Extremism, as we know is poison. Be it that of medicine. As we get into any debate as to how a country must be run. What must be the authoritarian ideology of the people or the government and how they must deal with economy comes from the very debate of Capitalism and Communism. Both these ideologies have a decided sphere which in simple language refers to the two wings namely, the Right and the left respectively.
Let’s take an example to draw a distinction between Capitalism and Communism and try concluding as to which one is better.
In this debate I have made use of a primary analogy that can be used in the comparison between the two subjects of the topic.
I train in an air conditioned gym and I have my own personal trainer there. The scheme of the gym is that every client must give monthly fees of Rs. 9000 in order to train in that gym. Out of this Rs. 9000, Rs. 3000 is taken by the trainer and the balance 6000 is given to the gym authority to be used for electricity, maintenance of the machine equipments, earnings of the gym owner, etc. This environment creates a competition among the gym trainers and they strive to get more clients to earn more capital.
They even have the fear of losing clients and Rs. 3000 they earn from each client if they fail to fulfil his/her requirements. If one is not a good trainer his client might switch to another trainer since the latter is more dedicated to his job. The distribution of wealth among all trainers is unequal and hence, it creates an incentive to work in the minds of all the trainers. The trainer with most clients will strive to maintain his number of clients and the trainer with the least number of clients will strive to get more clients so that he gets more money.
If this competition results in trainers striving to earn more and more capital through more and more clients, it will be beneficial for them since they will get a number of multiples of Rs. 3000 as capital and more multiples of Rs. 6000 will go to the gym authorities for better quality machine equipments, mats, better ACs and other necessities will level up, increasing the standard of the gym. This gym receives money from the trainers and because the trainers are independent workers standing on each one’s own merit, there is unequal distribution of wealth.
Now, let’s take another example with a similar setting-
There is another gym somewhere where trainers, irrespective of their merit and number of clients earn the same salary every month. The difference in earning of the most dedicated and most lazy trainer, trainer with the most number of clients and trainer with the least number of clients will be 0 because the clients will pay monthly fees not to the trainers but to the gym. The gym considers all its trainers equal and deserving the same amount throughout. Now, the trainer putting the most amount of effort will lose his incentive to be dedicated and hardworking looking at the lazy trainer receiving the same amount of salary as he does.
The laziest trainer will maintain his laziness looking at the most dedicated trainer and noticing him putting so much hard work yet receiving the same amount of capital. The trainer with the most number of clients may decide to not take a few clients seriously so that his work may reduce looking at the trainer with the least number of clients receiving the same salary as he does. This will ultimately lead to loss of the money earned by the gym and not by the trainers. If the gym earns just enough money to distribute it equally among all its trainers then there will be no/less money left for its own maintenance of equipments and electricity bills. This gym doesn’t take into consideration the quality of training given by the trainer while distribution of wealth hence, there is equal distribution of wealth.
The first gym is a classic example of Capitalism.
The second gym is a classic example of Communism.
Rs. 6000 given by the trainers to the gym in the first case is tax.
Trainers here are the business companies.
Clients are the general population of the country.
The machinery equipments are public property.
And the gym represents a Nation.
To take the debate from another level, there is one more perspective which shall be enlisted below-
“1% of Indians own 58.4% of the wealth while 10% of them own 80.7% of it. This is by no means whatsoever, fair.”
“WEALTH NEEDS TO BE REDISTRIBUTED!”
We have a common misnomer in India that “the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” I am no economist but I can refute this argument very logically.
It is not necessary that if one person turns rich, another person turns poor or that if 1% of Indians own 58.4% wealth then the rest 99% has no right to become as wealthy as those 1%.
For example, when Jerry Baldwin the founder of Starbucks became rich, he had an idea- he would sell coffee. In order to sell coffee he needed coffee beans. He needed those coffee beans to reach the right spot, after making coffee, that beverage would need to be served in a cup. People consuming that would of course, be seated somewhere. This one idea of Baldwin turned out to be beneficial for those farmers that grew coffee, people who worked in the transport industry, cup manufacturing factories and those who made furniture. When these other industries made profit because this one industry started then the owners of other industries too would have plans to expand their business using the profit income which in return would create more employment opportunities, making a number of other individuals rich.
Hence, it is not wrong to say that when one person gets rich, he makes several others rich along with himself. How does it matter to others that he himself is a billionaire today? He becoming rich is not making anyone poor but rich!
If wealth is distributed equally among all then people won’t be ambitious enough to earn and compete others. They lose all interest in work and gradually, the purpose fails.
Those who were not ambitious, will continue not being ambitious and those who were, will lose their ambition because they would not get anything by working ambitiously. This way, the income will by default reduce, there will be an equal distribution of this reduced income and in the long run, the entire system will collapse.
Let’s make use of one analogy- the classroom analogy. Everyone will study and come from home and there will be a test. Everyone will be marked according to what they have answered but there is a twist to this- the marks will be summed up and an average would be taken. That average score will be given to each and every student.
Let’s assume that the average score of a class of 40 came up to be a 7/10. Now the issue here is that a student who scored a 9/10 would feel unjust while the one who scored a 3/10 would be on the seventh heaven.
As a result of this, the bright student would next time only study as much as it would be sufficient enough to score a 7/10 while the not so smart student would not even care studying to get his usual 3/10 since even if he doesn’t put in his effort, although the average will marginally decrease, it would still be more than what he used to score individually. Like this, after every test, the average will reduce and ultimately the entire class will fail!
“Each according to his ability and each according to his needs.”
While this sounds extremely just and beautiful in books, is practically impossible.
Make a labourer work, pay his electricity bills, his children’s school fees, provide him food and clothing while you pay him no salary. This takes away the ambition of the labourer. With no salary, he has no savings and with no savings he cannot spend money to buy products which he “doesn’t need, but likes”, and wants to have!
The State employees labourers, provides them with all essential items, makes profit- Doesn’t share that profit they earn by selling products with those who manufactured them!
If the labourer received salary, maybe after a few years he would have saved enough to buy his own properties and with them, start his own business- but the State denies that opportunity of growth by simply standing for the essential needs of that individual when in a free market, he could actually grow.
This denied, is true labour exploitation- done because of Communism which claims to stand for “Worker’s Rights”
We all have a choice, don’t we? Are we all absolutely okay livin with only essentials needed to “survive”?
”Karl Marx must have known a lot about the economy, but he knew very less about the human nature.”- Sadhguru
Imagine living in a world where in I earn a billion dollars every year while my neighbour earns nothing, and I am ready to share my money with him- that indeed is a beautiful thing.
But this beautiful thing gets ugly when my neighbour “demands” MY money to be spent for HIM.
In order to establish social equality, one does not have to depend on the government to distribute wealth to the needy- those individuals who have earned enough for themselves must be encouraged but not forced to invest their wealth in the development of the nation. By this, I do not mean distribute wealth to the poor for free but make them work for you rather than begging. Pay their children’s school fees so that the children do not go through the same situation of poverty and they move up in the scale of social hierarchy.
Socialism is an imaginary way through which one is prepared to share his wealth with the poor but the fallacy here is that the wealth is imaginary. If sharing was something a person was convinced to do, then he would not await for the State to make that provision for him.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”- Maimonedes
This example clearly proves that Communism has more chances of converting to an unorganized and defective version of its original ideology and intentions and that in today ‘s world where man uses his brains more than anything else in lieu of self interest, economic Capitalism is much more dependable and appropriate for it to be implemented. Regulated Communism, no doubt would boost the economy but at cost of freedom of the people of that respective country. For Communism to prosper and work efficiently, force and a mild version of dictatorship is mandatory that ensures that people continue working even though their incentive to do so cease to be along. Primary example of this are- China and North Korea.
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