- Capitalism and Alternatives -

What oft was thought but never so well expressed

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on September 20, 1999 at 00:12:39:

In Reply to: India posted by R Rockliff on September 17, 1999 at 20:21:53:

: JAIKUMAR: I've visited India before, as all my relatives are from there. You probably know that three of India's states, totaling about 110 million people, live under communist governments that they elected (and re-elected many times.) The conclusion seems obvious, that these people are smart enough to see that communism offers the only hope of actually bettering their lives.

: CARTER: India. Yes. What a thoroughly well organised and prosperous state, the socialist dream has eradicated poverty, children are all well clothed, healthy and educated, there is universal education and health care and everyone glows with a sense of general well being. Get a grip.

: ROCKLIFF: My wife is from Kerala State (India), and I have been there and I have seen it with my own eyes, not as a tourist, seeing what tourists see, but seeing everyday life among everyday people. Kerala State has elected several socialist governments since the State was formed, and is the most socialistic of all the states in India. It is the most socialistic state, but is it the most poor? No, in fact, it is the most prosperous state in India. It has the highest literacy rate, the highest ratio of doctors and hospital beds per person, the lowest infant mortality rate, and the lowest infectious disease rate. You will not see the sorts of horrors of poverty in Kerala that you will see in the less socialistic states of northern India.

: In fact, Kerala has a higher literacy rate than the United States, as well as having not even one one-hundredth the crime rate of the United States. In the United States, you had better have insurance to pick you up if misfortune knocks you down, because the odds are your neighbor will not lift a finger to help you. In Kerala, people are unbelievably generous and willing to help their neighbors. Kerala is no utopia (and India certainly is not one), but life in Kerala, if not as luxurious as life in the United States, is certainly less dehumanizing. Furthermore, when the United States finally runs into the economic brick wall toward which it is presently speeding, we will see poverty in the United States that will rival, if not surpass, that which is seen in places like India today, but it will be incomparably worse, because in the United States capitalism has destroyed the very social structures which enable people to survive when extremely hard times come. One day we will see Kerala continuing on its present course, while the United States disintegrates into terror and barbarism.

Mr. Rockcliff, you said what i have been struggling to say for a long time, in fewer and better-chosen words. there used to be a fellow named Bill Martin, alias Red Deathy around here. he and I often, though not always, argued on the same side of issues. He was the theoretician / orator / intellectual type, while I was the statistic-provider. since he left last week, I have wondered if the Left-wing component of this forum amy not collapse from lack of the hard-hitting logical argument taht he used to provide. But now I don't think that, because I was totally impressed with your responses to people on this forum., I especially liked teh analogy of the burglar, showing exactly why prosperity is not an appropriate measure of value or worth. i often thought the same way, but I never thought to express it so eloquently.

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