CAPITALISM, SOCIALISM: Opinion of two friends

It was few months ago that I itched the listening ears of a friend with a messy narrative of my recent ordeal with my one-time boss – a deformed overseer of a crumbling enterprise. I had, in a hushed tone, told this friend that the man in question wanted to perform a tricky miracle on me without seeking my consent or even considering my area of expertise. My friend, showing concern to my plight, had shouted: Capitalism ehn!

A self-confessed lover of everything good, my friend cannot be described as a prominent follower of Marx’s teachings, although he is one of a few intellectually sound comrades in my generation whose heart leaps for joy whenever he comes in contact with a book. Nevertheless, I find it difficult to comprehend why my friend sees exploitation as a ready tool of the capitalist, and not a subtle instrument of the socialist.

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Having written that, my friend responded by saying: “Your write-up, to start with, is quite apt and original. It shows how far you’ve gone as a reflector and also your level of sensitivity in communication.

“Marxism as a concept is quite interesting and extremely attractive, however, it can be a fairytale in its conclusion since it gives a deterministic worldview in terms of a socialist engagements into a communist system.

“In Africa for instance, socialism has failed woefully – Tanzania is said to be one of the few countries who /views Nyerere’s Ujamaa as that which is practicable, but couldn’t effectively work right there in Tanzania. It failed!

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“I won’t be out of place to say – capitalism is here to stay, encouraged by religion, racism, feminism and ethicity, these are factors which are out there to kill the dream of the corruption of capitalism into a socialist point then communism

“Consequently, I will continue to see the exploitative side of capitalism rather than viewing its evils as an element which would birth – socialism and in turn communism.

In quick reply, I wrote: “Many leftists are always quick to point out the demerits associated with capitalism, but will never do the same when it is the opposite. For instance, Nigeria, as a country, has witnessed several phases of both concepts and she has different stories to tell.

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“Many fledgling corporations in our country died under socialism, and many promising ones were also started. For me, I believe that the individual at the heart of both concepts determines the failure or the success! A reminder, Marx’s financer was a socialist during the day and a staunch capitalist at night!”

My friend ended it by writing: “I do feel Marxism has done well to educate us about the evils of capitalism, but some of its promises are well utopia.

“So, I try not to kindle any euphoria about it. Since we are in a capitalist world. We may then want to ask – why is capitalism so poignant? We can then say – man is naturally egoistic in nature which allows capitalism to flourish.”

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