Letters to the Editor

We’ve got both socialism and capitalism

The constant socialistic/capitalistic argument in this country isn’t really a disagreement at all. It is merely an age old vivid misunderstanding of human nature. And this figures, because the socialistic argument in this country is presented by someone who believes in socialism, and/or the capitalistic position is presented by someone who strongly believes in capitalism.

Every modern society has both capitalism and socialism, however!

The constant differences and resulting conflicts may be explained by the late motivational psychologist, Abraham Maslow. But if someone wants to fully understand Maslow, they must give up both political positions for a moment. Maslow postulated that human behavior is determined by which need level each human – or society – finds itself functioning on: physical needs, safety needs, belongingness (nationalism), esteem needs, and finally self actualization (which doesn’t concern us here).

These five needs are in a hierarchy. In other words, someone who is starving to death – function on the physical need level – is not going to be interested in buying a brand new car, buying the car being on the esteem level.

And the same is true regarding socialism and capitalism.

If a country has the vast majority of its citizens hurting for fuel to keep warm during a long winter (physical needs), or enough food stuffs to sustain themselves (safety needs), they are going to be receptive to a socialistic policy regarding any of these two needs.

Examples include the rationing of gasoline in this country during World War II, and the rationing of some food stuffs during the same era. In other words, if it is necessary for human life for the majority of citizens of any country, then its delivery is usually socialistic in nature. The kibbutz in Israel, during the very late 1940s and early to mid 50s, is another classic example of socialism helping a general population overcome some very severe physical and safety hardships.

So when there are shortages and/or dangers occurring on the physical and/or the social levels, socialistic policies are usually adopted by that society; and these needs must be met before the nationalistic and/or the esteem needs are perceptually dealt with by the majority of individuals in any political society.

On the other hand, the nationalistic and esteem needs (the third and fourth need levels) are hardly life threatening, so a capitalistic economic system works to the benefit of the entire society as compared to a socialistic system.

So now the question becomes: Where do we place medical health care in this country? Do we do as every other civilized country has done and nationalize medical health care, or do we keep it unaffordable and/or unavailable to many of our citizens?

Well, the Supreme Court of the United States has just recently answered that question.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.