The Class Distinction
Posted by Ergo on July 31, 2007
The crucial motivating ideology behind Socialism and Communism is the elimination of class conflict; the Communist ideology is fueled by the struggle of the lower class demanding emancipation from the supposed oppression of the higher classes. Indeed, the accusation is that Capitalist societies foster the most brutal class distinctions, whereas Communism promises an egalitarian utopia of just one big happy family.
I find it rather ironic, then, that the lines of class distinctions should be so pronounced in India–a highly socialist country for more than 50 years of its independent existence–than in the United States–a highly capitalist country for all of its independent existence.
Any Indian will agree that the manner in which we interact with our colleagues at work, for example, is vastly different from the manner in which we interact with our maids, manual laborers, store clerks, bus drivers, and just about anyone on the street. Even members belonging to the same group–like say all college students in one class–make highly conscious assessments of each other’s status in social strata and behave discriminatingly.
Indeed, the irony is only heightened when I consider how the Indian socialist governments throughout our history has officially sanctioned class distinctions in its laws, quota, education, and reservation systems and in the government-owned railways (our trains have First Class and Second Class coaches, for the rich and the poor, respectively).
In contrast, consider the United States–where capitalism breeds men of great wealth and huge income gaps. Yet, in the United States, even the lowly waiter, the bartender, the plumber, the carpenter, the bus driver, or the maid servant are accorded the dignity of their labor and treated with respect and congeniality.
Then, consider the changing economy of India and the advent of capitalist market influences over the past decade or so. Today, when I enter a crowded shopping mall, I do not see a consumerist, materialist symbol of moral decadence; I see crowded shopping malls as the great Indian class equalizer–I see people from across the social strata shopping, eating, and socializing at the same place, seeing each other eye-to-eye as equal trading partners; I see young men and women working at the stores in these malls being accorded with some dignity and respect; I see class distinctions blurring and the dignity of labor taking over.
Then, what credibility does Socialism and Communism have when their most fundamental motive premise of is undercut and contradicted by the reality of their application? It’s a rhetorical question: the answer is obviously clear–Communism has never been an ideology consonant with reality and human nature; indeed, it blatantly admits that human nature has to be forcibly contorted to fit its collectivist/altruist ideology–and therein lies its evil.