mao

NOTE: The following piece is not a history lesson, so no sleeping. It’s an editorial. Yelling is allowed.

Communism

Contrary to recent events, the communist system actually does work. It works all over the world, to varying degrees. Even the US dabbled with the WPA in the 30’s (an inherently communist organization). The problem with communism is scale: the larger you grow an individual communist population unit (a village, to state, to an entire country), the resulting government bureaucracy necessary to administer the system grows EXPONENTIALLY with the population, and not proportionally as one would think. Soon the segment of the population needed just to administer and check the non-governmental population outgrows the resources generated by that non-governmental population, and the system fails from lack of resources. This mass increase of government personnel leads to the mass increase of central government power. Anytime this happens, the possibility of corruption and totalitarianism will always increase.  That amount of power in one body will always lead to problems. Think: USSR. From Stalin to Khrushchev, the USSR has devolved into an off form of fascism that controlled everyone. Also, large-scale communism breeds an odd sense of non-ownership that strips the population of a sense of worth. Why repair a thing, if it’s not yours to repair? Why not steal if you’re not stealing from someone? If everyone owns it, no one owns it. After years of that type of sentiment, it would be completely understandable if a society were to crumble under the weight of its own apathy.

Small-scale communism doesn’t breed those feelings because the sense of ownership comes from the immediate community. Ownership of things as a community is somehow an easier sell, when the ‘community’ members in question are on a first-name basis with each other. Also, without the massive population and accompanying government bureaucracy, possibilities of corruption are kept low. As a matter of fact, when everyone has a stake in the operation of the government, more people are likely to keep an eye on how things are dealt with and any type of corruption becomes difficult. This type of small-scale communism is noticeable in almost all countries, or in organizations operating within those countries. Many small towns in southwest Asia are basically communist, but the deals made between cities are purely capitalist. Some countries are completely communist, while some capitalist countries have small communist sectors working within in them. You might even find a few “commune’s” left here in the U.S.

Capitalism

Capitalism allows freedom to pursue the desires of heart, regardless of the needs of the population as a whole. Financial freedom teaches responsibility for one’s personal finances, as well as a level of self-reliance overall. However, as capitalistic societies grow, there is a trend towards monopolies and economic slavery. Capitalist governments usually put protections in place to minimize these effects. But with the growth of multinational corporations, even smaller governments- entire countries, have fallen victim to external monopolies that can’t be regulated by the effected government. Though limits in government’s influence in daily lives of it’s population is implied by the capitalistic system, business-government alliances have allowed a certain level of corruption and, in some cases, totalitarian control of populations similar to communist examples.

Unfortunately, unlike communist systems where the well-being and survival of the individual is seen as the purpose of the system (no matter how repressive), the rhetorical mantra of capitalist self-reliance allows for even greater hardships on individuals to become acceptable by spreading the belief that those who experience financial hardship and death must have done so due to masses of their own personal failures. Capitalist governments can effectively circumvent any potential economic problem by convincing the population that their destitution is not a result of some failure in the society, but a result of some shameful personal failure of character to be kept hidden. If these detrimental forces are kept in check, the capitalist system can allow for the greatest growth and greatest freedom. However, preventing the inherent corruption is a constant and difficult battle.

Socialism

A perfect system would be somewhere in the middle. The middle, theoretically, is socialism. However, the details are constant sources of debate and conflict. For as many ‘socialist’ countries that exist today, there are as many systems of how it should be done. Everyone agrees that they will disagree on the specifics. Unfortunately, it’s these specifics the directly affect the quality of everyday life and personal freedoms of a population. And, what everyone finds most important differs from person to person. I’m unsure how a single government is supposed to find a happy medium for a small town, let alone an entire country, in a situation like this.

Maybe that’s the secret to a perfect government.

Choice

What do we already know? People cannot choose the laws they must live by, unless they leave their country of origin. Governments don’t like this exodus because with every person gone, a tax revenue stream disappears. Governments are defined as separate geographic areas. That why Rand-McNally sells so many “Political” maps. Countries usually don’t geographically mingle. If the governments (countries) that define these laws are going to be defined by geography, why not let geography define the law? Why not let local geography define local law? In this way, people of differing interests who might have the inclination and ability to leave a town whose has laws and systems they might find objectionable, would have no motivation to leave completely their country.

Eh?

Imagine this. Your hometown is allowed to choose whatever economic system is best for it. Maybe a socialist structure for an inner-city borough; or, a purely capitalist sentiment defines a large suburban/industrial center near the coast; or even a communist system for the tiny rural-agrarian town that provides the food for both (Communist towns/cities could be allowed under local charter, but no larger than a county just to be safe). All of these facets would be under the blanket of one central government that uses infrastructure as wealth for it’s monetary system. This system would be administered by a semi-socialist private banking system (capitalist investment banks kept completely separate by law), and a capitalist GDP trade system that’s embraced and fostered at a the national level. What would be created would be a primarily capitalist government, with selected socialist protections, and communist stability in geographical areas that need it the most. Best yet, the people not only have the right to vote for the laws where they live, but can choose to live where those laws best address their personal sentiments and desires.

Oh yes…Since it’s my system, I’d also like to see national secular/libertarian criminal law policy, liberal welfare policy, and conservative financial/spending policy be constitutionally secured. Thank you. So…ya’ll get on it.

I don’t expect an ‘ala-carte’ economic system to do anything for civic pride-or, ‘civic pride’ as Americans would know it. Any good bible-belt ‘commie-hating’ flag-waver should jump into his pick-up and shotgun tiny holes all over his new local infrastructure bank.  But I would expect nothing less from the loyal comrade fighting the terrorist war against filthy capitalist-pig casino that just opened behind the nearby organic-food store. Old habits are hard to break. Training people to become emotionally polarized over meaningless rhetoric is a common skill in many governments- communist, capitalist, or in-between. Sometimes changes have to come when people want them the least. I believe pride in a country such as the one I described would grow slowly, patiently, as more and more people recognize their standard of living and personal freedom surpasses those of the countries around them. I suggest all this because, in the end, I hope to see a day where showing your civic pride doesn’t come with screaming hatred and burning flags, but with an understanding wink and a smile.