Well yesterday was day one of ‘blog a day’. I thought it was a bit of a tough call, trying to come up with a blog about naming a currency. However, today, wow, the guys at WordPress have surpassed themselves.
Some kind soul decided that nothing would be better than to confound us daily bloggers with this wonderful exciting topic: Explain the difference between socialism, communism and anarchy.
My first thought was can it get any more difficult or dull? Which saddo is behind these daily blog ideas? But, the more I pondered on this, the more I came to realise that I’m quite a politically minded woman with some fairly strong views.
It’s difficult to be objective about different political ideologies when I have only ever lived my life in a capitalist society. I can look up socialism, communism and anarchy on the net. But, does it really give a true interpretation of life under their rules? I suspect not.
I live in a capitalist country, and if you look up capitalism it sounds pretty good. It is supposed to be a ruling system that encourages an individuals economic growth. From that growth the idea is that we individuals can enjoy enormous freedom in all areas of our lives. But, how true is that statement? How many people truly have the opportunity to enhance their lives just through their own volition? I have lived for well over 50 years and I know very few people who have been in a position to use their talents to make major improvements in their lives, or the lives of their families. I know I am generalizing, but, it appears to me that those in power tend to have had the best opportunities from the very beginning of their lives. I find it is rare that someone from a disadvantaged background has exactly the same opportunities as one from n privileged one.
One of my friends and I have often discussed our society. We both feel a great sadness when we realise that at its core tends to be an overwhelming desire for more and more materialistic trappings, more consumerism, more consumption, rather than working towards a fairer society which looks after its more vulnerable.
It seems crazy to me that someone who chooses a career of care, for example, nursing, is paid far far less than those in the public eye. Here in the UK we have ambulance drivers and firemen who cannot afford to buy the most basic homes for their families. These are people who work tirelessly to help others. If you look at our celebrity culture in the west, it appears that anyone who can sing, act, or kick a ball around a football field, can earn vast amounts of money. Even those who are celebrities, just because they have been on a reality show, earn huge amounts compared to people who are employed as the backbones of our society. Surely that just shows how capitalism has failed.
Now, if you then consider living under communist rule, from our western capitalistic viewpoint, everyone in a communistic society should be paid the same. We gather they should live in standard accommodation and expect the same levels of education, healthcare etc. I wonder how true that is? It sounds like utopia until you realise that some people are hard workers and others are clearly not. Some are highly intelligent, some are not. How would you feel if you worked exceptionally hard and were paid the same, had the same standards of living and lifestyle as someone who shirked as much as possible? What would be your motivation to study or enhance your skills? How would you feel if you felt that no matter how hard you tried you could not improve your life? My overwhelming feeling is one of personal imprisonment.
My favourite aunt was a staunch promoter of socialism. She felt the ethos embodied total fairness and equality for all. A society where the working classes and minority groups are considered worthy. A constitution that rules for a fair distribution of wealth. She was dismayed at the lack of support for socialism by the ruling classes. How easy would it be for those wealthy in the capitalist countries to agree to re-distribute some of their wealth? I would say nigh on an impossibility.
Most people would think that anarchy means that there is no order, no rules, no governing body. However, looking at this from a totally different viewpoint, you might even think that it could actually work. Instead of a centralised government, a country run with pure anarchistic rules, offers more of a collaborative system whereby all citizens have to be responsible and be able to compromise to achieve what is best for everyone. It is almost like a series of local committees which all come together for the greater good. The community itself would set its own standards for moral values, much like a family does now. Was this the type of rule that was prevalent in the tribes of the Native Americans or in deepest Africa? Possibly.
I do believe there is not one perfect solution, not ‘one size fits all’ political constitution. If we were all born with the same capabilities, the same intelligence, the same desires, it would be so easy. We are not a planet of robots. That is the problem. We all have our own individual views, which is what makes us who we are.
I sincerely hope that one day, throughout the world, the average Jo, the backbones of our societies, the vulnerable, the much talked about but seldom heard, silent majority, will be heard, will be considered worthy, will be able to enjoy a good standard of living.
If mankind could all just live by this one rule: ‘treat others the way you would like to be treated‘ and that was carried throughout society, from local councils right through to our world governments, wow, now that would be a perfect society.