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论老子

道,领导也。领导必需要不断呼唤,教导下属以及以身作则。下属的过和错皆因领导懒惰。

 
 
 

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The Philosophy behind capitalism and Socialism  

2017-02-14 11:08:24|  分类: 散文 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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There are voluminous amount of works written on these two subjects: capitalism and socialism. I have never ever been bothered with the arguments and counter-arguments. I am interested in what goes behind the mind of the government or the administration who claims either capitalism or socialism as the leading principles behind their government modus operandi.

What are the leading principles behind these two?

Before I move on to provide the answers, we should seek to find out what is the philosophy governing some leading principles. I researched and found out that Lao Zi mentioned these some 2500 years ago. He said in chapter 77 - as in my transliteration (please ignore the label, LPxxx):

Chapter title: Fundamental tenets of true leadership*

[LP216]True leadership, which expounds the principles of leading for the sake of every citizen in the world, is akin to a game of archery where the participants shoot arrows with a bow at a target (target archery). [LP217a]To those residents whose standard of living is higher than the average populace, it is necessary to suppress their standard of living a little. [LP217b]To those ordinary citizens whose standard of living is far below that of the average population, it is necessary to raise their standard of living. [LP217c]It is absolutely necessary for the higher income earners to pay income tax. [LP217d]Conversely, the low income earners or ordinary folks who have no income should be supplemented with subsidies, financial help or corresponding assistances.

[LP218]The principles behind true leadership explicate the imposition of various taxes and duties upon the relatively wealthy, and conversely subsidize the poor. [LP219]On the contrary, the unscrupulous leaders whose pretense concerns are merely their personal interests would churn out short-sighted policies that inflict greater losses to those who are already poor in order to benefit those denizens who are already rich.

[LP220a]Who has more resources (not just financial resources alone) than the average person and could dedicate himself to all the people in the world? [LP220b]Answer: Only true leaders can.

[LP221a]Therefore, when a sage executes the above tasks of a redistribution of wealth, he is not self-conceited and does not disdain the others. [LP221b]When he had successfully completed this duty, he does not appropriate all the credits to himself. [LP221c]This is because he has no selfish desire in the first place to begin with and hence, proved his virtue and kindness.

Without referring to the voluminous of stuff written on capitalism and socialism, I tried to associate the philosophy behind them as:

Socialism: The principles behind true leadership explicate the imposition of various taxes and duties upon the relatively wealthy, and conversely subsidize the poor.

Capitalism: On the contrary, the unscrupulous leaders whose pretense concerns are merely their personal interests would churn out short-sighted policies that inflict greater losses to those who are already poor in order to benefit those denizens who are already rich.        

Because of your core belief, you might want to defend each of your preferred choices. However, I choose to behave with this mentality. Assume what is behind capitalism or socialism is a black box. Meaning, I am not interested in what is inside a black box (the voluminous writings), I am only interested in two things. One, what goes in and what is the final result. (Really, if you cannot digest the voluminous amount of works written on capitalism and socialism, please use this same approach.)

In capitalism, what goes in is all the standard stuff what the countries in capitalist government do to their economies. The final result can be measured somewhat in one broad-based index called, Gini coefficient (or sometimes called the Gini ratio). It is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation's residents, and is the most commonly used measure of inequality.

For OECD countries, in the late 20th century, considering the effect of taxes and transfer payments, the income Gini coefficient ranged between 0.24 and 0.49. A low value of 0.24 means the income or wealth distribution is more equal, while 0.49 means the rich are much better off than the average residents.

Let’s assume the philosophy behind capitalism and socialism were mentioned above. How does it show up among the various countries? Let choose the chief upholders of capitalism and socialism in which the USA had championed the cause for capitalism while the Republic of China has always been thought of as the champion for socialism.  

In the USA, it is said the ten richest families controlled more than 99% of the wealth of the nation. This might be a little over-exaggerated. By the way, the average Americans is not denying this piece of information as a true fact. This gyration in which the wealth is concentrating in the hands of the top ten families is though, very well camouflaged behind its measure showing a value of 0.45. Anyway, a high value of 0.45 does point towards the philosophy behind the USA is indeed the vast amount of policies had churned out short-sighted policies that inflict greater losses to those who are already poor in order to benefit those denizens who are already rich, where each policies was extremely well camouflaged in one way or another.

Surprisingly, the Gini ratio of The Republic of China (a widely acclaimed socialist country) is as high as 0.42. Let take a closer look to the last 40 years where China rose from one of the poorest economies to trailing behind a close second to the USA. The about-turn switched in policies came into effect after Deng Xiao Ping propelled China onto the path of capitalism since the beginning of 1980. All cats were let loose and its economy had gradually crept towards the capitalistic mode of modus operandi, unnoticed. This explains the high Gini ratio of 0.42, today.

In the author’s opinion, there isn’t a socialistic country when viewed through the bird’s-eye view and from a philosophical approach as laid down by Lao Zi.

The West has been arguing capitalism is good, while socialism is bad. On the other hand, a country such as China has attributed its meteoric rise in economic power in a short span of 40 years due to socialism. The West is happy with capitalism. The Chinese are feeling extremely good with their “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. When in fact, both types of economies are operated in almost exactly the same way that is, capitalism.   

Why do you continue to listen to the never ending arguments and witch-hunting by the capitalist West and the socialist East?

Stupid isn’t it?

* This is extracted from the blogger's recent book, The Wisdom of Lao Zi. It would be publishing soon. 

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