Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Capitalism VS Socialism. A biological approach...

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The internet is full of articles about Capitalism and Socialism on an economic and social perspectives. I propose a different angle on the subject, a biological aproach to capitalism and socialism.

First of all, I'll be talking about these two vast concepts very loosely. By Capitalism and Socialism, I'm merely referring to the most general ideas that distinguishes both extremes.

I never cared much about the subject until I studied communism at school. I think that anyone that studies Karl Marx and all ideologies around that time will inevitably fall in love with them. It just sounds perfect! But is it perfect?

I think the problem is with the question that people keep asking "what is the best system?", instead of "what is the best system for us?".

So what is it? Let's get back to roots for a moment.

I think that there's a strong parallelism between these opposing extremes and the way animals behave naturally. There are animals we would consider collectivists, like ants/bees, and animals we would consider individualists, like all others I can remember. I'm drawing the line on what animals usually prioritize. Some generally prioritize the community above their own individual survival, others generally prioritize individual survival above anything else.

The parallelism is in the sense that, if socialism is associated with the idea of working for the common good, not owning the result of your labor and being given only what you need (either you earned it or not), then I'd compare that with a collectivist animal behavior. If capitalism is associated with competition with other individuals to get a bigger share of the pie, meaning someone else will end up getting less of it eventually, I'd compare that to an individualistic animal behavior.

So my view is that capitalism is more natural to humans because humans are individualistic animals by nature which is the word I'm using to describe animals that prioritize self-preservation over community preservation. I believe that attempting to organize ourselves in a collectivist way would perpetuate a constant fight inside each element, between it's own nature and a force from a system directly opposing it. I'm not arguing over which is best, I'm simply saying that one is natural to us while the other opposes that nature and that there is an intrinsic value in adopting a system that is most natural to us.

Now, I'm not including humans in the individualistic animal category only because of observation. I'm basing myself on the criteria required to make that distinction. It's not completely true that some animals prioritize self preservation while others prioritize community preservation, the distinction is something deeper and what we're observing is only a reflection of that true priority and that is genes. It's genes who are really fighting for survival and for that, the strategy of their preservation depends on how those genes are distributed among the population.

An ant will promptly commit suicide on the burning sands of the desert in order to find food for the colony and a bee will leave it's sting in a bear tearing the bee's abdomen apart as a result, not because they're altruistic animals but because all the ants and bees in the colony share the same genes. Altruistic behavior in other animals (like us) is usually connected to their relatives again, explaining the underlying gene survival priority, so the actual drives that are hardwired in each animal are simply a reflection of the strategy used to preserve it's genetic information.

So although the best system can be disputed, I believe that it's clear that one is biologically natural to us while the other opposes that nature.

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