Things have been busy over here. We’re all at my grandparents to use the internet again for our live online classes, but we’re scheduled for internet installation on the 28th so only a couple more weeks of driving in for classes. Oo and only five weeks of school left!
In one of my classes, we had to write a comparison and contrast essay (the last essay before the final!). Since we’ve been without internet and I haven’t scheduled any posts, I wanted to share my essay on socialism vs capitalism. It’s writing – it counts right? 🙂
Have you ever wondered why the United States of America is called the “Land of Opportunity?” How it became one of the “superpowers” of the world? In one word, freedom. This freedom allows American men and women to pursue economic opportunities because the country’s free market enterprise is organized to encourage private growth. Unlike some socialist countries in the world, the U.S. organizes its society with a capitalist economy. While a socialist country’s industry and trade are controlled by the state or community and are based on everyone having equal portions, a capitalist country’s industry is controlled by private owners and individuals. Socialism and capitalism, despite both having some focus on freedom and equality, are very different ideas. Capitalism has proven to be the more successful of the two, providing additional opportunities for work, encouraging economic growth, and helping ensure the success of a country.
Although both forms of organizing society have some focus on equality, they have very different views on what this “equality” means. Consider, for example, the aspect of working for a living. In a socialist society, the products that are manufactured by the people are redistributed by the community so that everyone has an equal share. Although this sounds like a fair idea, those who do not work will be rewarded and those who do work will be penalized. The latter will have their hard work passed out and will end up with the same share as their neighbor who did nothing (5 Ways Socialism Destroys Societies, Townhall.com). Alexis de Tocqueville said, “democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” Democracy, government by the people, can be replaced with capitalism and this quote would demonstrate the same principle. Instead, in capitalism, all people are given freedom and opportunities, thus giving all an equal chance. Those who work are able to keep their products and will be rewarded for their hard work by willingly selling or buying what products they wish. Individuals from any background are able to advance in society through hard work.
In a socialist society, no one in the community will rise. Winston Churchill once said “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” In socialism, government power grows while controlling and equally redistributing property. Because there is only redistribution instead of allowing growth, there will eventually not be enough money to sustain the ever-growing community and the economy will wither away. However, in capitalism, the blessings rewarded to those who work diligently lead to less government control over the products and the people in the community. Individuals are allowed to succeed in their work and entrepreneurs can grow their businesses, in return growing the economy and success of the country. According to A Patriot’s History of the United States, in the 1920s, there was a huge growth in the private sector when the federal government was more limited, or “tied to a leash”: “the main fact was this: unleashed, and with government playing only a small role in people’s everyday affairs, American entrepreneurs produced the most vibrant eight-year burst of manufacturing and innovation in the nation’s history” (Schweikart and Allen 538). It can be concluded that “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s’ money” (Margaret Thatcher) but ”a rising tide (in the economy) lifts all boats” (John F. Kennedy).
Like the example from the 1920s, there are many more real life scenarios showing the superiority of capitalism. A very well-known socialist “world” was that of Germany and Italy during World War II. Mussolini and Hitler encouraged fascism and nazism, respectively, which can be both summed up as “a hybrid of state corporatism, nationalism, and socialism” (Schweikart and Allen 577). Germany had several years to prepare for the war and Italy had nearly fifteen years to build and strengthen its economy as much as possible. One of the Allies fighting against these countries was the U.S.. Despite battling through the Great Depression, “‘Capitalism, U.S.A.’ buried the fascist and imperialists under a mountain of fighter planes, tanks, and ships” (Schweikart and Allen 600). The U.S.had a titanic economic advantage and was able to borrow money from their current and future citizens to come up with “phenomenal production . . . within a matter of months.” These productions directed enough military power to help defeat Germany in 1945 despite U.S.’s crashed economy (Schweikart and Allen 600), showing how the success of a capitalist community rises higher than the success of a socialist community.
Despite some focus on equality, socialism and capitalism are two distinct ways to organize society, and capitalism has proven to be the more successful of the two. Hard work is rewarded and individuals are given the freedom to work hard to rise in the community. As displayed in World War II, a country that organizes its society through capitalism is able to strengthen its economy and national defense more so than a socialist totalitarian empire with over a decade of preparation. Capitalism is what makes this country successful for people of any background and gives it the name “Land of Opportunity.”
Schweikart, Larry, and Michael Allen. A Patriot’s History of the United States. Sentinel, 2007.
“5 Ways Socialism Destroys Societies.” Townhall. John Hawkins, 25 February 2014. Web. 5 April 2016. <http://www.amazon.com/Patriots-History-United-States-Columbuss/dp/1595230327>
“Why Capitalism is Better than Socialism.” Reason. Rob Montz, 24 July 2014. Web. 7 April 2016. <http://reason.com/reasontv/2014/07/24/philosopher-jason-brennan-on-utopian-soc>
Hope you enjoyed it! After we have internet, I’ll be trying to post more than once a week and will plan a variety of posts.