(This is essentially a continuation of my previous post. It began as response to a comment on that post but I think it deserves its own post. Again, respectful and thoughtful comments are welcome! I really want this to be more of a dialogue. Let’s struggle through these questions together!)
It is definitely true that there is no way that all the people in a certain nation will have the same opinion. And it is also true that if the system were to change there would be people forced to live under a system that they do not believe in. But… isn’t that already the case? Many people are forced to live under Capitalism though they despise the system. In fact, on a global scale, I would say the MAJORITY of people living on this planet do not wish to be living under Capitalism (because for the majority of people on this planet, Capitalism has been detrimental to their lives). And of those who ARE ok with living under Capitalism, how many feel this way merely because it is the only system they know? How many have been brainwashed to believe that this is the best of all systems?
And although there will never be a complete consensus of opinion, shouldn’t we at least be striving to find a better system? If we find a better system (better in terms of overall benefit to humanity and the planet), shouldn’t we then try to explain to people the merits of this system over the one we have? Because although there probably is no “perfect” system, surely there must be one that works better than what we have. Or at least better for our current situation. Maybe Capitalism worked for the past few hundred years to get us to progress technologically, but now Capitalism no longer makes sense. We now have the technology that would allow us to provide a decent living to all human beings. We are now capable of forming a truly global community. Capitalism at this point is actually harming human life, indeed all life on this planet. When our economic model leads governments to pay farmers to NOT grow crops, when it wastes up to 1/3 of its food supply, literally throwing away food it cannot sell, when this is REQUIRED in order to keep the system going, isn’t it time to rethink our economic model?
I also agree that human beings will find a way to corrupt any system. But does that mean we just give up and leave the fate of the world up to those few corrupt individuals? No. We must continue to fight against corruption and continue to develop the best possible system, one that minimizes the potential for corruption and remains vigilant in guarding against it, while also providing the most efficient, fair, and prosperous economy possible. The question then, of course, is: which system provides that? Which political and economic systems can provide the most fair, efficient, and prosperous models for human civilization? It certainly seems that a move away from Capitalism is necessary. But does that mean Socialism?
I guess I don’t have enough information to make that decision yet. I guess right now I’m still learning about history and political theory and economics. I do not yet have a sufficient foundation in those areas of knowledge to make an informed decision. So that is what I’m focusing my efforts on right now, absorbing information and struggling through the thought processes that lead to true knowledge.