Capitalism: True Freedom
Why are so many students drawn to the ideal of communism, and so opposed the realities of capitalism?
Written on 25 January, 2013 by jp10797.
I was recently in the pub, the standard arena for a political standoff in the student world, and was confronted by a bold and contentious statement: "We should all take lessons from communist countries, capitalism has failed us and we are trapped in an unfair and politically corrupt system."
There seems to be an increasing number of frustrated young people who are sick of our current political system, and have lots to say about how we need to "change stuff" in the way our country is run in everything from the welfare system, to the taxing of large corporations.
It is at this point that I should probably interject; I am an unashamed subscriber to the western capitalist world we find ourselves planted in as students in 21st century Britain. Personally I find the sort-of-a-political-activist growing phase of many University students entirely droll, and I just can't get past the hypocrisies of their arguments. Sure, Joe Bloggs at the pub will quite happily engage in a heated political debate with me about how we've "lost sight of our morals, man..." and how we need to "stand up to the system of capitalist values", as long as he can check his twitter feed all night on his smartphone, and buy me a couple of pints with his student grant.
Who is he kidding?!
The only reason any of us students can have the luxury of going to the pub to discuss such matters, is because of the current system.
I'm not saying the capitalist values of western culture are morally justifiable, in fact we have never been so suffocated by consumerism and greed as we are in modern Britain, but why pretend you "hate the system" and "want everything to change" when really, what you want, is a new MacBook Pro, and a big fat student overdraft.
Of course there are plenty of things that are unfair in modern Britain, but please, we live in one of the richest countries in the world where we have the freedom to express of disgruntlement with our governments without the fear of being shot or locked up, where anyone can study whatever they like, whatever their social background.
See, this is the truth of the matter. Capitalism is freedom.
If you want to have a big car, big house, two holidays a year, send your kids to private education, you can! You just have to be prepared study hard, and work harder for it.
If material things aren't important to you, then you are free to not work hard; you are free to be lazy if you like!
If you are willing to work hard, the system will reward you, if you don't care about money, or you can't be arsed, it won't. Simple.
In a communist world you would not have the luxury of choice. You would work hard, all your life, and even if you were the hardest worker you knew, you would never be better off for it.
Many of the students I speak to that have these anti-capitalist views often say; "There's no sense of community, people don't care about each other..." It's seems a bit rich, coming from a 19 year old who has never paid a penny in tax, and is rinsing £40 a week on getting wasted.
So my mate Joe Bloggs at the pub, what has driven him to suggest that everything is wrong with our country? Why does he think communism is the answer?
I believe it is fear, the overwhelming realisation that life it tough, that it's hard to be successful, leaves many young people feeling lost and afraid of what the world has in store for them. At least if everyone had the same job, the same paycheque, the same house, car, schools and hospitals, life would be easy.
But who wants mediocrity? I don't.
I want the best the world can offer me, and I think that the sooner young people realise that life is just one big opportunity to succeed, the happier they will be.
"I've learned to look at the world in all it's darkness and evil, and to love it anyway".
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