ID'C Culture – Socialism
Socialism – and specifically democratic socialism – is rising rapidly in the United States. The United States,
the country that fought socialist ideology as well as socialist economic and political practices for forty years
in the Cold War, is now well on the way to considering socialism as a future system of government.
For example, 51 percent of young Americans prefer socialism to capitalism.1
At the heart of the socialist movement that has allured and enchanted progressive minds for the last two centuries is Marx's notion that in every epoch the ruling class also shapes the consciousness of the society. Therefore, Marx believed that ‘it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but,
on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness.’2
In other words, socialist-oriented psychology is rooted in the principle that every mind is a social mind.
The reorganization of social existence by means of overthrowing the power of the rich and abolishing what makes people individually rich – that is, private property – will solve the historical problem of injustice and alter men's consciousness from being lonely slaves into collective, selfless individuals. Such an ideological position is in direct opposition to a neoliberalist worldview, built on a psychology of the possessive individual.
However, in both cases – neoliberalism and socialism – the philosophy of I-Don't-Care (ID'C) about things
that are in the way of the ideological position I uphold, lies in the foundational layers.
In the case of neoliberalism – advocacy of the free-market – an ID'C attitude is revealed through such
an approach as: I don't care how my personal financial strivings may negatively affect others, or I don't care
that others can't do as well as I can. And in the case of socialism – advocacy of the collectively run economy – IDC plays through an I-Don't-Care attitude about proven historical facts that socialism caused economic devastation and political catastrophe many times and in different countries that endeavored to experiment
with the system.
Arthur Koestler described this kind of arrogant position as a ‘We shall know better’3 conviction.
Knowing and theorizing with an absolute absence of any positive reality tests is one of the most prominent features of socialists from all periods. In his 1937 book, The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell wrote:
Sometimes I look at a Socialist – the intellectual, tract-writing type of Socialist, with his pullover, his fuzzy hair, and his Marxian quotation – and wonder what the devil his motive really is. It is often difficult to believe that it is a love of anybody, especially of the working class, from whom he is of all people the furthest removed.4
The above quote could serve as a spot-on description of Marx and Engels, who, cushioned by Engels' parents’ money and Marx's wife, Jenny's inheritance, cherished their idea about the abolition of private property
as a riddle of history solved. Sitting in some European café, drinking coffee and spreading butter on freshly baked buns, Marx and Engels envisioned the worker not as an individual – a cluster of unique genetic predispositions adapted to natural and social environments – self environment – but as generalized masses, the working class, that needed to be placed in absolutely altered social conditions (absence of private property) in order to develop selfless class-consciousness. Such a ‘new man’ will emerge as a result of, quoting from Marx and Engels’ Manifesto, a ‘forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions’5 and the application of ‘despotic inroads on the right of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production.’6 In other words, the solution
to the creation of a society of equals, where everyone contributes to the common good according to their ability and receives according to their needs, 'may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.'7
The ‘burden’ of private undertaking shifts to the shoulders of the government.
As simple as this – ‘the riddle of history solved.’8
However, a natural consequence of such conditions is the redundancy of individual agency: no one can
go their own ways, or do more than, or differently from, what they are required to do. In other words, socialist economy is a system of uniform, mechanistic production, where the worker has a secure job and guaranteed wages but has no liberty to respond to the demands of the market on their individual terms. The concern with the market is a bourgeois mentality trend, therefore it gets severed from a socialist worker's interests, like many other democratic liberties. Simply because the government knows better.
The Orwell quote about the engineers of socialism being removed from the working class they supposedly care about most is reflected in Soviet socialism through Lenin's sinister belief that 'the working classes themselves will get nowhere, without a vanguard guided by advanced theory.'9 In other words, socialist resistance of the proletariat is the movement of masses stirred up purely by the attractive theoretical underpinnings and appealing promises of their leaders.
Orwell's quote can also describe modern socialists, public intellectuals who envision a new economic system created by forceful stripping of power from today's billionaires.
The socialist movement has an inspiring wrapping made up of slogans about justice, brotherhood, liberty,
and common decency. Using them as a mask, this two-century-old, still-ongoing social trend travels around
the globe. It has been accepted in many places because of its virtuous proclamations. It gets into the minds
and hearts of people eager for long-awaited, fair changes. Settled steadily in a new place, however, it puts up
a new carnival of horror.
Socialism as an economic and political system can grow its roots only in a social environment conducive
to the development of its characteristics. Technology- and science-brimmed education undermines historical, social and cultural studies, and therefore produces generations of young people who lack the factual and critical thinking capacity for evaluating the reasons, intentions, modes of implementations, and results of the essential historical and cultural events.
Stop ‘Gulag thinking,’ proclaims Anand Giridharadas,10 today's socialist, vigorous accuser of billionaires. Advocating to cease thinking about what happened under a socialist regime in the Soviet Union is a clear symptom of ID'C psychology, manifested in ‘I don’t care about history,’ and ‘I don’t care about truth, facts,
and the people who suffered from them. We shall know better!’
Historical and factual ignorance and arrogance lead to extreme socio-political formations with consequences that are too shocking and incongruous to imagine at the outset of such movements.
Neoliberalism and socialism are such movements.
Neoliberalism emphasizes the economic liberty of the individual while compromising concern for
the common good.
Socialism defends the collectively run economy by eroding individual agency.
The ripplework is a conceptual lens through which we can see life in a way that reconciles the extreme political positions. In the ripplework, no individual ripple exists outside of the ripplework.
At the same time, the ripplework doesn't exist without individual ripples.
The interactions of the ripplework the ripple are mutually interdependent.
Therefore, in any approach to rewiring social structures and re-establishing economic organizations, the ripplework view of life suggests that equal consideration must be given to both agentic forces – society self.
Socialism – economic and political social organization characterized
by the abolition of private property,
a state-planned economy and state-distribution of money.
Private property – usually refers
to the means of production
and productive capital.
According to the socialist doctrine, private property is a root of moral corruption. The owners of the means
of production and productive capital strive to accumulate more wealth, making those who have no such things desire
to have them.
We shall know better – a statement borrowed from author Arthur Koestler
that refers to ID'C culture that supports
a socialist attitude. When people don't care about historical facts and the people affected by them, they express their ignorance and arrogance by stating:
'We shall know better.'
Available on Amazon.com
Available on Amazon.com
1 Elkins, Kathleen (August 14, 2018). CNBC: Most young Americans prefer socialisms to capitalism, new report finds [Website]. Retrieved March, 2020, from: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/14/fewer-than-half-of-young-americans-are-positive-about-capitalism.html
2 Marx, Karl (1846). The German Ideology (with Engels, F.). Prometheus Books (1998). [Kindle version, 2011, p. 67]
3 As above [p. 42].
3 Koestler, Arthur (1954). The Invisible Writing [Kindle version, 2011, p. 189]. Vintage Digital.
4 Orwell, George (1037). The Road to Wigan Pier [Kindle version, 2011, loc. 2095]. Numitor Comun Publishing
5 Marx, Karl & Engels, Friedrich (1848). Manifesto of The Communist Party [Kindle version, 2012, p. 44]. Amazon Digital Services.
6 As above [p. 25].
7 As above [p. 17].
8 Marx, Karl (1844). Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 [Kindle version, 2016, loc. 1861]. M. Milligan (Trans). Dancing Unicorn Books.
9 Gray, Alexander (1945). The Socialist Tradition: Moses to Lenin [Kindle version, 2010, p. 480]. Ludwig von Mises Institute.
10 Giridharadas, Anand (February, 23, 2020). RealClear Politics: Anand Giridharadas: ‘Historic’ Sanders Campaign Is “A Wake-Up Moment For The American Power Establishment” And “Out-Of_Touch Aristocrats” [Website Article & MCNBC video]. Retrieved: March, 2020, from: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/02/23/anand_giridharadas_historic_bernie_sanders_campaign_is_a_wake-up_moment_for_the_american_power_establishment.html