A large part of the XX century was marked by the struggle between two modes of capitalism and socialism. The first is mainly represented the United States and Europe, the second — the Soviet Union and joined by China. Confrontation, as the cold war ended with the victory of the capitalist world and the treatment of the defeated enemy to “another faith”. However, this case is not over: pretty soon it became clear that capitalism and socialism is not always possible to distinguish from each other. Sometimes confused even by countries that profess a particular model. About a Pyrrhic victory of the bourgeoisie — in the material “Tape.ru”.
A year and a half in the United States will once again choose the President. Donald trump, whose victory in the fall of 2016 blew up the established political life of America, will try to keep post. Difficulties during the primaries (intra-party elections a single candidate), he will likely be able to avoid officially from Republicans has nominated only one candidate, several others have declared their intentions informally. Besides, party leaders are willing to make every effort to ensure that the current head of the White house a comfortable re-election.
But Democrats are already prepared to give Trump a decent response in their campaigns participate as much as 24 people. Among them, former Vice President under Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and 77-year-old recent rival, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders. The latter has a strong reputation as a supporter of socialism: he has long supported health care reform, which would allow to acquire health insurance to all Americans without exception, and has recently published a draft of its own act entitled “an Act in favor of 99.8 percent [of people in the country]”. The document begins with the words: “the Most important in our economic reality is that the past 40 years, we have witnessed the flow of wealth from the middle class to the richest people of America.”
If four years ago Sanders was distinguished by radical, now this is no surprise. A party adopted his approach, which seems quite promising, especially in the conditions of resistance to the odious Trump. Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, have not so many chances to win, along with supporters are promoting an ambitious initiative called the “Green New deal” — a reference to the “New course” of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which allowed America to overcome the Great depression.
Almost a century ago, the legendary President stimulated the construction of housing, initiated the first trade unions, devalued dollar in favor of exporters, but, more importantly, created jobs, mostly at the expense of mega-projects, participation in which was attracted at first only men, then women. They also provided the orders of the American company, which for several years was able to restore production. Current Democrats propose to combine these measures with care for the environment and the fight against climate change.
According to their plan, to create jobs solely in “green” industries: renewable energy. In this case, America has the chance to prevent not only environmental, but also economic catastrophe: the scientists insist that the end of the century the country could suffer billions of dollars in losses because of the climate. At first, the ideologues have even stated that their ultimate goal is to build a world where planes and cars would be driven by high-speed trains. Later, the position softened, that did not stop the Senator-Republican Tom Cotton’s cruel to make fun of activists: “They confiscated all the machine and will force Americans to travel on trains, fed, apparently, tears of the unicorn”.
Warren is sponsoring another revolutionary idea: to write off almost all obligations of American students for its education loans. Today they have accumulated about $ 1.5 trillion; the candidate offers to forgive each student at least 50 thousand. The American education system, unlike the Russian, fully paid, and the vast majority of students still do not have their own stable income, can afford the tuition just for the money Bank to live off their parents after finishing school in the United States is not accepted. Alternative loan — grants provided by universities for gifted students, or a contract with the Pentagon, which undertakes tuition in exchange for several years of service in the army.
Of course, banks are not excited at the prospect of losing such an impressive profit, because Warren is going to compensate them for all losses, and the money to take from the most wealthy citizens. It will have to introduce a new tax on wealth: two percent for a family with a property worth 50 million dollars and one cent from a million and above. In ten years, according to estimates by policy, will be able to collect a 1.25 trillion. In the future, she said, all student loans should be issued at the basic rate of the Federal reserve system (for which the American analogue of the Central Bank shall credit all commercial banks) — now it is 2.25 to 2.5 percent. Current students can only rely on loans at 6.8 percent per annum and above.
Another striking representative of the new wave of Democrats in American politics — a 29-year-old Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Presidential she is not running, but co-sponsored a “Green New deal”, and was marked by rhetoric. Young, a native of new York, elected from the city district where 70 percent of the population are racial minorities, immoral considers the possibility of the existence of billionaires and badly wants to reform the capitalist system. In addition, Ocasio-Cortez in favour of a tax on the super-wealth (with a rate of 70 percent) and free health care (now Americans buy insurance on their own, and in some cases they can provide the employer or the government via social programs).
The abundance of politicians, Pro-active state intervention in the economy and social sphere, allowed the Republican Trump openly to call Democrats socialists and even build on its electoral program. In America, after the Second world war fought with the Soviet Union until its collapse, such a charge cannot pass unnoticed. Many still remember the days of McCarthyism, when the Communists threatened all. Still, according to polls, more than 80 percent of U.S. residents believe socialism and communism were unacceptable to his country regimes. The acting President is sure that the coming to power of Bernie Sanders and his supporters will lead to the fact that the country will manage to “Venezuelan style”, and anyone who disagrees is waiting for repression. “America will never become a socialist country,” he said in a recent address to Congress.
Meanwhile, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez is almost the only one who does not hesitate to openly endorse a socialist agenda (they prefer to call themselves democratic socialists). Opponents of Sanders recently published a video 30 years ago, where he supports the policy of the Soviet Union and the former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. However, other members of the Democratic party, including those who soon will participate in the primaries, strongly repulsed by the label of the socialists and at every opportunity emphasize that are still supporters of capitalism.
Many economists and political scientists do not believe them, writing off all the excuses on the desire to please voters. Policy, in their opinion, do not understand what views are held. Skeptics point out that the “Green New deal” and free healthcare, and many other initiatives of the modern Democrats are included in the program of the Communist party USA and the movement “Democratic socialists of America” (DSA).
Voters are also not consistent: according to surveys, 66 percent of Americans (including supporters of the Republican party) passionate about free health service, not thinking about what price and at whose expense they get. If you change the wording and ask about “socialized medicine”, support drops to 43 percent. The output is the paradox: most people don’t want to live in a socialist country, but has nothing against a purely socialist realities. The situation gets even more when opponents trump him recall the recent remarks of North Korean leader Kim Jong-UN: U.S. President admired the capabilities of his country and confessed her love for him. Some go further and insist that all dictatorships of the world head of the White house not only likes Venezuela, and the rest ready to deal with, regardless of their ideological incompatibility with America.
Not all unique in Europe, which is considered to be the citadel of capitalism. However, socialism in its present form, originated there during the great French revolution of 1789-1799. It took place under quite the socialist slogan “Liberty, equality, fraternity”, although its achievement at first, did not last long — within five years, Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed the country an Empire. In 1867, the German philosopher and economist Karl Marx published his main work “Capital”, then accepted into service in the Soviet Union. It was immoral to light the nature of surplus value — the difference between the price of goods and wages made it work (actually it is equal to the profit of the capitalist).
Throughout the twentieth century socialist sentiments in Europe, unlike the United States, was still strong, but were separated mainly by the opposition. One of striking examples — the “red army Faction” (RAF), battle group committing acts of terrorism, attacks and even the hijacking in post-war West Germany. The founders of the RAF aspired to world revolution, which would end American imperialism, — into action, they made the war in Vietnam. At the same time (in 1968, the year of the founding of the RAF) in France was unfolding, the student protests under the Marxist slogans, which resulted in the resignation of the government and early parliamentary elections.
Socialism is relevant for Europe in our days. The ex-President of France Francois Hollande, since 1979, including the Socialist party, immediately after the election in 2012 introduced a 75 percent tax on incomes over one million euros per year. This step helped to fill the coffers, but led to the fact that some of the wealthy French fled the country (it was then that the actor Gerard Depardieu received the first Belgian and Russian citizenship and an apartment in Saransk). Two years later the tax was abolished.
Bleeding crisis in Greece, the socialists from the party “SYRIZA” led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came to power in 2015. The new head of government first promised to abandon the EU-imposed austerity, even at the cost of breaking off relations with Brussels, but quickly realized that without further assistance, the EU can not do, and gave back. Despite that, Tsipras and SYRIZA continue to rule the country in the past year, get rid of strict supervision of the creditors who — have not got used to work a lot of the Greeks left ideas are still very popular.
The northernmost country of Europe — Iceland — in 2008 he experienced severe banking crisis and defaulted on borrowed foreign deposits and bonds. The authorities did not dare rude to intervene in the economy and jeopardize the country’s image, but willingly did it after a national referendum in which residents voted against payment of debts to creditors. In the end the latter managed to return only a small portion of their money, which, however, not affected the business climate of Iceland. Stored this way the country funds (mainly foreign currencies) went to the budget which had to be cut, and the needs of importers. Now, the power is the left-green government headed by Catherine Jakobsdottir.
In 2017 at the early elections in the UK won the Conservative party Theresa may, but the labour party and their leader Jeremy Corbyn just behind at 2.4 percent, and in the age group of 18 to 25 years and all have scored 60 percent of the vote. Economists do not see in it anything surprising: young people are not caught rapid growth in the second half of the twentieth century, but remembers well the global crisis of 2008. In addition, the younger generation, unlike their parents, do not perceive the market methods such as privatization and low taxes, as something self-evident and necessary.
Another more recent example is the success of Pedro Sanchez and his Spanish socialist workers ‘ party (PSOE). Last year he headed the government instead sent in the resignation of longstanding Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. This year — won the national elections, at the same time having the right to delegate the PSOE in the European Parliament. Having survived the expulsion from the party, Sanchez returned just seven months, was headed by her and now will have a direct influence on European politics and Economics.
In recent decades, socialism has changed, say the financiers. Now this is not a planned economy and absence of private property, as many are accustomed to think. Modern socialists put at the angle equal distribution of income and the rejection of austerity (even in crises), and people around the world do not see in it anything shameful — to be a socialist no longer ashamed. “Before, the word “socialist” was synonymous with backward and irresponsible person. But now the attitude is changing. If you can ask yourself, not whether you are socialist, and are not afraid to say Yes, then it is likely you are one of them,” writes British columnist Zoe Williams.
One of the mechanisms adopted by the new left, the universal base (or unconditional) income. It involves regular and not dependent on anything payments fixed or variable amounts. This scheme has long been implemented on a permanent basis in Alaska — where residents share oil revenues, and in many countries and regions introduced in the experiment. Supporters of basic income believe: if you pay people less than you on average to earn, but enough to not be in distress, they lose the incentive to work, but will feel more confident and bolder to try yourself in new sphere of activity, including in business. In the end, will benefit the entire national economy, and the state at the same time will take care of the citizens.
The opposite pattern is observed in countries that all used to be considered socialist. Chief among them is China. Under Mao Zedong, who ruled from 1943 to 1976, it was centralized agrarian state, and Mao himself made a few Grand failures. Chief among them is the Great leap policies, through which was planned for 15 years to catch up in terms of GDP the UK. In the case of enterprises in the commune (the similarity of Soviet collective farms), peasants had lost their motivation and are unable to provide even a small part of the harvest, which is calculated on the leader. Not set the case in industries where workers simply did not have the qualifications. In 1959, the country was gripped by severe famine, which killed between 10 and 45 million people.
Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping pursued a policy of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. “We should not constrain themselves ideological and practical abstract disputes about what the name of this all is socialism or capitalism,” he said at a meeting of the Politburo of the Communist party of China (CPC). The main principles of restructuring China began the transition to a market economy and the creation of special economic zones, which attract foreign investors.
In one of such zones in the 1980s, worked Ren Jenifa, the future founder of the largest technological Corporation of China Huawei. After his dismissal, he created a company, not really knowing what it would do: “We just wanted to make little pieces that would be easy to sell.” After 20 years, Huawei became the only Chinese company earn exports more than domestic sales. Last year she slipped the Apple from second place in the global market of smartphones.
The recent claim of the United States, due to which Huawei has already refused to cooperate with Google and the largest us suppliers of the chips are able to hit it positions. But China has other companies, always technological: among them, the Internet giant Alibaba, Tencent communications Corporation, universal mobile app WeChat. Their shares are traded as the leading foreign exchanges, and domestic Shanghai (the third in the world in the total value of the shares), Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
The Chinese authorities, jealously guarding one-party authoritarian model of life is actually a leader, in recent years, combine the socialist and capitalist methods of management. They do not hesitate to devalue the yuan in favor of exporters than regularly incur the wrath of the U.S., generously funded by major government programs, implement infrastructure mega-projects, but even in the face of a trade war strive to maintain a business, for the second year in a row by lowering taxes.
A similar path was held and Vietnam in the second half of the twentieth century after independence in the war with the United States. After its completion in 1975, the first divided into the capitalist South and socialist North, the country was United under the Communist party of Vietnam. Since then, she remains the only legal political force in the parliamentary elections and its candidates are fighting among themselves. Immediately after a devastating war, the unified Vietnam was faced with a 900-percent inflation and the need to import rice despite the fact that a significant part of the territory was occupied by rice fields. The United States agreed to allocate $ 3.5 billion to restore the infrastructure, but it did not.
In addition, Washington imposed an embargo on trade with Hanoi, and many countries did not dare to violate it. The country faced a shortage not only of money but of commodities. In these circumstances, authorities have tried to borrow the early Soviet model, with seizures from the peasants of the harvest in exchange for food stamps. This led to a decline in production (roughly the same reasons as in China under Mao) and, as a consequence, to even greater inflation. Realizing the failure of socialism in its purest form, in the 1980-ies, the party has embarked on a “market economy with socialist orientation”. In a country flooded by foreign investors, the largest companies have opened branches, while citizens have their own business (mainly trading), which gradually expanded. After the armistice with the US lifting the trade embargo and the beginning of cooperation with the world Bank and the International monetary Fund (IMF), Vietnam’s economy showed an annual growth of eight percent.
For 25 years the percentage of citizens living below the poverty line fell from 70 to 32 percent, nearly every village has got a school and a hospital. Finally betray the ideals of the Vietnamese Communists did not: at the turn of the century, three times they refused the loans from the world Bank, which exhibited the only condition: the privatization of certain state enterprises. But when loomed on the horizon membership in the world trade organization (WTO), state-owned assets went under the hammer. Change allowed to get rich enterprising Vietnamese, on time opening the business, as well as those who have proved to be useful connections. However, the majority of Vietnamese citizens increased living standards is almost non-existent. At least not yet.
Now Vietnam, like China, manages to combine capitalist with the good characteristic of socialism autocracy. Market mechanisms and the private sector coexist with the West an unprecedented level of corruption, which reaches 70 percent of the state budget. Many believe that the hasty mass privatisation has brought more harm than good — at the helm of major companies rose by incompetent owners. They reduce costs by cuts, forcing the former employees to move from the countryside to crowded cities, where work is already enough not to all. Authorities are actively dealing with the opposition, often resorting to repression, and control the media. During the recent summit, Kim Jong-UN and Donald trump in Hanoi for the North Korean leader had a tour around the city. Now he can see what happens when you make concessions ideological opponents, joking in the press.
However, changes in the DPRK are fun. Western journalists, social activists and ordinary tourists like to tell that the country did not meet their worst expectations, and appears almost prosperous country with happy people. Visitors are still required to accompany the guide, the witness, as if the foreigners did not see too much, but their control is not as strict as a few years ago. Sometimes in confidential conversations they talk about the unique North Korean phenomena, for example, almadinah. The so-called private markets that have emerged during the mass starvation in the 1990s and eventually received legal status and the approval of the authorities.
Up to 1960-ies in North and South Korea had similar levels of life, on the side of the North even had the advantage due to the larger number of remaining from the Japanese colonial industrial enterprises. But then South has made a breakthrough, which the Koreans are still grateful of President Pak Chung-Hee, despite totalitarian methods of government. One of the main factors of success is the creation and development of chaebols, industrial conglomerates, under the control of individual families. The DPRK at this time relied on the help of the Soviet Union, but after its collapse has Lockwoodkatie “brotherly Korea” further support.
Official sources, this period is called the “arduous March” — all the problems blamed American imperialists. But it then formed the basis of the future economy. People went to trade the markets, initially equipping them in such a way that is easy to fold the trays with the appearance of security personnel. Sold mainly food, cigarettes and household items. So many Koreans earned his first capital. The then leader Kim Jong Il in whatever was wanted to convince the world of the vitality developed by his father Kim Il Sung, the Juche ideology, and therefore not in a hurry to legitimize such a purely capitalist phenomenon of private trade. He did son, Kim Jong-UN.
After he came to power almadani began to appear across the country — now there are more than 400. By the time they traded Koreans have learned to pay bribes to heads of state-owned enterprises, is actually to pay off for absence from main job. The money went including the salaries of their colleagues, so that we can say that the first North Korean businessmen fed the whole country. Now grown up the second generation of entrepreneurs — donju collecting rent from the traders of mandanov. Visited the DPRK claimed that they can not be distinguished from European and American yuppies (young people who are passionate about building a successful career). Range for sale comes mainly from China, which in recent decades was, despite the sanctions, a major trading partner of Pyongyang. Most of the goods — smuggling, but its quality is steadily increasing.
Trade with China is not the first decade to earn a high-ranking party functionaries — still under Kim Il sung they were allowed to create semi-private companies with the largest state-owned enterprises. This business has allowed many officials with years to become dollar millionaires, through bribes they share the profits with the ruling elite. In the border towns of China, the North Koreans keep hotels and restaurants, some were able to start businesses even in the Russian far East. If earlier those who managed to escape to South Korea or China, sent earnings to family now remaining in the North, the parents transferred the large sums left for study children. In Pyongyang there is a construction boom, and numerous demonstrations, participation in which is compulsory, can be seen more often expensive and even luxury brands.
After last year’s successful negotiations with trump, Kim Jong-UN declared that the state’s nuclear programme has reached its goal and now all the energy should be directed into economic development. To call North Korea a full-fledged capitalist country can be a long way off yet too strongly influenced by international sanctions, besides, the authorities are not averse to earn on tourists who come to look at the state of Juche. In rural areas, changes are coming not as fast as in Pyongyang, and the level of poverty, and at the same time, and the stratification remains prohibitive: the income of legal or semi-legal businessman may exceed the average salary of a civil servant (about 26 cents per month) thousands of times. But economists who saw the DPRK with my own eyes, say that it has more in common with traditionally capitalist West than they say on TV.
Similar processes occur in Cuba. Since the end of 1950-ies there are rules of Fidel Castro, in which the country is facing severe shortage, poverty and international isolation. The locals did not even have enough sugar, most of which was exported to the Soviet Union. The United States and Europe in response to the nationalization of their citizens owned enterprises for many years kept the island in an economic blockade. For 50 years it caused the Cuban economy to the detriment of 104 billion dollars.
Since the 1980s, the government embarked on a careful consumption of goods: of pressed rice husk was doing the building materials, waste from sugar cane processing has been used in the production of cellulose and mixed feed for pigs. While Cuba has been able to maintain quality healthcare services, which was used in the number treated for drug addiction, the legendary Argentine footballer Diego Maradona. After the collapse of the USSR, Havana had more difficult her situation was a little easier only Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez supplied Cuba daily 100 thousand barrels of oil.
In 2008, Castro retired and handed control of the country to brother Raul, who began cautiously to enter relief. Thus, the population was allowed to use computers, microwaves and some other appliances. In 2010, the younger Castro has agreed to legalize in the country, small businesses in the form of self-employment and entrepreneurs with the lowest income (less than $ 200 per year) were exempted from taxes. More successful (from $ 2,300 per year) had to share with the state a half earned. Coupled with the release of political prisoners such measures, nearly led to full restoration of relations with the US (the Obama administration even allowed money transfers to Cuba), but in the end it was limited to the opening of the American Embassy.
These changes began last year in April, Raul Castro handed over power to the new President and concurrently the head of government Miguel Diaz-Canela. The summer has started drafting of a new Constitution, in the winter, it was approved by Parliament and endorsed in a referendum by the citizens, as this spring the main law of the country has already entered into force. In addition to the many socio-political innovations such as the ban on discrimination based on race and gender, the presumption of innocence or limiting presidential rule to two terms, he secured the right of Cubans to any property, was allowed full-fledged private business and opened opportunities for foreign investment.
Despite the relatively small size of the national debt (18.2% of GDP), economists do not expect the imminent inflow of foreign capital. Vs Havana plays a bad reputation, because it already defaulted on its obligations. In addition, potential investors may entice other countries in the region. However, Cuba has its advantages: it is enough skilled and cheap workforce, low crime and plenty of room for attachments. After decades of isolation the island’s infrastructure is hopelessly outdated and requires almost complete replacement. According to analysts from American investment funds, “there is no sector, which would not need millions”.
However, it could be the new American sanctions. Washington concluded the reform “another ploy of the regime to cover up the repression and tyranny” and has banned its citizens from travelling to the island. In addition, remittances from the U.S. is limited to a thousand dollars a quarter. The Cubans themselves have not yet decided how to treat the new President: some hope for change, others are afraid of losing the few opportunities and incentives, which appeared under Raul Castro.
His inaugural speech Diaz-Kanel ‘ has done the usual for Cuba, with the slogan: “Socialism or death”. The Communist party even in the new Constitution remains the only legal political force, however, the law provides for waiver of building communism. In December, the Cubans had access to mobile Internet (before there was only a home wired) — one megabyte is worth 10 cents. Its main task for the first time the President calls the unification of the two currencies existing in parallel to the local peso and the convertible peso (dollar) for foreigners. Soon it will become clear whether there will be changes on paper or will be implemented.
Capitalism and socialism competed for most of the twentieth century. “Ribbon.ru” have you analyzed the advantages of the capitalist model that allowed it to win a total victory. However, every year the distinction between the models becoming thinner. In the United States and Europe, gaining the power of left-wing politics, campaigning for social justice and strict government regulation of the economy. Some of them propose solutions that seem radical, such as building a completely “green” economy with the potential abandonment of the aircraft. Openly call themselves socialists, yet few are ready, but their views will not cause such rejection, as it once was. At the same time, traditionally socialist countries one after the other introduce market principles.
Everything goes to the fact that soon the world’s two major economic doctrines will merge together. It almost happened in Northern Europe, which many of habit called Scandinavia (actually, Finland and Iceland are not Scandinavian countries). Since the middle of last century there successfully used the so-called “Scandinavian model”, which is often confused with socialism. The most striking her representative is Sweden. In this country manage to combine high taxes (the average salary of 4.1 thousand dollars is taxed at a rate 52 per cent) and comprehensive social welfare (free education and cheap medicine, high benefits and pensions) with favorable conditions for business and non-interference of the state in it (out of almost 2 million companies, only 48 are fully or partly state-owned).
The Swedes are not afraid to pay taxes because they know that their money will be returned in the form of pensions, sick leave, benefits for child care or quality of infrastructure. According to numerous surveys, the local tax Agency has the full confidence and respect of the inhabitants. Spending budget remain high even during the inevitable recessions, wages do not change depending on the profession (from 3.8 thousands of dollars in education to 5.3 thousand in the resource extraction sector), the risk of being in poverty threatens only seven percent of the population.
For the welfare of the Swedes have to pay in a special way: it is difficult for them to get rich. The wealthiest man in the country — the founder of fashion brand H&M, Stefan Persson. With 15.6 billion dollars he occupies only 72 in the world (against the 35th richest Russians Leonid Mikhelson). Every month, Persson have to part with 57 percent of their income (in Sweden, the progressive tax scale), but he does not complain and says that he wants to contribute to the cause.
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