The Extreme Capitalism Hidden Deep Within Socialism
I had the most interesting Uber ride the other day. My driver was named Ramon. A very intelligent gentleman whose ingenuity resulted in a plexiglass wall erected between the front and back seats of his vehicle, I noted how clever his idea was in my mind. He thanked me, then launched into an engaging and highly enjoyable conversation of which I welcomed. I learned a lot about his life, his gratitude towards the United States as someone who had immigrated here as well as the challenges Covid-19 had placed on his recent marital union. He hadn’t seen his wife in eight months. A citizen of Nicaragua, their delay was Covid-19 made. He missed her dearly but told me that they Facetimed daily. Still he was grateful towards the United States. I listened carefully, wondering for a moment, what it must be like to be him.
Ramon continued talking. Then upon reaching my destination, he proceeded to ask me a question. He stated that in all his years of driving for Uber, only one person had answered this question correctly. Intrigued, I was determined to increase that number to two. He said, “Do you know about Little Red Book?” I racked my brain. Unfortunately, the original title holder still stands. I didn’t know.
Ramon would go on to explain to me what this book was all about then suggested that I read it. We then went on to exchange Facebook information so that I might share my thoughts with him about it after I had. Admittedly, before the day was out, I had the book in my hot, little hands. I devoured it quickly. A collection of statements, speeches, and writings by the former Chairman of the Communist Party of China, Mao Tse-tong, the book clearly explains the interlinking of Communism, Leninism, Marxism, and Socialism alongside the overriding core philosophies and goals. For those who never read it, pick up a copy. The relevancy to the transformation our own nation has been undergoing within the last hundred years is clearly laid out, explaining how we arrived to the point that we are today, a time when Socialism sounds good to so many.
What jumped out at me while reading Little Red Book was the extreme Capitalism that lies beneath this philosophy, ideology, political agenda, and (make no mistake about it) religion.
Not unlike in this case, I’ve never known any kind of extremism that was good. Suffice it to say, I liken Socialism to a triangle, whereby the top point of the triangle must compel the bottom two points to hop on board and work for them, which includes convincing everyone in the middle to do the same, all in the name of equality and safety. Once this is done, the top point will grow extremely wealthy on the backs of the rest, justifying this by the very equality and security that opened the door to the treasure trove to begin with. Equality and security among the rest will continue to remain so long as no one decides to question the vast differences in wealth between the upper most point and everyone else. In corporate terms, the proprietor rally’s his workers. Then, when the company becomes a multi-million dollar entity, forgets who put him there, takes all of the profits, then fires his team one by one when they begin to ask questions instead of rewarding them for jobs well-done and incentivizing them. Unlike earlier days when our corporate culture took care of its employees garnering loyalty and hard work as a result, so much of what has occurred since, in the form of unfairness and greed, has literally unrolled the welcome mat for Socialism to walk its way into and across our borders. And yet the solution is just another version of the extreme Capitalism that compelled the outrage to begin with. It is in the “extreme” that lies the true problem and needs to be changed, whether it be in business, government or human relations in all its forms and definitions.
And it seems another highly regarded Chairman agrees, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett. A brilliant Capitalist whose wisdom remains steadfast among generations of capitalists, Buffett prizes human ingenuity and the deployment of resources, harboring a “we’ve only just begun” mentality. However, he cautions against “Capitalism left unchecked” beyond just in the corporate world. In an interview with CNBC, Buffett offers this solution to “government left unchecked,”
“I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there’s a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Yeah, yeah, now you’ve got the incentives in the right place, right.” — Warren Buffett, Chairman & CEO Berkshire Hathaway.
The idea of fair Capitalism, fair government, and fair human relations is what I think everyone in this nation is really fighting for, not equal even….just fair. “Everyone” that is but those extreme Capitalists masked as Socialists (the ‘uppermost-point on the triangle’ crowd) who have been reading the room correctly for a very long time and in that capitalized on the very failures extreme Capitalism invoked, including generations of hardworking people who woke up everyday, went to work, then returned home feeling completely taken advantage of and resentful. And you wonder where the pervasive foothold to Socialism in the United States began?
The reality is however that extreme Capitalism and fair Capitalism can not exist in the same room. As Mao Tse-Tung put it in Chapter Four of Little Red Book,
“Before a brand-new social system can be built on the site of the old, the site must be swept clean. Invariably, remnants of oldideas reflecting the old system remain in people’s minds for a long time, and they do not easily give way. After a co-operative is established, it must go through many more struggles before it can be consolidated.”
I fear we are experiencing the “sweeping clean” phase of our national conversion with all of us just waking up to what’s been happening for some time now. In our own greed and extreme Capitalism, we fell asleep at the wheel and are currently driving off a cliff because we lost our credibility with those who helped this country grow rich and their offspring.
Only they don’t realize that they won’t get any richer by allowing us to do so. The wealth will just be diverted to those coaxing them along.
“People say that poverty is bad, but in fact poverty is good. The poorer people are, the more revolutionary they are. It is dreadful to imagine a time when everyone will be rich.” — Mao Tse-tung
No doubt, things need to change but trading one master for another isn’t the way to do it. But have we woken up too late? I guess that answer lies in the question, “Will we opt for fair Capitalism going forward or extreme Capitalism by another name?”
For the second time in two days, I don’t have a clue. The tale has yet to be written. I am certain, however, that we will all soon find out…including Ramon, whose Uber I am darn happy I took yesterday.
“You are a gentleman and a scholar in all senses of the word,” my new friend. “Thank you for compelling me to take this philosophical journey. I am the better for it and so will many others be in reading this article.”
My Panama hat’s off to you! (an inside joke)
Laura J. Wellington is the Founder of THREAD MB. A TEDx Speaker, Award-winning children’s television creator, and author, Wellington’s newest book “Be Careful What You Wish For” releases October 2020. A Forbes Enterprise Award winner, Telly Award winner, and Buzz Award winner, Wellington has appeared on CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC, CCTV, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more.