Nothing has invoked so much Debate in the Western world since the 17th Century than the Centuries-long conceptualizations of “Capitalism” and “Socialism.” Both are natural developments within Western Civilization’s innovations in the Medieval and Renaissance fields of Mercantilism and Cameralism. Mercantilism is now “Capitalism” and Cameralism is now “Socialism.” The transformations of Mercantilism and Cameralism coincided with the Enlightenment between the 17th and 18th Centuries, assuming their Modern forms as Capitalism and Socialism respectively by the 19th and 20th Centuries.
A decade of life experiences in this Author’s school life has taught him that any teenager or young adult cannot become a “Capitalist” just by simply reading Adam Smith and Ludwig von Mises; conversely, that same teenager or young adult cannot also become a “Socialist” just by simply reading Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. This is not an intellectual choice but an instinctual one that comes as a result of childbearing, upbringing, nurturing, educating, and experiencing everything that Life itself has to offer for being part of Western civilization.
There are only five kinds of people in this Debate: those who favor Capitalism; those who favor Socialism; those wanting a “Third Way of Life” between Capitalism and Socialism; those who reject all three Economic Ways of Life; and those trying to decide where they stand between all of the above. Everyone from every imaginable ideological persuasion will either side with Capitalism or with Socialism. Some would view this debate like a Hegelian Dialectic, seeking to find a Synthesis between Capitalism and Socialism or else try to overcome the Dialectic altogether by introducing a paradigm shift to alter the direction of this Debate. And then there are those who are unconfident about where they stand on the Debate itself and must “Socialize” with others in order to understand themselves and their places in Life. Those are the five personalities.
If a resolution to this Debate exists and if someone of the fifth personality is finally convinced that their options are either Capitalism or Socialism, what shall be their decision?
And if somebody believes that the answer to this Debate has always been Socialism instead of Capitalism, what sort of evidence convinced them that it ought to be so?
The answer to both questions is to be found here within all future Posts on this Blog. No major historical event from the 20th Century, including the Cold War, has been satisfactory enough to convince anyone of the fifth personality (this Author included) that Western civilization has finally resolved this Centuries-long Debate.
Personally, this past decade has been a long journey between World History and everyday life, where the perils are no longer the elements or highwaymen. It is the willingness to find a sense of humility, to understand oneself better and their choices in Life as well as discern between facts and opinions, reality and fiction, and understanding that not everyone from World History has been the purest of heart in regards to morals, ethics, ideals, intentions, and methods.
“‘Cheerfulness prepares a glorious mind for all the noblest acts.’”