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If Capitalism is Superior to Socialism, Then....
If capitalism is superior to socialism, then why do over 10% of Russians (those unable to pay under the table "costs") in modern capitalist Russia go without healthcare? Under socialism the Soviet health system was the envy of working people in the capitalist world, as it was free to all, well funded, modern and efficient.
Why is it that in GREAT Britain there are an estimated 1 million homeless people? Yet in the GDR/East Germany, homelessness was virtually unheard of. In the GDR rents could not exceed 10% of a worker's salary. Eurostat figures reveal a full time worker in Britain earning the minimum wage will earn just over £1000 per month. Yet in England and Wales the average cost of home rental is £599 per month, or 60% of a workers salary. That would be okay if we didn't have family's to feed and clothe.
The miserable conditions of workers in capitalist countries is often justified in terms of economic performance; low wages and poor living conditions are explained away by the need for the nation to remain "competitive". Since the 2008 financial meltdown, the collapse of banks, increasing unemployment, increasing homelessness, increasing living costs are not even able to be offset by claims of growth. There is no growth in the imperialist countries. but, there is growth in China, where however imperfect "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics" is, growth is assured by a massive state sector which is being put to the building of infrastructure. This not only maintains economic growth, but brings social benefits in the shape of homes, schools, hospitals and transport links (all of which are being built at a speed which both highlights and shames capitalist inefficiency). The truly capitalist countries lack this mechanism.
This modern recession/financial crisis is not a new phenomenon, but an inherent feature of capitalism. When the great depression hit, capitalist economies collapsed, from the US to Germany unemployment soared and living conditions deteriorated. Yet in the same time the economy of the Soviet Union flourished due to socialist planning. From 1928-1940 Soviet National income grew by around 500%. In the height of the great depression, between 1929-1933, Soviet national income increased from 29,000,000,000 Rubles to 50,000,000,000 Rubles.
Yet despite of the success of the Soviet economy capitalists have attempted to distort history and use it as an example of the inefficiency of socialism. This is akin to arguing that black is white. The demise of the Soviet Union is further proof of this. We are often told that the Soviet economy "stagnated", but no figures are given to support this. When the Soviets talked about stagnation it was as a relative term, 3-4% growth was deemed as stagnation relative to the success of the Stalin era, the fastest and largest economic growth in history.
Furthermore, it was between the years 1987-1991 that the Soviet Union experienced significant market reforms. This coincides with the first ever post-war contraction of the Soviet economy. In 1990, soviet figures estimate this contraction as -3.9% and western figures as - 2.4%. The following years estimates were -15% and -12.8% respectively. Clearly then, we see that the more liberalized the economy became, the worse it performed.
Of course this short work makes no claim to be an exhaustive study, but is a trail of thought which reflects an exercise in human consciousness. One may be lead to reflect on Mahatma Ghandi's words "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members".
In capitalist countries society's weakest members: the poor, the children, the elderly are shown to be treated at worst horribly and at best indifferently. The true great countries are the socialist countries, those existing today such as Cuba and those which now exist only on the pages of books and in the memories of the people, such as the mighty Soviet Union. Most have long known socialism to be morally superior but there is also a strong case to be made for it's productive superiority.