The United States of Capitalism

I was recently reading one of the right-wing pundits talking about the evils of socialism as presented by AOC, Sanders, et al, and according to him anyway the entire Democratic party.

However the socialism he described was not the universal healthcare, affordable education, or other progressive talking points I’m used to hearing. It was the full blown marxist-leninist socialism and collectivist communism of the Soviet Union, communist China, North Korea, Cuba, etc. etc.

As an example of the superiority of capitalism over socialism, he cites specifically East Germany vs West Germany, and North Korea vs South Korea. He further sites both India and China and their move away from a (marxist) socialist economy to a more capitalist economy. In these cases he points out how the people are economically more successful, taller, healthier, happier etc. under capitalism.

And I agree with him. Soviet style socialism is bad, m’kay. Collectivist communism is objectivly a failure, it has not been economically successful anywhere. Ever. And given that this style of economic model tends to be coupled with authoritarian or dictatorial political leadership, it is a thing that should be avoided at all costs. I think most of us can agree on this.

So, therefore… I am fully willing to adopt a West German / South Korean style of capitalism. I should add, Germany has had socialized medicine since… wait for it… 1883. South Korea took a little longer, they did not decide universal health coverage was a good idea until… 1976.
Of course, India and China are late to the game, having more recently emerged from the darkness of a socialist economy into the bright light of capitalism. They didn’t get universal healthcare until 2014 and 2011 respectively. Better late than never.

So while I have yet to hear any progressive Democrat anywhere arguing for centralized planning, government control of the means of production, or the proletariat overthrow of the bourgeoisie, I do agree with the AOC/Bernie crowd, in that we should adopt West German / South Korean style capitalism, including it’s universal healthcare, post haste.

And seeing as how Germany and Korea successfully adopted universal healthcare, and in doing so neither became the next Venezuela. Seeing as neither saw the collapse of their representative form of government and somehow managed to continue on as democracies, I think it’s safe for us, having a long history and tradition of representative democracy, to proceed. That is, as long we avoid coupling this with a leader having authoritarian tendencies.

On second thought, maybe we should wait just a bit, and not try this under the current president…