Woke ideology is leftist ideology, which hopefully is becoming more apparent to Americans. And many conservatives tend to equate wokism with socialist or communist ideology, so I thought it would be interesting to draw an economic comparison among the three (as best I can in 725 words anyway.) So, let’s begin with the basic economic tenets of each.
- total private ownership
- market forces
- class distinction
- production for profit.
- limited private ownership
- government & private entities
- limited class distinction
- production for societal needs.
- no private ownership
- central government
- no class distinction
- production for basic needs.
Both communism and socialism grew out of grass-roots opposition to the exploitation of workers by wealthy businesses during the Industrial Revolution. Both assume that all goods and services will be produced by government-controlled institutions or collective organizations rather than by privately-owned businesses. And in both systems, it’s the central government that’s primarily responsible for all aspects of economic planning, including matters of supply & demand.
Meanwhile, socialists don’t like being compared with communists and tell us that communism is very different from socialism inasmuch as communist philosophy advocates “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Whereas the philosophy underpinning socialism is “from each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution,” and therein lies the difference. However, both communist and socialist economies are directed by a central government and it’s the central government that manages both the resources and distribution of society’s needs.
As we can see, at least from an economic standpoint there is very little difference in the two leftist ideologies. However, socialists would have us believe there is a big difference because in a communist run economy societal needs are distributed by an authoritarian government whereas in socialistic economies societal needs are distributed by a democratically elected government.
But this is a false choice as can be seen from a summary of a conversation that took place between free-market advocate Milton Friedman and former liberal talk show how Phil Donohue many years ago.
It should be obvious that if we take a quick look around the globe, we see the maldistribution of wealth and the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries where there are few halves and so many have nots and contrast that with the greed and the concentration of power in capitalistic societies and therefore, we should ask if greed is really a noble predicate for an economic philosophy.
But a clear-thinking individual should ask if there is a society somewhere on earth that doesn’t run on greed? Does the left really believe that Russia or China or Venezuela don’t run on greed? And just what is greed? Of course, none of the woke are greedy, it’s only other ideologies that are greedy.
The reality is that the world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. Meanwhile, the great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus; Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a from a bureaucrat, Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way, in fact, in the only cases in recorded history in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty that should trouble us all, is where there was capitalism and largely free trade.
And if you want to know where the masses are worse off, it’s exactly from the kinds of societies that depart from that. The record of history is crystal clear – there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by free enterprise.
A socialist will argue that capitalism seems to reward not virtue as much as ability to manipulate markets. But do socialistic or communistic governments reward virtue? Do we think the Chinese rewards virtue? Does Venezuela or Cuba reward virtue? Does an American president reward virtue? Nowhere on earth does political leadership reward virtue; every politician and leader in the world chooses their acolytes and appointees on the basis of their political clout.
So, allow me to close by asking, are political self-interest somehow more noble than economic self-interest? And if you believe that, then please describe where in the world the angels who are going to organize society for us exist.
Quote of the day: “Socialism has a record of failure that is so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.” – Thomas Sowell