The legacy of capitalism has been filled with the tyranny of those who possess capital, characterized by genocides, colonialism, imperialism, and the general destruction of entire peoples and the planet. An alternative is necessary and crucial for the survival of humanity.
Capitalism came into this world gushing blood from all pores, rabid, foaming at it’s mouth — from the European colonization of the Americas resulting in 100,000,000 dead Indigenous persons, to the genocidal enslavement of millions of African peoples by the euro-capitalists, to countless violent repressions and brutal massacres of workers by the tyrants of capital.
Even as capitalism came into the world, it didn’t come by one day or even one hundred years. It took centuries, dating all the way back to the 14th century, to develop enough groundwork and framework for modern capitalism to begin appearing in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Even today, after centuries of attempting to “refine” the application of capitalist theory, death remains an essential component:
- 8,000,000 die from the lack of clean water
- 7,665,000 die from hunger
- 3,000,000 die from curable diseases
- 500,000 die from malaria
That is nearly 20 million people dead every year under today’s global capitalism. And that doesn’t touch on the hundreds of thousands of people who die due to capitalist wars for profits, imperialist sanctions, etc. In one century alone, that is approximately 2,000,000,000 lives lost under global capitalism.
Capitalism has proven itself structurally unable to eliminate the social plagues of poverty, homelessness, starvation, etc. Capitalism cannot obtain a 0% unemployment rate, it requires a chunk of society be unemployed. As it requires millions to be unemployed, and millions more be underemployed, it also commodifies basic human necessities such as housing, food, clean water, clothing, etc. This is a death sentence that is built into the capitalist system.
Capitalism operates based on the profiteering by the capitalist class through the privately owned means of production. Capitalism has a criminally gross mismanagement of essential resources and produces jaw-dropping amounts of waste resulting in millions of lost souls. For instance, we produce enough food to feed the entire planet’s population, and then millions of more people. Yet approximately 800,000,000 people go hungry every year. We have dumpsters filled with edible food, and masses of hungry people starving. It is more profitable, after a certain point, for the capitalist to destroy edible food than it is to make it accessible for the person who is poor and hungry. If a capitalist has a tonne of potatoes that he cannot sell, he can make more money if he just throws it away in a landfill, in comparison to what would be spent in terms of the time, labor, and resources repackaging food if he were to give it away to those who need food, but can’t afford food. Capitalism is structurally unable to allocate essential resources, in this case food, to all people despite its productive capacity to produce more than we need. This misallocation of resources, and wasted energy, labor, etc to produce these wasted resources, causes millions and millions of people to needlessly die.
Exactly how many times does capitalism need to be tried and attempted before capitalism is finally able to end homelessness, poverty, starvation, provide clean drinking water to all people, and ensure that all peoples have what they need to survive? Even after century after century after century of countless capitalist experiments and trials throughout the world, tens of millions of peoples continue to needlessly die every year.
Under capitalism, the number one goal is to profit for those who privately own the means of production. This means polluting drinking water and agricultural soil is acceptable in the eyes of the capitalists who own the oil companies if it means they will make a profit. This means that allowing people to die from curable diseases or depriving people of essential medications/treatments by keeping prices high is acceptable if it means they will make a profit; so is the case with insulin. This means that deadly wars and conflicts for the sole sake of dropping bombs and causing death and destruction of entire nations and peoples is acceptable in the eyes of the private capitalist companies building those bombs and jets.
Capitalism says “if it is profitable, it is acceptable” — the extremeness of the capitalist rationality is on full display when understanding that people produce child pornography because it is profitable for them, that people kidnap women & young girls and sell them as sex slaves because it is profitable for them, that drug cartels push drugs on children because it is profitable for them, that so many social plagues and diseases persist so healthily under capitalism, which rewards this behavior, because they are so profitable for the most criminal and amoral ghouls of society who wish nothing more than to profit.
Objectively speaking, as a matter of ability to properly allocate resources and ensure the best quality of life for people, capitalism has failed. It is a failure.
This means socialism is necessary.
The Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and others served and serve as great strides towards building a new form of society based not on profit, but on our collective, common human needs. The Soviet Union ending brutal cycle of famines that had plagued the peoples for centuries under the Tsarist regime by 1950 and developing a system that was able to increase the calorie intake by over 1,000 is a great feat. Cuba’s strides in healthcare and medicine in being able to provide each and every Cuban person a life expectancy essentially the same as in the U.S.A., which does not cover all civilians, for a fraction of the cost is a remarkable feat. Venezuela has shown an exceptional lesson in providing housing for all people through its Great Housing Mission, providing millions of quality homes to the most people in need of Venezuelan society, showing a path to one day eliminate homelessness.
The feats of these nations are no small feats (if they were, then America, as the “greatest country on earth”, surely would have been able to accomplish them by now), especially while these nations are under brutal conditions of imperialist sabotage, undergo military attacks, and struggle against economic war by the United States and its allies.
Understanding the conditions that exist in socialist nations and during socialist revolutions and understanding the struggle against imperial forces & the impact imperialism has on the development of socialism is essential in analyzing history and building a path to move forward. The western invasion of Russia during the civil war before the Soviet Union formed was in attempt to crush the revolt against feudalism, capitalism, and the tsar. The United States, France, The U.K., Canada, Australia, Japan, Italy, and more sent troops to invade Russia, to stop socialism from even being attempted. After the Soviet Union formed, it was met with economic blockades and embargoes, such as the gold embargo. The military invasion of Russia to crush socialism had miserably failed, so they tried an economic war. The gold embargo that began in 1925 forced the USSR to only be able to export timber, oil, and grain — not gold. At the time, the USSR was attempting to industrialize in order to, among other reasons, be able to improve the backwards agricultural system and end the brutal cycle of famines that was inherited from the pre-revolutionary era. Now they were faced with the difficult decision of exporting grain in exchange for industrial equipment and hope on a good harvest so food can be produced enough to end the famines, or to not export grain, therefore not industrialize, do nothing, and allow the famines to continue anyway. The Soviet hand was forced, the latter was rejected and hardship, including starvation, was forced to be endured — hardship that was caused by imperial forces attempting to crush socialism, which otherwise would have not occurred, and hardships that weren’t in vain, though, which resulted in the cycle of famines from the previous 1,000 years to cease by 1950. The barrage of imperial subversion, military attacks, espionage and sabotage, etc against the Soviet Union and Soviet socialism forced the hand of the USSR to do unpleasant things in order to preserve the revolution in hopes that one day they could move beyond that situation, further progress, and better establish socialism.
Even in the United States, the heart of capitalism, there has been no elimination of homelessness, no ending of hunger, no providing quality healthcare and medicine to all people, etc. There are millions upon millions of food insecure households, households with limited or uncertain access to food, with millions of them going to sleep hungry because they cannot afford food. Not to mention the millions more who are forced to consume incredibly unhealthy diets due to low-costs, causing health complications and often times, early deaths. There are hundreds of thousands of homeless persons on any given night in America, not including the millions of people dwelling with multiple roommates, nor does this begin to mention the tens of millions of people living in grossly inadequate and criminally unsafe housing conditions due to neglect from capitalist landlords. In America, tens of millions of people are uninsured, and millions more underinsured, and lack access to quality healthcare and life-saving medications/treatments, results in tens of thousands of people dying every year, not including the many early deaths due to lack of preventative healthcare.
This is why the the USSR, Cuba, Venezuela, and beyond are so critically important. Actually existing socialism has provided many great accomplishments and lessons in developing & implementing socialism, both in terms of errors to avoid and practices to repeat.
As for the “but socialism already killed 100 million people”, I don’t want to hear it. I’ve addressed that mythology already. That’s fake news.
As for the “but socialism has already been tried and failed”:
Yes, an alternative to capitalism has been tried before, but not nearly as many times as capitalist alternatives to feudalism were tried and ceased to exist before global capitalism came into existence. But no, they did not “fail”. The Soviet Union did not “fail” as if because “socialism doesn’t work”, it was overthrown in an U.S.-led coup. Allende’s socialism did not “fail” as if because “socialism doesn’t work”, it was overthrown in an U.S. coup. Socialist Guatemala through President Árbenz did not “fail” as if because “socialism doesn’t work”, it was overthrown in an U.S. coup. The People’s Revolutionary Government of Grenada did not “fail” as if because “socialism doesn’t work”, it was overthrown in an U.S. military invasion. And if America had its way, socialism in Cuba would have “failed” from the Bay of Pigs invasion or from the U.S. economic embargo seeking to economically crush Cuba into submission to the imperialist-capitalist domination of the west.
American imperialism & its puppets have made the conditions which socialism forms to be even more difficult and turbulent than what would otherwise be. For that, it is even more important to critically support actually existing socialism and supporting their social progress & achievements. It is essential to further developing socialism and the application of socialist theory. They have made such amazing accomplishments and pushed humanity towards the correct path of social progress, it is only logical to marvel at the possibilities that could be reached if the imperialist thugs were no longer an active hinderance against these nations. What could Cuba accomplish, on top of its current accomplishments, if the imperialist embargo were to vanish? What could Venezuela accomplish, on top of its current accomplishments, if the imperialist economic war and co. were to vanish?
Just as capitalism did not come into this world at this stage which we see today, nor did it come so easily or quickly or peacefully, establishing socialism will take centuries of hard work, of applying theory, of struggling against capitalism as the world dominant economic theory and struggling against imperialist-capitalist forces that seek to maintain capitalism, and of course, making constant progress and inevitable retreats.
In defense of “the socialist experiments”, past and present, they have achieved undeniably great feats in social progress, which can still be felt today, and furthered the understanding of how to apply theory and deserve to be recognized for that. They have brought and are bringing humanity great leaps forward in overthrowing the capitalist chains of oppression and ushering in a new world not based on ruthless capitalist greed and tyranny of the capitalist class; a world where education and clean drinking water is not a privilege, but a right, a world where workers truly benefit from the fruits of their labor, a world where society & the state are not bought and controlled by the elitist capitalist class instead of the working class, a world where the means of production and the productive forces in society belong the workers and people rather than a tiny few capitalists, a world where profits are not more important the lives of people.
In defense of “the socialist experiments”, they are humanity’s greatest hope.