Saturday, 1 March 2014

My six quotes from Einstein’s Socialism

Source: Wikipedia
Today I woke up thinking of Albert Einstein’s ideology on socialism. I have realized we are still far from resolving the bridge between socialism and capitalism. I do not consider myself a capitalist, neither am I convinced that a socialist ideology on its own is enough to redeem this world from the current economic and social crisis. I am looking for a middle ground for several reasons:-

(1) “Socialism is directed towards a social-ethical end”. In  this society, debates of what is ethical, and who sets the standards for what is ethical might not allow us ever resolve this one requirement

(2) "The individual has become more conscious than even of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence”. Very true, very disturbing, yes. But is that all we can say about humankind, when we know very well that we have the power in our minds to choose and pursue any kind of independence we may want. 

(3) “Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society”. Totally agreed, and something I will die believing. Never have I found a reason for my existence beyond belonging and serving the society. Never will I want to live separated from the society. I like the beauty of this phrase that life does not have to be long, and it can be perilous.

(4) "Production is carried on for profit, not for use”. I don’t know how many will feel the same pain as I do when I think deeply of the reality of this phrase. Those who farm and never eat the food; or those who manufacture and never afford the cars made out of their knowledge and skills; or the teachers who educate society for decades only to earn peanuts. How can we resolve this crisis?

(5)“This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our while education system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for this future career”. I am a product of this system, I have seen over the years those who have not been competitive choosing average lifestyles, while those who were perceived top performers have continually been rewarded and raised the ranks. I can go back to my humble beginnings in a local rural school, but there are only a handful of them now that I can consider myself in the same class. Is this really the society I want to live in for the rest of my life?

(6)   How is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overwhelming”? This is the same question I pose when I think of the middle ground where I belong. A socialist system which is not power hungry and domineering, or a capitalist society which uplifts even those with less capitals.

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