To my mind, Fascism (what we have in the US now), Socialism and Communism are “all the same”.
When I make such statements, some over-educated tight-ass always wants to debate the intricate economic fine points of each system and why they are totally different.
But these systems are more similar than different and they all have the same aim: the concentration of power and control in the hands of a few. They are all about hierarchy and authority and control. They are all designed to turn most people into wage-slave worker bees… to the benefit of the few owners/bosses (governmental, corporate, and/or both).
The choice between “Free Market Capitalism” (actually Fascism) and “Socialism” is a false choice… as false as the “Conservative” vs. “Liberal” propaganda the media constantly presents.
Luckily, there are much better economic models of freedom, and one of them was presented by Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was no fan of socialism and disliked the socialist direction the independent Indian government took. He also despised Corporate Capitalism (Fascism) and fought it tooth and nail.
Gandhi believed that the key to economic self-reliance for Indians (and all world citizens) was an economy of “cottage industries”. In other words, Gandhi promoted a system based on millions of independent (and interdependent) micro-entrepreneurs. Each household a business and an industry…. free from bosses, independent but connected… dignified and prosperous.
No big corporate bosses. No time-clocks.
I find Gandhi’s economic vision to be one of the most dignified, humane and uplifting I’ve encountered. And it’s a vision that is possible… especially with the many opportunities now available on the internet. Already there are thousands (millions?) of people doing this kind of “work”– people who run a small business out of their home, who are the bosses of their own lives, who are free and flexible. These are people who don’t bow down to a boss, who don’t obey a boss’ schedule, who don’t need to beg for a vacation, who don’t need to ask for “permission” to rest when they feel tired or ill.
On an individual level, Thoreau practiced exactly the same kind of economics. He lived extremely simply… grew his own food… and did simple freelance “work” (surveying, writing…).
The sad truth is that most people talk a lot about “freedom” but very very few pause to think about what it means. Most who claim to be free are not even close.
Here’s a few clues that you are not, in fact, free:
* You must ask permission (like a child) to rest for a day or two.
* You must ask permission (like a child) to take a vacation for a month.
* You must ask permission to start working late, or finish early.
* You must come to an office or building for a certain number of hours every day/week… whether or not you actually have work to do.
* You feel must follow rules and procedures to placate your boss, at the expense of your own principles.
* Your “work” drains you of passion, energy and life.
* A boss decides what you are paid, and whether or not you can make more.
* Your “work” is monotonous, boring and mindless… yet you “must” do it anyway.
* You fear being “downsized”, “laid off” or fired… and this fear keeps you obedient to your bosses.
* You work for a company that pollutes the environment, exploits people, works with oppressive government or otherwise harms people, animals and the planet.
Can you really claim to be “free” when 40+ hours of your week are spent in service to the above?
Do you really want to live your entire life as a child…. obeying pseudo parents? (bosses, the government, etc..)?
Isn’t it time to break free? Isn’t it time to stop pretending?
The only way to create a dignified economics is through a system in which people are self-reliant and free.
Gandhi was on the right track…. build your own “cottage industry”. Build your own small business or micro-vocation.
Stop looking to bosses and the government to take care of you.
It is time for us all to grow up