By Elio Delgado Legon

Photo: Patricio Fernandez

HAVANA TIMES – Every day, when I watch the news and see the things that are happening in the capitalist world, I am grateful that I live in a country that has gone ahead with a socialist revolution. A country where people who remain united, defending the political system and supporting (mostly) revolutionary politicians.

We can see stark differences in both systems when we compare their political characteristics. In socialism, politicians stand out for their moral and ethical qualities, and their professional competence. They climb the ranks depending on the results they achieve at work. As a result, when taking a government position, they do this job with the utmost efficiency. They are always focused on doing what’s best for the general population.

In capitalism, politicians are chosen by their parties based on other characteristics. This might be their personal fortune, whether they have been successful in business, whether they are charismatic enough to win over voters. Knowing a lot about their political position doesn’t really matter. They just need to be focused on doing what’s best for the wealthy, the capitalists. Even if their general population are starving. This is why, the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, in times of economic crisis.

Unity or division

Another stark difference between socialist and capitalist politics is unity in the former and the lack of it in the latter. For example, when a government belongs to a party and the opposition holds the majority of Parliament, no policy or laws ever get approved, even if the general population are in desperate need of them. This is because they only have their sights on making the government’s job hard, so that they don’t receive the population’s support in the next general election. Time flies by in this tug-of-war, while the general population suffers the consequences in the meantime.

Socialism doesn’t have this dichotomy of interests, because both the government and Parliament have the same objective. Therefore, there is no contradiction, everything is done to benefit the general population, not a handful of capitalists.

We constantly see people in capitalist countries protesting government measures that harm them. Police repression soon follows, with deaths, people injured and arrested as a result. I don’t need to give you any examples, you can see them on the news every day.

It’s safer for foreign investors to invest in socialist countries, because they aren’t susceptible to changes of government or legislation.

When a government of a country signs an agreement, successive governments are forced to comply with them, but this practice is being violated all the time in many countries.

The example of Colombia

For example, the peace agreement in Colombia. The government signed it with the guerrilla forces, and many people all over the world praised the agreement, including the UN General Secretary.

However, when the government changed in this country, it began to place obstacles so that it wouldn’t be upheld and the result now, is that we learn of the murders of former guerrilla members, every day, as well as of social leaders, and the government is doing nothing to stop these massacres.

Paramilitaries have taken over territories previously controlled by guerrilla forces, and they continue with their excessive violence. In the meantime, farmers are suffering the consequences, but Colombian politicians aren’t worried at all about that.

The most recent example has been what has happened with the change in the US government in 2016. President Trump reversed all the policies that the former president had enacted.  He withdrew from every international agreement, that had taken a lot of effort and negotiations. These included the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Nuclear Agreement signed with Iran. Now, Biden will have to redo everything undone Trump, successful as a businessman, but a complete failure as a leader.

These things don’t happen when there is a socialist government. These are some of the main differences between the two political systems.

Read more from Elio Delgado Legon’s diary here.


Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

3 thoughts on “Political Differences in Capitalism and Socialism

  • Elio Delgado Legon cites Columbian death squads as an example of capitalism’s failure. The problem of government murder is often a problem separate from economic and political systems. If capitalism fails because of death squads in places like Columbia and Guatemala then hasn’t socialism failed given state sponsored murder in Russia, China, Cambodia, Albania, etc., etc. Could it be the lack of democracy and corruption that undergirds state sponsored murder? And could it not be said that a lack of democracy coupled with a disregard for human rights will lead to state sponsored murder regardless of whether a nation is capitalist or socialist?

    The flaw with Delgado’s argument is the lack of democracy in Cuba makes it a system more conducive to repression which has already been shown by Cuban history.

  • Again, Elio writes as though he is actually informing or passing truths in his writings but in fact his extremely bias and skewed understanding of the workings of political differences between capitalism and socialism are wrong.

    When Elio refers to capitalism he only refers to Columbia and the U.S. as his capitalists examples and parks his comparative analysis there. He needs to broaden his understanding about how true capitalism works in other democratic countries, like Canada.

    Elio writes that in capitalism politicians are chosen by their parties, work only for the wealthy, and that, “Knowing a lot about their political position doesn’t really matter.” because they (capitalists politicians) just focus on the wealthy. This is not true. Every political leader from federal member of Canadian Parliament to a municipal mayor, all run for political office based on issues to try and improve their communities. No politician would ever be elected if they did not know what their political position is and if they did not stand up for it with a passion.

    Moreover, in Canadian democratic politics there are extremely right wing leaning political aspiring leaders (Conservatives) and at the other end there are very left leaning political aspiring leaders (New Democrats) with the mushy middle held by Liberals. Voters in this capitalist system can choose what Party platform they so desire based on their political ideals. Not so in Communist Cuba where Elio is using “Socialism” as a euphemism for Communist rule where there is no political choice allowed, nor change allowed, whatsoever. Not a good thing.

    Elio further writes that in a capitalist system “ . . . when a government belongs to a party and the opposition holds the majority of Parliament, no policy or laws ever get approved, even if the general population are in desperate need of them.” Nonsense!

    Elio needs to educate himself with regard to making a blanket statement like this one because it is blatantly wrong. In Canada, Tommy Douglas a progressive politician in a minority federal Parliament (that is, he was not in power but in opposition) initiated a policy of having free Medicare for all Canadians. His policy was approved and passed and he (a socialist leaning politician, by the way) has been credited with this great Canadian achievement which was radical for the time. So, even in capitalists countries beneficial policies that benefit the general population and are introduced by minority Parliaments do, in fact, become acceptable and achievable.

    Elio writes that minority or opposition political parties oppose the ruling political party “ . . . because they only have their sights on making the government’s job hard, so that they don’t receive the population’s support in the next general election.” Obviously, Elio has not educated himself as to the role of the opposition in a democratic capitalist Parliament.

    The role is to, yes, oppose and yes, keep the governing political Party on its toes so that if there are any irregularities or if the governing Party is not ruling with the best interests of the population the opposing Parties will illuminate any discrepancies. And, yes, in a democratic capitalist system the governing Party can be voted out of office if the general population feels they are not fulfilling their mandate of having the interests of all Canadians. That is a good thing.

    Again, Elio, obviously not well in tune with regard to how political differences between capitalists and socialists operate in general needs to seriously upgrade his analysis game when comparing political systems, particularly when Canada is grouped by association as one of the capitalists he refers.

  • In principle, “Socialism does not have this dichotomy of interests, because both the government and Parliament have the same goal. Therefore, there is no contradiction, everything is done for the benefit of the population, not a handful of capitalists.” It is a desirable judgment! Because the PRACTICE UNDER SOCIALISM / economic, social and cultural / creates “strata” -nomenclature: economic, party and culturally creative / deeply divided among themselves in the levels of consumption of goods and social benefits! The “jumping” of the abyss from one “stratum” to another by the individual, due to personal qualities: education, work talent, social contribution, etc. is an exception rather than a regularity! The caste of the privileged hardly admits “white crows” in its ranks!

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