Except for all the others, Winston Churchill famously said.
I’ve always been a passionate hater of communism. That’s because I did a lot of reading on the topic when I was young.
I vividly remember sitting under the sun every Monday on a perfect white sand beach in the Philippines (I lived there as a student for a year) reading books like:
- The Gulag Archipelago
- Cancer Ward
- A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch
- Brave New World
And biographies of people like Mao and Lenin and Stalin and the other communist monsters that inflicted more deaths on humankind (mostly their own people) than all the monsters of all of world history combined. Their names are rightly associated with human slavery and oppression.
And then came the stunning day in 1989 that the Berlin Wall came down and the whole Soviet system collapsed. Millions around the world rejoiced and celebrated. If the 20th century proved anything in a real life experiment involving hundreds of millions of people, it’s that socialism doesn’t work.
So imagine my surprise when a new generation of people who didn’t live through all this had this bright idea:
“Hey, WE NEED MORE SOCIALISM!!”
So here are just a very few reasons why capitalism is the better way:
Capitalism forces you to help others
If you want to be moderately successful, help a business owner of a small business serve their customers. You’ll do fine. Nothing wrong with that.
But if you want to become a billionaire, figure out how to help millions of people. It’s going to take a lot more work and passion and risk and dedication and talent, but you get to choose how you want to spend your life. If you want to do the work, go for it. If not, enjoy your family and time off. You choose! But you’ll only get rich by meeting the needs of other people.
Capitalism forces you to work and innovate to make things better
When there’s no competition, everything stagnates. How would your company do if it were in the passport issuing business today? Can you imagine a small business surviving that offers the dismal service we see around us in this department today? If the passport office had a competitor, I’m guessing they’d think of better solutions very quickly. But without the profit motive driving competition, that can’t happen.
Capitalism puts power in the hands of the people
If you don’t like Elon Musk, stop buying Teslas and his reign is over. Again and again, the biggest and richest corporations go away because people vote with their wallets. Think Sears. Think Eatons. Think Blackberry. You get to choose who prospers, not the government.
Capitalism goes hand in hand with human flourishing
“As a person who’s spent nearly 30 years fighting to get people out of poverty, it was somewhat humbling to realize that commerce played a bigger role than development. I’d say that’s my biggest transformation in 10 years: understanding the power of commerce to make or break lives.”
-Bono from U2
And of course by ‘commerce’ he means capitalism 🙂
Citizens of free market countries are richer by orders of magnitude than citizens of socialist or communist countries. The verdict of history is clear on this point. The stats don’t lie.
I’m all about human freedom and flourishing. I hope you are too.
Getting ahead is about getting started! And getting ahead is about embracing a free market system!
Please share this with someone under 35. And leave your comments below!
Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.” He is also co-founder and senior instructor at professionalleadershipinstitute.com https://professionalleadershipinstitute.com/
Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068