Socialism in U.S. can cure capitalism’s woes

The 20th century witnessed the great struggle between capitalism and communism. While the capitalists held on to the wealthy states of Western Europe and North America, there were tendencies toward communism in the majority of the world, in which widespread poverty made the egalitarian beliefs widely accepted. In today’s post-communist world, many nations have accepted socialism — defined as a set of economic policies preached by the communists ­— without the same absolute power structure and state control that existed in all former communist regimes. The historical trend shows that the creation of a new socialism is necessary to prevent the reoccurrence of communist-inspired violence and instability that result in more poverty.

The lack of equal opportunity for all people is the fundamental reason for communist revolution throughout the developing world in the last century. In all such states, the people had no opportunity for advancement in the economic hierarchy, thereby placing them in a situation where they had nothing to lose in destroying the government already in place. The phenomenon is best exemplified by the Communist Revolution of China, which ended in 1949. Under the capitalist Nationalist government that was in place, the urban elite prospered with foreign investment while securing their higher social status with the monopoly of the large businesses and the minimal higher education system. However, the peasantry was heavily taxed to finance the burden of the continued war with Japan while corrupt officials and large rural landowners allowed little benefits to trickle down to the majority rural population at the time.

With no source for education, the poor were destined to remain poor as they farmed their meager land or faced heavy exploitation as migrant workers in the cities. With desperation building up within the impoverished, only a brilliant leader — such as China had found in Mao Zedong — is needed to transform them into a formidable anti-government force. China was not an isolated case; Lenin in Czarist Russia, Ho Chi Minh in French-controlled Vietnam and Castro in Batista’s Cuba all saw the same inequalities between urban elites and the rural majority. Ironically, the ensuing fights to end such inequality only led to the destruction of infrastructure and outflow of capital with the exile of urban elites and foreign companies, precipitating in greater poverty and extermination of any opportunities to gain economic wealth. The lack of socialist policies in many capitalist countries is the root cause for the instability and poverty brought on by communist-inspired violence.

The threat of violence due to inequality is very much alive in the world of today, especially among the developing countries, exemplified by such groups as Maoist guerrillas in Nepal and rioting Algerian youth in the major cities of France. The only effective way to prevent such instability and violence is to implement a specific set of new socialist policies for the legal residents of the country.

For one, the quality of required education received by all children must be equalized. Today, the difference between the elite private schools and urban public schools in America has never been greater. To alleviate the situation, the government needs to either nationalize all private schools and fund them equally among each other or privatize all public schools and financially assist poorer students.

Second, the joblessness of able-bodied workers must be changed through government-funded job-training programs and job placements. Cutting social welfare payments for many unemployed able-bodied persons would provide funding for these programs. The combination of two policies can effectively prevent the unemployment of many who would otherwise contribute to the country’s economy.

Lastly, all residency requirements for employment should be abolished. Economic flexibility can greatly reduce unemployment in some areas by filling labor shortages in other areas. Eventually, government spending on social welfare, education subsidy and job training programs will decrease significantly with the newly found financial independence of many previously unemployed and their posterity. Guaranteeing equal opportunities, the state can effectively lower unemployment, preventing the sense of economic desperation of the impoverished in order to generate stability and productivity.

Since the rise of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the last century, the word “socialism” has always suggested the subsequent support of communist policies. However, socialism need not be represented by financial subsidy to the jobless or free procurement of such services as medical care and education that countries such as Sweden have interpreted it to be. It is the role of the government to guarantee a job for all who can and wishes to work, thus preventing wealth concentration in the hands of the few and the abandonment of the poor generation after generation.

On the other hand, it should be realized that new socialist policies are not a guarantor of national income. The government’s duty ends at pointing the people in the right direction; it is the responsibility of each individual to take that path and work hard.

Xiaochen Su is a sophomore in Davenport College.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    That's it, I'm convinced: Xiaochen Su is the next Jonathan Swift. The only other possible explanation to his columns is that he's never taken an economics or 20th century history class, but you'd have to be really ignorant to do such a thing at the greatest liberal arts institution in the world.

  • Anonymous

    And this kid is a econ. major…What a chump.

  • Anonymous

    completely agree; as I hope others will as well

  • Anonymous

    If we remove residency requirements for jobs, how will we know whose baby formula to tax?

  • Anonymous

    Wonder if he's as good at stand-up?

  • Anonymous

    Is there more than one Xiaochen Su in Dport '10? There aren't many traces of the xenophobic argument we saw before.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, thanks; it is so rare to laugh out loud while reading the YDN!

    I put this right up there with the perennial "let's spend Yale's endowment" and "rally against this/that/the-other-thing."

    Ah, you youngsters are still such a hoot!

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree. There is nothing wrong with stealing the contents of your neighbor's wallet, as long as it is put towards the public good. Property rights, what are those?

  • Anonymous

    So is he suggesting that China is a land where the poor have been elevated? It is exactly the same as it was in 1949 in terms of class divide, save for who is in what class. All of the old elites fled to Taiwan or were reeducated, only to replaced by others who have proved just as oppressive and unwilling to help the peasants. China is a capitalist oligarchy, anyone who wants to call it a true Socialist or Communist country is just ignoring the reality of the situation.

  • Anonymous

    I actually think this guy said that the opposite: he said the revolution in China led ironically to destruction and more poverty. he never said anything about China being a country with equal opportunities

  • Anonymous

    Dear God-Thank you for allowing Xiaochen Su to attend Yale University and write this piece for the Yale Daily News. My dad who was 19 years-old in 1945 landed on Iwo Jima with the 5th Marine Division and was wounded there fought to protect Xiaochen's right to express himself. I only wish that my dad was around now to sit awhile with Xiaochen and explain to him how foolish and ignorant his thoughts appear. But, alas Xiaochen never would be able to understand the feelings of an old Marine. He never would be able to understand a warrior's true feelings about the nature of what is right or just. -Pasquale-

  • Anonymous

    TO THE ANONYMOUS WARRIOR… cut that flag waving idiocy! People outside the USA are getting tired of it, quite frankly. Mr. Su has made it clear that he carries a Chinese passport and that he has no intentions of giving it up—so leave your father’s heroism out of it—and please show some respect for your father by not involving him in your sentimental hogwash. Read some history instead.