The socialism example

Reader comment on: Saving Freedom

Submitted by mark (United States), Jun 17, 2010 07:00

I have heard the classroom example of pushups and candy several times. But what I don't think many people realize is what is demonstrated is NOT socialism. The problem with this is that this analogy and so many others are related on the same misunderstood idea of what socialism is.

The example given with push ups rewarded with candy is communism, specifically under the order of a dictatorship. The dictator, or teacher in this example, gives the people (students) a task and a shared reward for goals set within that task. This is communism, and is a fantastic example of why communism does not work, specifically as it almost always has been implemented - through dictatorship.

If this were socialism, the students of the classroom would have collectively decided on the task to be performed, and would have received remunerative rewards from the product of that task. This is, in a sense of performance motivation -just as successful as capitalism, as, in the theory of capitalism, the working person will receive a remunerative pay for the job they perform. *PLEASE Look up socialism, remunerative pay is in the very definition of socialism. This idea that all wealth is split between the public is purely communist, and is often slandered and confused for socialism. The reasons for which are a constant repetition of this idea from a variety of means. Often, in the very communist policies (namely russia) who call themselves in a socialist reform, as an appeasement to the people of their country they are trying to convince, but are in fact taking an action for communism.

Now in further explanation of the problem with this example in relation to socialism is the analogy can almost not be applied, and in many ways this analogy is very psychologically appeasing and possibly revealing to those who find it proof. First, the reason it can not be applied in the same way is, if, in a socialist environment, the people were to decide on the task and receive a reward, it would more than likely not be push ups. However, just to humor this idea- say that the people (students) decided to do push ups. Again, socialism looks for a remunerative pay received for task at hand. Candy is in no way an example of reward from push ups. So, the only reward given from push ups is in essence; exercise. And in the very nature of the laws of the world- the more push ups you would do would directly reward you as a person with remunerative exercise quality.

This might be a laughable reason to some who might read this, but its only as laughable to me as the original intent of the anecdote. On the academic psychology of the anecdote, and this is where I may lose even those who are agreeing with me at this point, I think its hilarious that work is related to exercise/push ups and money to candy. Nobody enjoys doing pushups, which only suggests by this analogy, that nobody enjoys their work. It also suggests that for every action there is a tangible reward - which is to say money, represented by candy. Pure socialism relies on the idea that people understand that every reward is not in the form of a tangible currency that you can spend in how you so choose. However this is, in pure Capitalism, the idea that allows for a promise that the more work you do the better things you will be able to buy. However it does not address that one persons success does not build roads, does not provide libraries, schools, fire departments, law enforcement, etc etc. This would rely on an assumption that people who are successful with the opportunity they receive will unselfishly provide it for requirements of an functional society. Which, obviously, in human nature, they wouldn't. The irony is that without the lower class, the capitalists can not survive, they have mistreated them, with the help of legislation on too long of a stretch and it is now collapsing for many companies who took advantage.

One thing that people also neglect to realize is that socialism, although never pure socialism, that has ever been put into use, has never been paired with democracy, there is always someone telling people what their goals are. Socialism, like capitalism must have democracy to survive. If the common goal people seek is not decided by the people, that is to say; a majority do not think it is a necessary goal, then it will not go forth. This is where socialism and communism have found their downfall, having a demand by a voice that is not of the people, telling them what their goals are and what rewards they will receive for accomplishing a task that is not in the majority of voices, but one voice.

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