Unspoken Realities About Capitalism and Socialism in Democracy-Centered Republics
Do you know the real difference between socialism and capitalism? Quite a number of politicians and pundits today are counting on you NOT knowing, so they can manipulate you into believing whatever serves them and their ideology for you to believe. Here, in the spirit of spin-busting, are the secrets about capitalism and socialism that those particular pundits and politicians don’t want you to know.
Capitalism has each person pay only for the cost of whatever they choose to purchase. Not more, not less. In contrast, socialism spreads among financially capable citizens the cost of projects or services that a society (or a group) needs in order to function.
Capitalism works best with purchases you alone are free to make as an exercise of your personal freedom. Socialism works best with costs connected with infrastructures deemed necessary for the common good.
Do you believe in emergency services like police, fire, paramedics, military? Emergency services are forms of socialism.
Do you believe in epidemic prevention infrastructures like sewers, garbage removal, water purification, etc? Public health strategies are forms of socialism.
Do you believe in the importance of transportation infrastructure, such as properly maintained roadways, public transportation, and air traffic control? Transportation infrastructure maintenance is a form of socialism.
Do you believe in insurance? Yes, even health insurance, and in fact all insurance, is a form of socialism. Why? Because it spreads costs evenly among everyone in an insurance category even though each individual uses uneven amounts of their health coverage.
These are but a handful of many examples of how socialism is an unavoidable part of democracy-centered republics.
Here’s the truth about capitalism, socialism, and the U.S. Constitution: The Constitution established a country that places equal emphasis on individual freedom and the common good. It requires our government to be the steward of this vision as a servant to we the people. In our society, capitalism has been the honored financial expression of individual freedom and socialism has been the financial method through which the common good has generally been funded.
So, don’t fall prey to media and politician spin about capitalism and socialism. The question isn’t whether socialism is good or bad, or whether capitalism is good or bad. Each of these two systems has its strengths and each system can be misused.
The real issue is, what strategies for promoting the common good are most effective and equitable in today’s world? The real question is, which ways of promoting the common good is government best at providing and which ways of promoting the common good might a freesponsible market be best at providing?
Our level of interconnection has become far more extensive than pioneering capitalists like Adam Smith ever planned on, whihc means that the impact of our right to personal freedom is also greater than it has ever been. This reality requires us to find the courage to look carefully at whether the time has come to birth a new economic system that goes beyond both capitalism and socialism. (For more about this click here.)
If such a system can be discovered, it would need to deal more effectively with the tensions between individual freedom and the common good as this tension expresses itself in today’s world than our current blend of capitalism and socialism does.
I am not an economist so I do not pretend to have the expertise necessary to propose what such as system might look like. What I do have the expertise to put forth, as perhaps the world’s only intergrity educator who is a clinical-organizational psychologist, is an Integrity Stimulus Plan that lays a foundation that can help us create such as system (or at least help us do a better job of making capitalism and socialism work better in today’s world).
The Integrity Stimulus Plan articulates psychologically sound ways to blend freedom and the common good in ways that are more responsive to the demand of today’s world. The cornerstone of this is combining freedom and responsibility, which is what each individual and business citizen is called upon to do in a democracy-centered republic like the United States. That combination is called Freesponsibilty.
The sections of the Integrity Stimulus Plan on economic integrity and citizen integrity will illuminate more about what I have written in this post, but be sure to read all five key forms of integrity covered in the Integrity Stimulus Plan. This plan is the cornerstone of my Integritize America campaign.
You will find my complete five-book-award-winning road map for reconnecting the dots between integrity, life fulfillment, love, profitability and social responsibility in The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World.