From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. What is your view of this ethos?
It sets an individual standard, for each individual. It is not necessary the I become better than the next person, only that I improve against my formal personal best or needs.
This is the creed of a failed philosophy--communism. If a sovereign individual chooses to give what he/she has earned to another person, it is their choice. In the communist/socialist systems of the world, property is taken by the police power of government in the name of economic justice and redistributed. This is theft--period.
We all have a finite amount of time on this earth and no one knows how much time he/she has. As we work each day we spend that time to earn money. This money, or private property, is by natural law our own personal property. In a free society individuals are free to accumulate and build wealth. Individuals are free to be as rich, or poor, as they choose. In this world there are only two types of people--givers and takers. Givers produce products, services, and jobs that help create wealth and opportunity, takers use government power to steal from others.
The above sentence should read, "TAKE from each according to his ability, and redistribute to each according to his need." This would be a more truthful representation of how those who follow this failed ideology think and act. America is currently suffering from an administration and an electorate who refuses to look at history and wished to impose this failed ideology upon its citizens. These takers will use force and police power to administer this new rule of law. Should they succeed, we will follow the path to despotism that all the other societies in human history followed who chose this ideology as a form of government.
When Karl Marx adopted this idea from Louis Blanc, he was thinking of it in terms of the perfect Communist society (not the Soviet or Chinese versions). The first part of the phrase, "From each according to his abilities", is the basis for the Conservative belief system today, as well as adopting the Platonic idea of work ethic, i.e., a person should work as hard as they can, and do it to the best of their abilities; but, then it drifts away from the Conservative ideal to the more Kennedyesque "Don't ask what your country can do for you, instead, ask what you can do for your country."
"To each according to his needs" isn't speaking of transfer of wealth from those who work to those in need. Remember in the "perfect" Communist society, everybody works for the love of working in order provide for society as whole and therefore contributes, willingly and freely, all their wealth to society. Therefore, the latter part of the phrase simply means each person in society take only what they need; a very, very old idea as well.
So, what do I think of that ethos, from a purely theoretical viewpoint, I think it is a pretty good ethos, BUT, from a practical point-of-view, it would never, it didn't work, it ended up as SWB78 described; so you have to fall back to the next best thing ... regulated Capitalism.
"Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common...Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands and houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold...and they distributed to each as anyone had need." Acts 4:32-35
It'll work in small communities with a decentralized government with virtually no power. There would have to be a pure democracy with no one really in charge. Anarchy--a government and a system that is ruled by no one.
Communism didn't work in Russia because Russian society didn't change. Nothing changed there. The Czar was replaced with the party leader and head of government who basically acted exactly like the old Czar. The serfs were still serfs and so on.
Communism in the US would not at all resemble Communism in Russia. The corporations would be owned by the workers and there would be no CEOs, VPs, or white-collar managers. Most people would own their own little businesses and shops and there would be small town feelings everywhere. Money would not go away, but everyone would probably make the same amount. American communism would have Democratic, decentralized communities with a weak central government. There would still be Christians, gun-carriers, and racists.
It's a noble ideal. Unfortunately, it seems to require someone to adjudge the abilities and the needs, which can be highly problematic.
I accept it as desirable. As for the previous views /comments from your readers about the soviet union Please realise and accept that communism was never reached . Keep watching though!!!
Thank you all for your answers, personally I do support (with some reservation) the creed, why? Well this is the main reason, it boils my blood to see the rich man in his 3000$ suit walk past the homeless man without so much as a glance, it's not something I can ever reconcile myself with that billions can starve and live in poverty while a tiny percentage live in luxury light years beyond their needs. I believe that the needs of the majority come before the indulgence of the minority.
Absolutely wonderful in theory but totally unworkable in practice I'm afraid.
This was the foundation of Communism. Think about it, a single man, works as an artist,sells a painting for $1 million. He leads a modest lifestyle, he only gets $10,000 and the rest is given to others.
Where is the incentive to do your best. Where is your incentive to help others and to chose who you share with. Where is the incentive to be an individual instead of a clog in some twisted dream.
In any group of people there will always be some who produce more than they need and others that produce less. Incentives are needed to encourage sharing and to encourage everyone to try harder and not wait for someone to hand it to them on a silver platter.
I know some will say that is exactly what we do in this country, we take from the rich through income and other taxes and give to the poor through welfare. It is not that simple. There are ups and downs for all people. I am unemployed. I get a weekly unemployment check which is about one-tenth of what I made in my last job and I pay taxes on that and we tithe on that. Things will get better for us and we will always help others in need. Taxes pay for services and protection everyone takes for granted.
I find it upsetting that people would give any validity to this ill-conceived concept.
Having lived in both systems I can honestly say that what looks great in theory doesn't work in practical terms:
In communist country you suppose to live according to your need, unfortunatelly the top communists think that being on top means that your needs are 'bigger',
but others wanted to get there as well so corruption thrives, the people at the bottom stop working because whatever they do, they go nowhere...young people have only one ambition...to get out of there....
In capitalist country you suppose to live according to your ability, money is your goal all your life, but eventually you come to the stage when you recognize that money as such are not worhtwhile of long life struggle:
-you can loose them tomorrow in the volative and highly competitive financial
-you can loose your family and friends because you have no time (as time is money in this system)
-you can loose your health or your life and you are quickly replaced and forgotten...
by My Esoteric3 years ago
It just occurred to me, and I wanted to record it before it slipped away again, that there are two types of Capitalism; Theoretical and Practical (Duh!) What I also noticed is that the endless debates about...
by AnnCee7 years ago
He says "we've" allowed a few rich people to take all the money and keep it. And "we" need to get it back from them.http://www.theblaze.com/stories/really- … from-them/Anti-capitalism in...
by ronaknky5 years ago
Is democracy the best way to rule a country?
by taburkett18 months ago
What do you do personally to make society a better place? What do you think others should do?Today many people blame others for the decay in moral society. However, these same individuals do not accept...
by Peeples4 years ago
What is the big deal about socialism?Can someone explain to me why Americans (USA) typically say "socialist" in a negative way. I've been doing some research and many of these "socialist" societies...
by Andrew Spacey3 years ago
How do you measure quality of life? Through : Money? House size? Family? Environment? The Arts?Scientists tell us that, if you can measure it, you can make sense of it. Politicians are always banging on about economics....
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.