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.
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!
“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.
“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.”