I must admit, when I was “flying high” and living my version of the capitalist’s dream in my job that turned out not to be as stable as I might have first thought, my attitude to anything which even vaguely resembled socialism was a rather arrogant one to say the least. It’s very easy to look down on people who don’t seem to be doing as well as you are economically and write them off as being lazy and entitled.
Now I must stress that it turns out that I was well-prepared for eventualities such as losing my job due to the company I worked for going bankrupt, so I had a bit of a financial safety net to fall back on and keep me going until I could find a way to get back into the economic game. However, I came to realise that capitalism cannot exist in isolation as the absolute economic model. You need a bit of socialism to make capitalism work, whether it’s through your country’s version of something like a road accident fund to help people financially should they incur losses or injury on the public roads or indeed if it’s something as simple in concept as being able to drive your car on a smooth road due to the tax contributions of everyone who is economically active.
This has opened my eyes up to just how much of a need for a bit of socialism there is because at the end of the day, even if you run the most successful of businesses, ultimately the success of that business is contributed to by people’s patronage of your business. I mean what makes your neighbour choose to buy bread from your corner shop over buying from the grocery store from which they otherwise buy their other daily or weekly groceries? It’s that hidden element of socialism which forms an integral part of capitalism.
Now it’s very easy to discuss such topics through a mere blog post, so before I even thought about posting about it I decided to practice what I was going to preach. It’s very easy to give a homeless guy one of your leftover sandwiches or to spare them a pound as they normally ask you to do without even thinking about what reality they’re faced with beyond that interaction. Are you going to save your last sandwich for them every day or are you going to give them a pound every day?
What happens over the weekend when you don’t come into contact with the same homeless guy?
That’s where the need for socialism as an integral part of capitalism demonstrates itself to be most imperative and it’s up to those of us for whom capitalism has worked out well for to do the responsible thing and give the unlucky ones a helping hand.
I mean for all you know, helping a homeless guy get some of his papers in order, like their ID perhaps, could be the all important factor which keeps them from turning to a life of crime and threatening the security of the very community you live in, so I reckon we all have some social responsibility in the unforgiving world of economics.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.