The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, December 28, 2015

What System Should Amerca Adopt?

"Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system."

It turns out Democrats seem to more favorable toward socialism than one might think: 49% to 37%. But less so than Republicans might think.

I must admit, I once viewed socialism in a favorable light... I was in my early 20's... then I recalled an essay I turned in during 8th grade;  in that essay I considered that socialism ignored the natural ambition of human beings... with socialism, life might be simpler but it would also be poorer. I considered that socialism essentially meant a caste system. There would be little hope for advancement unless the powers that be found you and saw some benefit in lifting you up. The odds were that you would never advance beyond what your parents did.

I don't know what attraction socialism has for these Democrats but I suspect it is rooted in anger and envy. I hear a lot of complaints about the "1%" and "the rich." We don't much like the wealthy but they seem obliged to start up and run charities... something about "Noblesse Oblige." They also create jobs, build enterprises, and gravitate toward leadership positions.

"Noblesse oblige is a French phrase literally meaning "nobility obliges". It denotes the concept that nobility extends beyond mere entitlements and requires the person who holds such status to fulfill social responsibilities, particularly in leadership roles."

Essentially, they feel obligated to give back to the community. And they feel superior to the rest of us, thinking they should be the leaders of society because of that natural superiority. It's often called "elitism."

I think we find this propensity strong in young college students. If they work, it's in low-paying jobs and they see no future in that. There is a tendency to think the odds are stacked against you and only the lucky can break out from the pack. We see success stories (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos) but dismiss these examples as anomolies. We don't see ourselves as being in their league.

I have an old Shoe cartoon strip in which a character says "high intelligence has always run in my family... Ambition, however, walks with a limp."

That was always my problem... I have very little ambition and never liked the hard work that goes with that trait.


Tom Sightings said...

Wait a second ... if you have "very little ambition and never liked the hard work that goes with that trait," then shouldn't you be a socialist?!?

Douglas said...

Tom, I toyed with that idea in my early 20's (as I wrote) but eventually decided that I could not (and should not) support that for all others.

Neo said...

I do like your way of thinking and I would guess you are a bit more ambitious than you give yourself credit for.


Douglas said...

Neo, thank you for the agreement. I am not that ambitious since I am lazy and hate having to put out any effort to get anywhere. That doesn't mean I am not a dreamer, I am, but I never have done more than what is needed to get by.