Val is a life-long student of unexplored human potential and many challenges that self-honesty throws at us on that path.
The whole aim of politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
-- H.L. Mencken
I spent decades living in both socio-political arrangements: socialist and capitalist.
What I observed in my initial 23 years living under socialism—attending school, working, and serving in the military there—and then, followed by over a half-century of living in capitalism, was that in both types of regime there are a variety of mentalities. On both sides of the divide, you see the same range of attitudes. On both sides, levels of satisfaction range from the downright pissed-off to great contentment.
Contrary to some opinions, socialism is not a classless regime. Those at the top enjoy many luxuries which those at the bottom could never dream about. While they may not call the top level a "higher class," that doesn't change the facts.
In both those old days and these days, I see extremes: an elite, a multitude of homeless ones, and everything in between. National prosperity or lack of it is not indicative of satisfaction in life.
Which is to say that I have seen some poor folks much happier than some of those well-off ones. If wealth brought happiness, then all those Hollywood celebrities would be ecstatic over their fame and riches, and not so many would live miserably between rehabs from drugs and alcohol.
No political, social, or financial freedom is a decisive factor in satisfaction with life.
It seems crazy how naively this so-called "free world" advertises its advantages over that "less free world."
Somehow people choose to forget that in every country in the world there are "winners and losers", having nothing to do with "opportunities", because just about everywhere you'll find doctors, scientists, artists, professors, and achievers in sports.
Which brings us to this other illusion of "equal opportunities." Under any regime, a shorty doesn't have an equal opportunity as a 6-footer to get a place in a basketball team. And a village idiot won't qualify to be a rocket scientist, and an average-looking chick has no chance in a beauty pageant contest.
I personally heard a young dude say: "I didn't get that job because I was black." And that was at the time when Barack Obama, who is black, was the President of the United States of America.
And when it comes to those "politically pissed" people, you are bound to find many of those on New York streets, in Beijing, Moscow, London, Tehran ... anywhere, because people are only people all over the globe.
In politics stupidity is not a handicap.
-- Napoleon Bonaparte
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Could ANY Regime Satisfy Unhappy People?
For a moment, let's play with some hypotheticals, and imagine that the Republican fans (or it could be the Democrat ones for the same matter) get their President, their Senate, and their Congress, and the economy starts blooming under that administration.
Would that make them happier humans?
Nope, I say.
And would all those racists become happy if, by some impossible miracle, all non-whites decided to leave the country?
Nope, I say.
And, finally, if an unhappy dude would win a lottery jackpot, would that make him happy?
You know the answer.
Abraham Lincoln was right when he said: "We are only as happy as we make up our mind to be."
Ironically, but those optimal political or financial outcomes could even make us pissed, because then we would have no one other than ourselves to blame for our misery.
Life in a Boring Shangri-La
Imagine if Earth's frequency suddenly increased
and by the law of resonance ours went up too
so that all the negativities suddenly ceased
turning world into Shangri-La out of blue.
Wouldn't it become boring with no issues and strife
what would we do with no screwing up and fixing
wouldn't that change turn into an unbearable life
without violence and stupidity so nicely mixing.
Just with an excess of music and arts of all kinds
with playfulness, sports, and frivolous dancing
also love, and sex, and challenges for minds
with lots of humor and personal advancing.
But, while all that may sound so attractive and good
how could we ever survive without feeling crappy
something big would be missing in that mood
for who wants to feel forever just happy.
So why do we keep complaining if Shangri-La is not for us
what do we really want if even perfect wouldn't be good
perhaps we simply want to bitch, oppose, and fuss
for, with no problems we would feel screwed.
You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.
-- Harry S. Truman
Ultimately, What's Politics Got to Do With Our Life?
Indeed, folks, why do we keep voting, if even with our party winning, we would still have so much to rant about in the following four years? Political satisfaction seems like a mirage in the desert eternally luring us on the horizon, never to be reached.
So what's all the fuss about socialism, capitalism, communism, any "...ism"?
And what's all this about "freedom of speech", if the government doesn't really care about our opinion, except at election time when they want our votes?
Indeed, have you ever seen any demonstration make any difference—other than helping crowds to vent some of their political and private frustrations, including one with the mother-in-law's meddling in their household matters, and wives not caring anymore to make themselves attractive.
So we just love seeing that as a huge advantage over those folks under socialist regime who are not allowed to walk out to their streets for some massive socializing, like we can.
Can anyone still remember those huge protests against the Vietnam War—after which there were nine more years of it, with some 50,000 unnecessary deaths, and as many more committing suicide afterwards, tormented by traumatic memories of the combat horrors.
So, what was the use of living under a capitalist regime in a "free world," when the whole nation was seemingly against that non-defensive but political war?
Aren't we merely honoring some abstract advantages with so little to be recognized in the concrete practice of living? Who are we kidding with all these ideologies which all boil down to some people being happy and others being miserable—no matter what the regime.
Many huge scholarly studies have been written about the differences between socialism and capitalism. These writings are nothing but sheer theorizing over some abstractions.
The simple truth remains as the human constant, which makes impossible any optimal political, economic, religious, or justice system. Corruption, injustice, and hypocrisy are everywhere, so it's a waste of time fussing over the differences.
And yes, there are happy people everywhere, in every corner of the world -- there are poets and singers and lovers and geniuses, and they are all that because they are not living the political life of the nation, but their own.
Ever heard a love song mentioning a politician?
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Val Karas