Beware ‘evil’ invisible hand

Chris Kok

Last Tuesday, Matthew White wrote in his column, “America needs a Congress that rejects moral relativism and that is unafraid to declare the ideologies of evil — socialism, communism, Islamo-fascism — for exactly what they are: evil.”

As should be expected, due to the limited space, White gave no reason for why any of these are evil. Is Islamo-fascism evil? Yes, but not as evil as the American imperialism that is creating it. But what I am concerned about today is his reference to socialism and communism.

In a country that has gone through the Red Scare, McCarthyism and the Cold War and has seen the effects of Stalinism, it is easy to simply dismiss communism and socialism as evil.

What are socialism and communism? Socialism is a class-based society in which the working class controls society. Communism is a classless society achieved after a period of socialism.

I want to set the record straight on Stalinism. Stalinism was not socialism or communism. Under socialism, workers control the society, especially the means of production. Under Stalin, the workers had no power; therefore it could not really be socialism. The crimes of Stalin were horrendous, but those are the crimes of a mentally unstable dictator and not the inherent crimes of socialism.

While many people have seen the crimes of Stalin, they often ignore the crimes of capitalism.

First among many crimes are the capitalist wars that pop up every now and then. Millions were murdered in Vietnam by the capitalist nations of France and the United States, and now it is estimated that 655,000 Iraqis are dead because of the current war.

Secondly, there are the victims of covert capitalist government programs such as the CIA. Latin America is strewn with the bones of victims of the United States government. From the thousands killed as a result of the Pinochet coup, to the three American nuns raped and murdered in El Salvador, the United States has left a bloody trail in order to support capitalism.

Perhaps the most important and least observed oppression of capitalism is the oppression of the “invisible hand.” Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations, wrote about how an “invisible hand” works through the market of capitalism, distributing goods and setting prices.

It is this invisible hand that forces people to starve because they cannot afford to eat. It is this invisible hand that is forcing many people to illegally cross the United States border to find jobs. These people can’t afford to raise their families on the income in their home countries, so they must go to a foreign land, a foreign culture, to do so.

It is the oppression of the “invisible hand” that is forcing many Ohioans to move to other states to find jobs. These people are leaving their families, their friends and their homes because good job opportunities are not available here.

Yes, Stalin was evil, but Stalinism was not communism.

The wars, forced relocations and starvation of the “invisible hand” are the direct result of capitalism. This is a system of oppression. Supporting capitalism means supporting these cruel and unnecessary results.

To borrow from White’s column: It is time to be unafraid to declare the ideology of evil — capitalism — for exactly what it is: evil.

Chris Kok is a senior political science major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].