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Socialism in a Capitalist Society

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Capitalism is an economic system that stresses the private ownership of goods and property. Under capitalism anyone can start a business and reap the rewards of his or her hard work if the business is successful. Today, because of increased competition, it is becoming harder to succeed unless the owner is highly innovative.

In an economic or political sense socialism is a doctrine that believes the ownership of property is better relegated to the government or some other collective entity. In the social sense socialism can be considered a doctrine that stresses manipulation of the individual by the interests of the majority. The former USSR is an extreme example of a radical form of socialism called communism. There the government owned all business, and people were forced to work for a living in the manner dictated by their government.

The way wealth is distributed in the United States shows actually how much capitalism groups of people actually enjoy. It’s easier to understand if you think of trying to share a total of $ 100 dollars among 100 people. The table below shows how the $ 100 would be distributed proportional to the way wealth is actually distributed in the U.S. according to 2001 statistics.

$ 38.100 to 1 person

$ 5.325 to 4 people

$ 2.300 to 5 people —–> $ 70.90 to 10 people

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$ 1.250 to 10 people

$ 0.595 to 20 people

$ 0.225 to 20 people —–> $ 28.90 to 50 people

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$ 0.005 to 40 people —–> $ 0.20 to 40 people

We could arbitrarily set up definitions for the upper class, middle class, and lower class. The upper class is the 10 people who get $ 2.30 and above. The middle class could be considered the 50 people who get from $ 0.225 to $ 1.25. And the lower class is the 40 people that almost get nothing.

If you look at the above distribution you can see that most people living in the United States really don’t have that much capital to control. As time goes on the upper class is using socialist concepts to try to remove as much wealth as they can from the middle class and get it under their control. The banks whose corporate heads occupy the upper class, use techniques like mortgages, car loans, and credit cards to gain more and more control over the rest of the population.

Big corporations need a workforce to keep accumulating wealth. They need a workforce that does not cause problems or rebel. People would eventually revolt if they believed they had nothing. So the system creates an illusion of ownership with loans and credit cards. The main thing is to keep the workers from thinking too hard, so they wouldn’t cause trouble. The conventional media is used to numb rational thinking by entertaining the public with mind dulling activities.

Corporations are only capitalistic at the highest level. Moving down the management ladder, the employees experience a greater and greater amount of socialism. They get their orders from the collective they call “corporate”. At lower levels, individuality is discouraged and conformity is applauded. Corporations tell their employees that they are part of their family and use the word teamwork to stress conformity in an upbeat way.

The use of technology has greatly increased the bureaucracy associated with the corporate culture. Computers introduced much easier means to track such things as inventory, efficiency, and the workforce. The amount of paperwork associated with previously simple operations skyrocketed. The internet became a home for databases referencing work history, medical records, shopping habits, and many other categories.

Public schools and many “technical” colleges are training people be procedural rather than creative. Someone who learns to do things step by step following some rule and never questions the reason for this rule is procedural. When one is creative, one tries to understand why he or she is performing a task. Creativity allows the individual to be able to perform the same task in a variety of ways, not just by following some pre-established rule set down by someone of a higher rank in the collective hive. There is nothing wrong in rules if they are useful. By using our creativity, we can investigate how useful these rules really are rather just taking someone else’s word for it.

When people are conditioned to be procedural, they find it hard to make decisions in unusual situations. The Kentucky based Courier-Journal reports about an unusual hoax that occurred recently throughout the US. Someone called fast food restaurant managers and pretended to be a policeman investigating a theft. He asked that the managers to strip-search, usually, one of their employees. Many of the fast food managers complied. This is not surprising, simply because people are socialized by schools and the media to blindly obey authority figures.

Phishing schemes, where thieves get people to surrender their personal information are other examples of obedience to authority. The thieves send an email, supposedly from the victim’s bank, asking the victim to verify his or her personal information. In this case, the bank is the symbol of authority that must be obeyed, even when it’s not really the bank. With a little reasoning these phishing schemes can easily be spotted. Yet, there are so many people falling victim to this type of scam that the latest versions of both the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers include antiphishing protection.

Many other similar scams succeed only because we lack the analytical skills to see them for what they really are. Because of the emphasis on procedural training rather than analytical training, more and more people are becoming robots easily controlled by their collective masters.

The media preaches to us through radio, television, newspapers, and some forms of internet how we must behave. This is called political correctness. When a public personality violates any of the rules of political correctness, the media makes a point to ostracize the individual, so that everyone would be warned not to say or do anything that is not in line with “proper” conduct. John Carey, Mel Gibbson, and Michael Richards were personalities that recently made statements that were not politically correct. Their stories were covered for weeks in the media while none of the three incidents was really newsworthy. This form of media coverage is really an attack on individual expression. Freedom of expression according to the corporate alien media can be defined in the following way: Everyone has the right to say or do anything lawful, but if what you say or do is not politically correct, we’ll discredit you, make you look like a fool, and do our best to ruin your reputation.

The statements of Carey, Gibson, and Richards may have been inappropriate, but they were made to specific audiences. If apologies were required, they could have been quietly made to the people they offended. To turn their remarks into global issues is a way of warning the world to conform to what is considered “proper” by the collective standard.

While most workers and middle managers hear a lot about the importance of socialist concepts such as teamwork and political correctness, upper management is busy reaping the rewards of true capitalism. More and more CEOs are demanding outlandish salaries. Government officials get much lower salaries but they make up for it with assorted perks and shady deals. Greed is the God of capitalism, and the faithful rich religiously keep his commandments. Where is the teamwork there? Even during the time of the Soviet Union, while most of the Soviet people were busy being good communists, the leaders acted pretty much like the capitalists they condemned.

What is truly needed is more socialism at the top, and less at the bottom. Instead of raking in huge salaries, upper management should distribute some of their wealth toward wages and other benefits of the workforce and lower cost of goods and services. Middle class schools should be emphasizing teaching people to think instead of how to memorize. The media should not attack people for saying what they mean, even if the majority doesn’t agree. Radio and television should broadcast meaningful discussions by even the most controversial groups. Current bureaucracy should be condensed by reducing unnecessary paperwork and useless busywork.

George Lunt is someone who feels the world is getting too corporate. His writings relate the individual’s struggle with big government and big corporations. His website is http://www.corporate-aliens.com

This article is © George Lunt. All usage of this article must include a citation to the author and a link to corporate-aliens.com.

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