I joke a lot about how much I hate socialism. And it’s a joke because I don’t really hate it, that might surprise a few. The ideals that socialism tries to forward is in response to some negative aspects of capitalism. People misguidedly believe that the core belief of capitalism is self-centeredness. Where the capitalist has no problems hurting other people’s feelings to get their own way. Socialism counters by upholding ideals of love, generosity, care.
So it’s not surprising to find that people don’t much like capitalism and they prefer the love, generosity, and care stuff. And I’m inclined in the same way. That’s why I believe that most people have no idea what they’re talking about when they’re describing capitalism. But not only that, I think for too long we’ve been stuck with century old concepts such as capitalism and socialism. What is required as a re-evaluation of society and creating lines along different concepts to better handle our 21st century, multi-national, super-fast information age.
The solution capitalism provides is to tear away certain veils of illusion that people generally want to believe. One thing people never really want to face is just how alone they are. Think about the last time you gave real thought to it. Maybe it was when you felt alone that you thought about it. And depending on how unlucky your current life situation is, maybe you feel it often.
But feelings can, and often do, cloud thinking. More often, it is a way to escape reality rather than face it. So I still attest that people generally do not want to face the reality of how alone they are. Right now, there is no one here inside my head except me. I’m thinking these thoughts and I am writing these words. And there’s no real way for me to absolutely know whether the people reading this, even the closest to me, are real.
Now this sort of thinking and analysis also lead to the biggest problem with capitalism, solipsism. That ruthless capitalist who doesn’t care about other people’s feelings except their own, probably doesn’t believe that anyone else really exists.
The persistent illusion
But just because you can’t find proof for it yourself doesn’t mean that it’s not there and that the people around you aren’t real. And I can attest that certain values of socialism, such as kindness, care, generosity, love, at least have far better returns than wealth does. So it’s worth more to you to believe that other people are real than not. And socialism does this pretty well.
Yet socialism can take this a little too far and unfortunately help people to add more layers of deception over the truth, which is that we’re utterly alone. Everyone of us.
Keeping this truth in mind is necessary, because socialism has a tendency to water down generosity and other similar things by forcing it on people we don’t particularly want to be generous to, really know and care about, and definitely don’t love. If we remember more often of how utterly alone we are, it frees us of the responsibility of the world on our shoulders. It allows us to shed false love and find real grace with others that we truly, authentically, care for.