assume that the bicycle is exclusively theirs; and on the other hand, there are those who think because I ride a bicycle I must be a left wing eco-nut.
The commenter on my “joke” stated that they grew up under socialism with free health care, sounds a lot like growing up in the UK in the post war years. I grew up in that same period and here is my take on it just from what I observed, and experienced.
Before WWII there was a (Capitalist.) class system in the UK where a small percentage of the population had all the wealth. (Sound familiar.) Most of this wealth had been handed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. The rest of the population were subservient to the wealthy class, and relied on them for a job and a living. And in many cases rented a home from a wealthy landlord.
This system, with all its faults, had made Great Britain a world leader. This is pretty remarkable when you consider that Great Britain is less than the size of California. But over the years they built ships, sailed all over the world, taking over countries, taking commodities and raw materials at a cost of next to nothing.
This made the wealthy even wealthier. Britain manufactured a great deal of the goods that were shipped and sold all over the world. In my lifetime I remember when the world currency was based on the British Pound, not the US Dollar. As a kid five shillings, which was a quarter of a Pound, was called a “Dollar.” Because there were four US Dollars to the Pound. Today the Pound is worth about a buck-fifty. ($1.50.)
Under the class system anyone born into the working classes found it very hard to reach the top levels of management in a large company. The CEOs and captains of industry were all from the wealthy upper classes. The British education system was geared so that working class kids would be separated at age ten years old.
The bright kids would get a higher education and become the accountants and middle management in industry. The rest of the kids had the self esteem beaten out of them, physically or by verbal put down. This made them subservient laborers who would do a menial job without question, or become cannon fodder for the armies to go off and conquer more lands.
Everything changed when WWII ended. All the men who came home from the war had the attitude, “We laid our life on the line for our country, now we want a piece of the pie.” Clement Attlee the leader of the Socialist Labor Party was voted into power with a huge majority.
The Labor Government took over ownership by Nationalization of the steel industry, coal mining, and the railroads. They also created National Health Care, with free medicine and health care for everyone.
Of course nothing is free; it was to be paid for by increased taxes. Now the government owned the hospitals and they paid the doctors and dentists a flat rate according to the number of patients they had.
There is a standing joke in the US about the British and their bad teeth, which is a direct result of NH dentists giving poor care. What incentive is there to give good care, and do extras like clean peoples teeth when you won’t get paid more?
The other thing that happened was, there grew this huge government bureaucracy to manage the health care system; and before long there were more bureaucrats than doctors or nurses.
When the government took over the steel, coal, and railroad industries the trade unions in those industries flourished. Trade unions are good when they fight for worker’s rights and make sure they are not exploited or under paid. But if your boss is the government, and the government is a socialist government, they are on your side.
In the mid 1970s there was a Conservative government in power who were not sympathetic the coal miners union when they asked for more money. The coal miners went on strike, and without coal, no electricity. There was a huge stockpile of coal, but the railway union refused to move it.
The country went on a three day work week, and eventually the conservative government had to resign. A labor government was elected; the coal miners got their raise in pay and went back to work. By 1978 it seemed that everyone was on strike for more money.
Truck drivers were on strike and I couldn’t get deliveries of oxyacetylene to build my frames, I would go home and there would be no TV ‘cos the TV workers were on strike. When hospital workers who do laundry etc., went on strike and people died because doctors could not operate on them, it was the end of the line for me. It was then I decided to move to the United States.
I think many UK citizens felt as I did, because it was soon after that Maggie Thatcher and her conservative party got back in power. She de-nationalized much of the nationalized industries, and even privatized some of the hospitals. When the Labor Party got back in power in later years it was a much watered down socialism, more in line with the US Democrats.
Yes capitalists exploit their fellow man; that is blatantly obvious by the financial mess we are in now, but don’t tell me that socialists don’t exploit their fellow man, when they go on strike and let people die so they can get a pay increase.
And when unions become so powerful they can bring down a democratically elected government, I call that exploiting your fellow man?
A person who fails to see the humor in that little joke at the top of the page, has lost the ability to laugh at themselves and their belief system. It may mean that they are extremist either to the left or right.