"The difference between capitalism and socialism is that capitalism is mans exploitation by man and socialism is just the other way around."
So it would seem. There is however a glaring difference. The capitalist is doing what he does for the purpose of generating a profit for himself and perhaps his shareholders while the socialist has no such desire. The socialist sees life a little differently and instead of trying to invest in property and activity which will increase the wealth, is more focused on re-distributing the wealth which the capitalist has created. It seems somehow unfair to the socialist that the businessman has been able through hard work and opportunity to amass wealth for himself. This is judged as being selfish in consideration of the fact that most people aren't so successful in accumulating wealth. The socialist therefore, taking his cue from Robin Hood, is ready and willing to even the score.
If individual property rights were totally withdrawn, worldwide, and placed under the authority of a central world government what would we have? Some benefits for sure! International borders could be eliminated. Currency exchange fee could be eliminated overnight. All wages equalized. Freedom baby! With all that wealth available for redistribution no one would have to work again! Well, not quite so fast...
Roofs still leak, people eat. They need transportation. In fact, all needs and appetites go on as before under our newly-formed One World Gov't. And so, very quickly conscriptions would be ordered forcing the able- bodied to mow the lawns, fix the roofs, farm the farms and haul the travelers to their destinations. Not for profit, mind but just because. In effect, we now live under a new form of oppressor, only now the oppressor is the central govt and those he appoints beneath him. And, and, And, not one of them will have the slightest clue about how to handle wealth and turn it into more wealth. Instead the economy will be a spending economy. Slowly ridding ourselves of the wealth the free market managers of the past created. A little like taking the piano away from Mozart and dividing its component parts among the masses. Wherever did the music go?
With all this unexpected wealth of time on my back, Ive been enjoying the luxury of reading a half dozen or so books. An intriguing one for me has been The Territorial Imperative. Although I disagree with the evolutionary premise of the book,there is no doubt that the animal kingdom is rife with the desire to have ones own turf. Whether monkeys or lemures or birds of the air, even fish of the sea, there appears to be an undeniable driving force for creatures of all fashions to keep a bit of property for themselves, and they will defend this property in many cases to the death!
In fact the author, Robert Ardrey contends that the urge for property is actually stronger than the urge for sex. Previously, through the observation of animal behaviour in zoos, it was thought that the desire for sex supercedes all other desires. And Freud, jumped on this bandwagon and fathered what is now called modern psychology on this very premise. And yet, when animals are studied in their natural haunts, it has been clearly demonstrated that the dominant drive is for territory!
Now, you can draw the conclusion from this that man is justified, because of his evolutionary background, in killing and annihilating populations of human beings in order to expand his own territory or you can draw another conclusion. Its often been said that religion is at fault for producing the worlds most serious conflicts. And , aas we consider the current state of affairs with the Islamic desire to apparently form a world-wide caliphate, this might seem to be in fact the case.. My own conclusion, though is that what we are experiencing in these constant struggles between rivaling factions or on a larger scale, world powers, is nothing more nor less that the simple lust for ever-expanding property ownership! And for accomplishing this goal, it seems that some are more willing than others to use a cloak of religion in order to mask the raw nature of their greedy desires.
The majority of men, given the choice of whether to go to war or not, of course would invariably chose to stay at home and watch the tele, pay their bills and generally be content with what there may be in the refrigerator at the moment. Yet, the fact remains, you can have a million of these gentle souls in a valley and they can all be easily overcome by a rampaging hoard of twenty vicous militants who care not for sparing innocent life.
We are seeing exactly this, in Nigeria right now with Boko Haram, in Kenya with Al Shabaab, in Syria and Iraq with Isis. And, inevitably, their bloody conquests for ill-gotten gain are being cloaked in a religious mantle. And yet, when the smell of burned cordite has blown away on the desert wind, and the bodies have been buried, the end result tells the true story. It was all about the land and who controls what happens on it! And all the gentle folk in the world, who chose to simply live by that lake, and content themselves with their small shacks, raising their children the best way they knew how, paid the price for their insolence against Islam, now didn't they?
But then, we all know, don't we, that such murderous attacks aren't really being carried out for the purpose of promoting Islam, or Christianity or Buddhism, for that matter? If it were for such a purpose, surely time would be given to sort out the victims according to their individual beliefs! As it is, we have armoured trucks rumbling through an African village, mowing down anyone bold enough to show themselves, without regard to age, gender, hairstyle, economic status, or religious affiliation.
And if this were not convincing enough, the suicide bombings in the public markets should be helpful in proving the lack of concern for the religious convictions of the victims. Surely, if the violence was directed towards the building of a particular religious class of people, a little more discretion in the killings would be called for!
And so, if indeed all this violence is not about religion, and is simply the natural outflow of the insatiable greed of certain fellow citizens of our fair planet, then what can be done about it? Are we arrogant enough to think that there is ever going to be a human-constructed solution to the problem? Am I suggesting that we all just fold our arms and wait for the next slaughtering hoard to move through our camps, killing and raping to their hearts content?
In all of nature, there are boundaries and limits. The sea may roar with twenty meter waves, but it all comes to nothing when it hits the rock wall of the cliff. Predator populations explode while prey is plentiful, over-consume and crash with the reduction of available prey. Man too, has his limits. It is rare for a man to live much beyond a hundred. His day will come, his exploits will be written in the history books and his bones will molder where they lie. There is a self-correcting force written into earths code of life. No matter how great the damage man or beast may inflict, healing is on the way, both for the earth and the beneficiary of the violence.
Some choose the way of violence, others the way of peace. Both fall to the ground, the memories of their lives rapidly fading. Some cry, "kill them all and let God sort them out!" If you believe he will, you would never utter such a statement, much less dare to carry it out!
Well, just let me say I've definitely taken the road less travelled. From a farmkid in Saskatchewan to commercial fisherman, welder, machinist, log builder, wilderness tourism guide, Ive got a wealth of memories but still often manage to forget some pretty basic things!