There is a view concerning Socialism (and one might consider this pertains to Communism and Democracy as well), that supplying people with social benefits breeds selfishness. While some might reject the notion that this involves Democracy since it is assumed to be that which is being practiced by those living in a social system which advocates an economics' policy of assumed "Healthy competition" which breeds an honorable virtue described as self-reliance; we must make note of the fact that such a perspective denies the realization that, from a Socialist's perspective, what they want is an entitlement based on the provision of being able to enjoy goods and services that their taxes pay for... and that it should be up to this collective body whether they want to include those, for one reason or another, can't, don't or won't work to contribute to the financial pool.
After viewing the following short video claiming that Socialism makes people selfish, the expressed rationale was so humorous and decidedly short-sighted, that its inclusion in the present series of essays assists in bringing an alternative perspective that is either over-look or deliberately excluded because of the conservative agenda which appears to overlay many of the comments being described in several of the other videos encapsulated on the Prager University web-site.
One can not help but notice while viewing the video, that the argument of "entitlements" is not similarly being applied to the attitude being loudly pronounced by various politicians as well as others in both business and religion. The attitude described as the presumption of an endowed entitlement based on some personal attribute of rank, position or more personalized attribute is a common characteristic widely seen in various occupations and demeanors... that can be referred to as a pecking order consciousness, occurring in different social situations and is a frequent characteristic of a person's cognitive style of prioritization. However, the so-called "me, myself, I, mine, ours" perspective of entitlement in the situation of desiring social goods and/or services from a governing body whose very existence is owed to the financial and other cultural support given by those asking for some measure of reciprocation instead of letting their support be used as a private bank account by a few who could care less about the collective opinion(s) of the supporters; needs to be firmly placed into any conversation wanting to stress an activity being labeled in negative terms so as to conceal an ulterior motive that has not be subjected to the same level of scrutiny.
When examined without a conservative bias which buys into the rhetoric of a governing system that not only exhibits and practices selfishness, but has its origins in such a collective mindset since their was an over-riding commercial self-interest being expressed in the development of governing policies being used to establish the American government; the so-called "free" education, "free" health care, "free" public transportation, "free" basic income, "free" living wage, "free" choice, etc..., are not free. Indeed, whereas we have a so-called "free" attorney provision system of criminal justice (but not in civil cases), this so-called "free" service comes with the cost of a person being subjected to someone whose skills are often less than adequate to provide a viable defense, otherwise, all litigants in all cases would be required to accept such "free" judicial services. No less, if there were no hidden costs in free services which actually strove to express an equal level of equality that all were equally entitled to, there would be multiple forms of "free" public goods and services that all would be equally entitled to and there would be no need of more costly goods and services since the all the people would be required to accept the provision of such ideal goods and services for which there would be none better... that is if they chose to accept the "free" offering without applying some personal philosophy which caused them to reject such "freeness".
Such "free" goods and services supplied by a government whose very existence requires a given public to support it financially and idealistically, are often associated with a double-standard of offered equality. Whereas on the one hand a "free" good or service is provided with a labeling of being great, good or adequate, yet those who created the disposition of the "free" good and/or service often do not themselves use the good or service because it does not fit the adequate, good, or great standard they think they are entitled to... and thus be able to have a wage and benefit package enabling them not to have to use them, and instead, seek out some good or service that is more adequate, more good, more great than that which they organized to give "freely" to the public, like some scrap of food coming from a larger meal they think they are entitled to but the public is not.
When we live in a culture designed by a government whose existence came at the cost of numerous lives, it is a way of life with a type of freedom and liberty that are not free. Particularly when there are those in government who perpetually want people to fight and die for perpetrated conflicts involving commercial interests that do support the equality of a citizenry who must shoulder the responsibility of sacrifice that those in various leadership positions are not personally burdened with, or they would be the first on the front lines of each and every battlefield; instead of scapegoating others... including family members, if necessary. When their patriotism is marked by a selfishness concealed in various forms of political manipulation, where then is the so-called freedom from selfishness being advocated by conservatives, liberals and centralists alike? Where is the absence from such freely distributed hipocracy amongst the business, government, religious and media communities... so that they can enjoy the lion's share of less-than equalized self-proclaimed entitlements?
Let us look at the presumed over-abundance of selfishness amongst Communists and Socialists from the perspective of Conservatives living in America, Japan, China, Germany, and every other country on Earth, though the first example provides enough compelling evidence that can be shared equally by all countries professing the assumed practice of fairness that might be labeled equality and in turn be described as a democracy, if the political mood of a given culture permits such an illustration. America, with its claims of equality and hence democracy, was originally not organized on the principle of a democracy nor the embraced value of providing equality amongst everyone. It was drawn up with governing rules and regulations that supported the commercial self-interests of a few who likewise represented the commercial self-interests of peers within their separate States, though selfishness frequently crossed State lines of territorial possession. Those who were working together to establish a government, were preoccupied with self-interests... not to be out done nor taken advantage of by the interests of others. They all wanted equality only in as much as it might afford them separate -but- equal levels of the then available goods and services to be had within the boundaries of State interests. In short, the American Nation was birthed in the cradle of selfish concerns that all were well aware of and did not cry foul when someone sought to acquire the advantage of some commodity which they could make use of as a resource for growth.
To assert a claim that Socialism somehow engages in a deeper and wider usage of selfishness than is inherent in all forms of business, government and religion, is an unequal distribution of the historical facts. There is nothing "free" about receiving a social good or service when one is either required to pay taxes that are used to provide the good or service, or one must advocate a belief in the tenets of a government... or religion... or even business venture. Such enterprises do not frequently supply a good or service without expecting some return... some good or service to benefit from... even if someone vehemently denounces a particularly government activity as many protestors do, they would nonetheless not necessarily engage in a activity to destroy the government... and might well be the first to defend it against a foe perceived as a greater evil than that which they are protesting against. It is a behavioral quality that some businesses, governments and religions are well aware of and can exploit by channeling such emotions to work on their behalf. By stirring controversy, they are sometimes subjected to a level of scrutinization that enables them to see themselves more clearly, thereby correcting errors that they might otherwise overlook. Critiques frequently provide useful insights which can help another to grow beyond their limitations.
A Socialism nor Communism nor Democracy (nor the American Republic form of government), are any more inherently selfish than Religious or other ideologies, in an of themselves. It is when such practices become subjected to the whims of those who have a greater personal selfishness, that we begin to make distinctions of a "better" (lesser) and a "worse" (larger) selfishness. Whether one is arrogantly selfish or humbly selfish makes no different in the accrued quantity, just as one can be religiously immoral or irreligiously moral. Things of defined beauty such as a rose can have thorns, while things of defined ugliness such as a weed may not have any potential for causing harm. And though such simple ideas are widely known, they are not always applied to larger contexts where philosophy is practiced, but never mentioned as a primary participant unless it is framed in terms of a "social", "political", or "government" philosophy... otherwise, constraints of consciousness are imposed which renders discussion into a closed-mined framework of consideration leaving both equation and conclusion with little alternative but to exhibit a desired result that advocates a preference... and thus tries to impose others with an incentive to view the same scenery of commentary in the same way.
Like a child with little experience or education and little practice in thinking for themselves, a person in an assumed authoritative position... especially one who wields the power of giving a graded score of performing classroom instruction in a given format and formula; will have little else to do but advocate the presented information and may not grasp the content of unconventionalized ideas that confront their learned disposition. One of which is the situation in which the question of a democratic practice is being addressed from the perspective that Democracy Doesn't Exist (article by Dan Jacob Wallace), a statement that many readers may be taken aback by, because they think they actually live in a Democracy... because the way they are living as frequently been expressed in terms implying a Democracy. It is rare to find an instructor in the public school system teaching students that they don't live in a democracy, and in particular, do not teach about democracy beyond some simplified references because this is the extent to which most people are familiar with the notion of a democracy. In short, we can neither teach nor grasp what is meant by an Actual democracy because we have no real experiences with it.
Defining democracy by referring to Capitalism that is a misidentified Monopolization produced and promoted by a select few, creates an entanglement of misunderstanding and leads some to bullying Capitalism because it is thought to be the origin of so many ills; but Capitalism is not the problem, since it is simply a tool of commercialism that has been fashioned in a way to suit the greed of a few, though it can be practiced in alternative ways to serve the people instead of forcing people into maintaining the current social formula of indentured servitude. The following short video is an interesting perspective of the paradox involving the presumed practice of a Democracy that doesn't actually exist, the assumption that Capitalism represents only one type of financial personality (and that it can only be an ugly one), and that the only alternative to fixing social problems is to stop a given practice without presenting a New theory of government which can help us transition into a better way of life without having to resort to extremes of social protest that might lead to social chaos.
How in the world are we social Reformists, Revisionists and Revolutionists going to get a public focused on a better society if it believes it already exists in the best possible form of government, despite all its failings? How can a New Government ideology compete against a perspective that thinks it is something that it isn't, yet believes it is and that even firm evidence to the contrary, will be negatively interpreted because such an attitude is part of the propaganda used by those who wish to perpetuate a lie? How can we provide a new government perspective if it involves a philosophy which examines and identifies multiple misinterpretations at the same time, including the need to abandon the place (Earth) upon which all of life's known history is thought to have taken place, and the appreciation of a needed New Government involves a time scale mostly incomprehensible to most people that involves subject matter that is as unfamiliar as a foreign language?
How do we convince people in the need for a dramatic revision of our governing philosophy and yet not scare them into hiding their heads in the sand by being confronted by a type and amount of information that can be over-whelming? If someone were to tell a person that the house in which they live is the origin of thoughts that are leading them along a path of incremental decadence, they might react negatively by being dismissive, or react by saying they already know it but that there's no place else for them to go. And it's true... we have no means of collectively leaving the Earth and there are no other places to go to get away from the American, British, Chinese, German, Russian, etc., forms of governing insanity... that they are forced to remain where they are and make the best of things, until such time as a movement begins to make a purposeful change. Yet, again, where do we begin? Where is the initial domino to push over to begin the cascading effect from which will emerge a better form of government and economics system? No less, what do we do with those whose every effort and resource will be focused on maintaining or regaining that which enables them to get the lion's share of resources, because their system permits them to?
Do we carry out a comprehensive attack against all those who are identified as the monetary elite? Do we kill all the Rockefellers, Rothchilds, Morgans and their advocates... thus leaving us with a situation designed on such a form of dependency, to collapse because their is no viable plan B or plan C to take its place without the government resorting to some form of Martial law? Can we devise a tactical plan of instituting a New Government without causing unnecessary expressions of rebellions, riots and independently acting anarchist groups? How do we institute a better system of governance if in trying to assert change, those in positions of power have installed mechanisms for creating wide-spread social devastation based on a gambler's "go for broke" attitude? Whereas we may take steps to hedge against the possibility of creating needless social discordance, they may have no such reservation because they have a plan of retreat even after setting fires and causing death and destruction to cover their tracks?
When it is realized that even with evidence in hand we could present our case to thousands via videos, lectures, pamphlets, and the like... this does not mean there will be an active and vocal call for changing the governing system. Even when one knows they are right, having to confront those with titles and positions can be a fearful and unnerving situation that can be taken advantage of those who use such as a means of intimidation to get a person to yield. Diplomacy demands that we do not change meekness into a verbalized form of fear or apprehension that observers will define as a weakness and be interpreted as a conclusion suggesting the desired changes originate from a position of uncertainty, however untried new ideas may be... and that the current governing practices provide for the instance of faulty presumptions to be a viable proof. Clearly we are up against a system whose character can change according to the players involved, like the pieces of different board games and their rules being arbitrarily applied when the functionality of a standardized selection of rules do not work in favor of a given person's interest who was selected as a representative go-between to intercede against a negligible opponent that most protestors either present themselves as or are interpreted as being.
Three noted historical figures on Revolution (notice that they express the acknowledgment of polarized circumstances):
Three quotations on the Future:
The aforementioned "mysterious laws" of Lenin regarding Revolution suggest that even if one from the present ventured to the past, they may not be able to affect an outcome for good or bad if they are not already part of the equation. For example, if person with an erudite understanding of Marx's and Engels' ideas went to their time in the hope of providing information that might help the history of both Communism and Socialism to be applied better, this does not mean their knowledge could or would be applied by those whose views were an extension of arrogant egos. If there is no such set historical determinism that someone might want to refer to as "fate", then just about anyone might be able to stick the foot in the door of history... over and above the part of history they are now playing.
The comment by J.F. Kennedy is an extremist view since it casts all revolutionary efforts into an either/or proposition that must be settled with violence. By framing revolution into such a perspective, an established entity can entice the occurrence of a situation into that which can be used to permanently remove those agitators for change from being able to influence others. Needless to say, alternatives to the usage of such a dichotomy are valuable to persisting in the course of promoting purposeful change.
What Abraham Lincoln meant by the word "power" may not be the same that some of today might use. Very often such "power" references meant physical power in terms of men and armament, though such a word today can mean various kinds such as political, public opinion, legal, financial, etc... Nonetheless, as a general statement, protestors do need "power" or several "powers" to bring about change within the scope of a committed movement whose energy may have a short-lived momentum. The duration of which can be described as a "window" or "door" of opportunity within- or through which an event must take place or it will be lost.
With respect to the three comments about the future, we frequently encounter the circumstance that the past may be of a greater preoccupation being harbored amongst protestors in a full-time fashion within the cognitive guidelines of a back-and-forth assessment set continually in play as a form of self-consciousness which intrudes on a person's ability to focus concretely or coherently on some future proposition that is not taken seriously enough as a goal... as if to set oneself up to the probability (instead of possibility) of a defeat... thus acting as a pacifier or security blanket before an effort even takes place.
We can get so caught up in reflecting on the past as a type of analytical model with which we try to ascertain eventual problematic issues before they arise... as if trying to prepare for a hike in the woods or mountains, only to find that everyone else has planned for an extended outing on a beach only to find that weather conditions are not as they expected them to be for the time and place the event was to take place. Whereas it is alright for different people to have different agendas, those agendas must tie into a central motivation... like people entering the ocean from different beach fronts but are headed towards the same treasure trove... and the trove must be identified in a central location... unless several treasures have been identified and are to be pooled into a common chest with which to secure a firmer footing for all.
We can not have different agendas taking place at the same time such as, for example, a political movement "ABOUT" a social issue being confused with a social reform issue "AGAINST" a political policy or a social movement "WITH" a political issue confronting those "Wanting To Have" a politicized social movement as an issue in order to conceal personal agendas with purely selfish interests which may involve social discord instigators paid for by competing organizations (businesses, journalists, etc...) with alternative agendas altogether different than creating a public platform for promoting purposive changes in government policy or government functioning.
Regardless of how sound our ideas may be for wanting to make an improvement, protestors rarely get what they want if those in legislative positions are not willing to make changes without attaching some additional provision which helps them to conceal that the original legislation was flawed, and it is they, and not the protestors who brought about corrective changes. Corrective changes, such as through the provision of some legislative bill do not typically become attached with the names of protestors as the sponsors. Honors and accolades are given to legislators because the system is set up to award them with distinction, though they are supposed to be Representing the people whose assumed "reward" is the benefit of what is legislated, though Legislators are not excluded from this reward as well... and thus constitutes an added benefit that is not seen as selfishness... though some want to describe social benefits as breast feeding and diaper changing a public with an insatiable appetite for more and more... which is what those in the business environment want to foster amongst consumers.
Those conservatives who claim that the present formula of Capitalism is a virtue so long as it is not permitted to be exploited by a public who wants tax dollars to be used for supplying social goods and services, advocate for the propriety of a business ethic which promotes gluttony amongst the public so as to foster a climate of insatiable consumerism to feed the hunger of an insatiable few using a formula of Capitalism to satisfy their greed; and yet when expression of this consumer hunger asks for more of its money to be used on themselves comes to the fore of social interest as a form of a consumable... it is called selfishness. In other words, when their is an expressed public yearning for their own money to be used on themselves instead of on purchasing the goods and services of a few who are not connected with the requested goods and services; such behavior is called selfishness, but when it is directed towards the purchase of goods and services which do not benefit a select group whose ideas of consumerism is tied to given products of another's personal interests, it is called social selflessness good for society and the economy. Such is the hipocracy that so many Socialists must contend with.
This is not to say that Socialism as it is presently outlined in textbooks is to be found more favorable to present practices of government that are themselves quite wanting in many respects, it's just that ideology and practice do not necessarily go hand in hand with the application of practicalities set against the backdrop of a decaying environment that a decaying species must attempt to find some type of equilibrium within diminishing returns. No doubt the formulas of thought in the future when in the context of an environment far distant from Earth, the present solar system and present galaxy; will be quite different and may not resemble anything we of today consider as viable forms of survival mechanisms. There may be no religion, no politics nor science as we can now possibly conceive of. Our New Government (Cenocracy) theory has much to contend with in these early stages of formation.