Thursday, January 15, 2009

Page 434: "Industrialism vs. capitalism" Do you agree with Palmer's analysis? What does his analysis imply about the "Cold War"

The communistic approach to industry doesn't work very well. It is from capitalism that industry arose and thrived in, so of course it is capitalism that industry works best in, nothing has changed in industrialism's opinion of life in capitalism, a fish does not suddenly decide that he can no longer live in the sea, hop onto land and live a long, happy, and fulfilled life. In my opinion industrialism in communism was like a fish out of water. One of the biggest reasons industrialism worked so well was because of the competition. Who in the heck wanted to work in the horrible conditions of factory unless that was the only way to make a better happier life for themselves and to get what they desired. It is for themselves that people work hardest. Even in modern day America, it is the image of a wealthy, successful, and easy living human that drives so many people to work hard. Communism, as practiced during the cold war, severely omitted opportunity in its rule book, although it tried to replace this with terror, censorship (or lies, but there were lies in America as well) and a cult of personality, but the truth of the matter is, happy workers make good workers. I don't hate to quote Machiavelli (but I know that everyone else does) yet the U.S.S.R. is a perfect example of how the ways that governments do act is the same way that Machiavelli described, whether successful or not. People "will offer you their blood, property, life and children . . . when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you." The point I'm trying to make (and perhaps the same point that Machiavelli was trying to make) is that people as a whole are, when it comes down to the wire, are going to act more for self-benefit than for the benefit of others. This is, as a whole, not counting individuals. Stalin used terror to get people to work in the dismal factories, and combined fear with a forced (and false) love. Without self-worth OR RELIGION people seemed to lose that certain vibrancy, no wonder so many were trying to leave! It was slave labor, people want to be working for themselves and for their families who they are deeply and emotionally connected with.
With capitaism if people want money (even with small wages) they work, but they do not have to work so there is less restriction; although they are probably not going to quit their jobs they still can, for as we all know there is not much of a life without any money in society. In communism you have to work and you don't get anywhere and you can't control whether what your working for (which is in this case your nation) is getting anywhere. In communism if you decide to work (and you always decide whether at gun point or not) you see no results because you can only control yourself while working to improve an entire nation. In capitalism if you decide to work you make money and you have the opportunity to use it (however little it may be) in whichever way you choose; you improve yourself but you also improve your nation. In capitalism if you don't work you live on the street or out in the woods; you'll probably die but it's not definite. In communism if you don't work you get executed, not probably, you're dead. Not to mention in communism you have no religion and you see (or hear about) tens of innocent people killed everyday. This provides for some extreme depression because everything is beyond your control, and humans were not meant to live beyond there own control! It was a lack of opportunity in communism, plus terror, and atheism that made its members not work as hard as the workers in capitalism. Yet perhaps more important was the fact that Russia was in tatters and had to start from scratch after the revolution whereas the west had a relatively strong head start and had not much loss of security since it didn't have to change its whole system of government. The fact that Russians had nothing to lose caused them to agree to anything that would get them fed. This did not mean that they were any less unhappy about there dismal conditions, its obvious they were unhappy, that's why they fled to the west, that's why they didn't produce as much (although the American head start and money proved more decisive than happiness), and that's why when they fought they were more afraid of their home than the enemy, they were happy to live under enemy capture if they got fed. It is the same reason why free trade works better than mercantilism, it is natural, and communism is not natural, in the wild an animal's number one goal in life is to keep on living and bettering themselves, number two is others, and many times they act on the behalf of others to feel good about themselves. But when you are acting on the behalf of a government that is killing your friends and family, you do not feel very good about yourself. At least God is perfect, Stalin was as far from God as any idol could be and wouldn;t allow people to worship God. A life under communist Russia proved quite meaningless except for endless slave devotion to the painting of some evil old man. But my main point is opportunity, communists lacked the opportunity of a better life, they lost the fundamental pursuit of happiness. That is why they had to cover themselves up so much, people do not want to work in a factory to better an already extremely wealthy government in one store when they can work across the street for cash they can keep and get something for their efforts. People only volunteer for a reward other than cash, like knowledge or experience and unhappy people are less enthusiastic to help others. Communism is based on helping others and Russian communism made people unhappy. On top of that it put unhappy people in an unhappy place and expected great results. Looks like their expectations were a bit high.

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