I recently heard a friend say, “we live better lives now than in the past because of capitalism.”
It got me thinking.
Capitalism is the system that prioritises profit above all else and directs those profits to the already rich and powerful — the people who already own almost everything.
It will let you die if you have no money.
It will leave you out in the cold and rain if you cannot afford accommodation.
It would never choose to educate you if it cannot extract profit from your intelligence.
It has not been helpful to humanity whatsoever. In fact, it is so ruthless that it requires socialist policies to keep it alive.
The social welfare system that protects you from low pay and unemployment; the public hospitals; the education system; the provision of water; the roads and the streetlights; the publicly funded transport system; including trains and buses; they’re all sprinklings of socialism in a capitalist system.
Take the ‘socialism’ out of capitalism and imagine what kind of system we would live under.
Some countries have more socialist interventions than others, for instance Sweden has more sprinklings of socialist policies than the United States. That doesn’t mean Sweden is socialist, it’s a social democratic country, but high taxes allows intervention to ensure its citizens have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The U.S., on the other hand, dictates that you will get healthcare whenever you can make someone else rich from your illness or health.
Our advancement over the last 100–200 years is not down to capitalism, but is actually down to interventions in the system by governments who recognise that freemarket capitalism fails in all of the important policies that effect our lives. Yet, still, it is capitalism that claims credit for those advances.
Think of it like this. Katie Taylor is socialism and Shane Ross is capitalism.
What we need right now is more socialism, and less capitalism.