Socialism does not provide the means to purge society of unhappiness. Neither does capitalism. Both promise but do not deliver. What if we bind the two?
Meaning and social responsibility drive away the sense of inequality.
Statistically we know that inequality drives crime. The problem is that we are hyper productive as a society. We get up early go to our first jobs, then go to school, then go to our second jobs. On the side we have hobbies, movies we want to watch, friends we need to be with, etc. We work hard but most of the spoils go to the top. All these side-projects/ hobbies that we have are not helping. They add to the stress in our society. Especially if you constantly need to represent someone that you are not on social media, on top of finding a career and providing for yourself.
All this stress has led people to believe that we need to turn back to socialism’s economic system where we redistribute wealth. The idea is that we need to start distributing to the people at the bottom for them to be able to survive. This is what our political discussions are mainly about nowadays if you turn to the media, as we have with Bernie Sanders being a popular presidential candidate in the US.
I would like to however suggest that the problem is not that people don’t have enough money. I have been thinking about this for some time. The problem has to be deeper than that. If you have more than another person, it doesn’t tend to mean that people are envious of you or that you are envious of the other person. You can usually be content if you have a certain salary. If you are making more than 240,000 $ a year your state of living tends to stay the same. There is only so much happiness you can achieve from your income and only so much time to spend it.
The issue is if the Game’s Fixed
The argument then is, universal basic income is not the solution to capitalism. People will be unhappy nonetheless. The problem is a fixed game and blatant unsolvable inequality. Capitalism is an issue, but it is dealt with finding meaning in life separate from materialism’s promises. Ask yourself if you have found meaningful work. You tend to find that meaning is associated with happiness, unlike money. As Jordan Peterson has said, “If human beings are not given the place to have social responsibility they degenerate and die.” Men and women don’t need money to function. They need responsibility. It was Albert Einstein who said if you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.
Similarly Jordan Peterson reiterated this in a podcast with Joe Rogan. The conservative opinion is that there’s a job for everyone. This does not necessarily need to be true, he says. And then he goes the other direction and points out that the liberal opinion is that you can train anyone to do anything. You need to land somewhere in the middle to provide sufficient means for employment, he suggests.
The Rich are not the Problem
People are not resentful about other people’s success, they are resentful of it if they feel that the game is fixed. The rich shouldn’t be fixing the game if they want to hold on to their money. It is obvious that not everyone at the top is ‘fixing the game’, so to speak. Some of them are, however. That will change, I believe. People that are more honest and fair are coming to the top because of the way we have evolved. We are rewarded by acting right, for obvious reasons — to be able to cohabitate.
I’ll finish off with a quote from Bertrand Russell’s book Problems of Philosophy. I shared this on my blog titled, Why I am Going to Study Philosophy. If you’d like, you can read it here:
Why I Am Going to Study Philosophy
3 years ago I enrolled into the University of Portsmouth in the Southern UK to study Forensic Psychology, but…
“If all men were well off, if poverty and disease had been reduced to their lowest possible point, there would still remain much to be done to produce a valuable society; and even in the existing world the goods of the mind are at least as important as the goods of the body. It is exclusively among the goods of the mind that the value of philosophy is to be found; and only those who are not indifferent to these goods can be persuaded that the study of philosophy is not a waste of time” (Problems of Philosophy, 154).
I’d appreciate if you gave this some claps and redistributed along your paths ;) Pun also seriously intended. I hope you enjoyed this ! :)
And until next time, keep reflecting.