Choosing socialism is wise

The defenders of capitalism to be credible are called upon to defend capitalism on its merits

Re: Recent letters to the editor discussing capitalism vs. socialism

The defenders of capitalism to be credible are called upon to defend capitalism on its merits and to impose on capitalism the same historical accountability they demand of socialism.

For example: a global capitalist depression occurred in 2008 and continues with hundreds of millions unemployed including 1.4 million in Canada. What does socialism have to do with it?

There have been four tragic and avoidable US/NATO wars of regime change in the last two decades against UN member states: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now possibly Syria in which millions have died and suffered and continue to do so. What does socialism have to do with it?

In all G7/NATO states — the bloc of capitalist states that Canada is a member — there is economic inequality, societal breakdown, poverty, homelessness, racism, pornography and degradation of women and neglect of children. What does socialism have to do with it?

All capitalist states are failing in their responsibilities to take rigorous action to mitigate global warming. What does socialism have to do with it?

Capitalist proponents assert that capitalism’s failures are not attributable to the system of capitalism but due to enemies of “our way of life,” “evil doers,” atheists, communists, socialists and assorted foreign malcontents who “live in envy of western society.”

Ostensibly to defend us from the threats of these “evil doers” successive US administrations, that can’t provide a decent health care system for its people, spends more on its military than all other states combined.

According to the reasoning of letter writer Roger Pratt, if the critics of capitalism would just stop mentioning these facts the system would spontaneously overcome wars, poverty, economic crisis and human exploitation.

Mr. Pratt and those who share his views, have a problem. Millions of wage earners, employed and unemployed living in developed capitalist countries are not prepared to wait until capitalism spontaneously repairs itself.

It takes the intervention of millions of politically active people motivated by the common good to compel governments to do that or to elect governments that will.  That is called democracy.

Organized labour in Europe and North America reject the nostrums of the G7, IMF, the EUB and the World Bank because capitalist austerity is designed to save the private banking system and with it the lavish lifestyle of a handful of parasitical elites and is not for the welfare of people who have to earn wages to survive. The last time I looked the IMF had no proposals to impose austerity on members of the Canadian Senate.

Karl Marx quipped that the only thing the capitalists share with the working people is the national debt.

The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the most extreme political expression of the ideology of those finance capitalists who seek to remove all impediments to the free flow of private capital, extol the market economy and work to turn all of the social achievements of the Canadian people into private for profit businesses.

The fact is that after seven years of power, the Harper government claims it is an achievement that the only growth sector of the economy is the export of unprocessed raw fossil fuel energy. The fact that all other productive sectors are in decline is of no account.

It is the aforementioned reality that will grip the public discourse as we head towards the 100th anniversary of Confederation. Wither Canada in the future?

Some of us believe that socialism is an option to consider. Canadians have not as yet opted for socialism. Some countries have. That is their right.

Venezuela represents a growing number of developing countries that no longer accept the view that they may choose any system they wish so long as it has the prior approval of the biggest imperial power in the region, the USA. A majority of the Venezuelan people have repeatedly elected a socialist government because they support its economic and social program. They have learned from their own experience that Venezuelan capitalists, who held power for a long time, did nothing to overcome mass poverty.

The G7/NATO states, of which Canada is a part, have enough unresolved social problems of its own to confront and are in no position to tell other countries how to solve theirs.

The reality is that people everywhere are asserting their sovereignty over their own destiny. That reality is becoming the major trend in international affairs. It is taking place whether Prime Minister Harper and Mr. Pratt approve of it or not.

Don Currie

Slocan