Just as anticipated, my last article in the Argus (Communism is Absurd) stirred up quite the controversy. Katie Rose’s response was what I was looking for: extremely intelligent and well thought out.
The other, written by Ryan Nielsen, was simply an outpouring of emotion and an attack on me personally rather than thinking critically and attacking the concepts. I admire Nielson’s passion for the topic at hand, but he demonstrated the “complete lack of analytical capacity” that he accused me of.
Unfortunately, I think people misunderstood some of the points I was trying to make. Perhaps one of the reasons for this misunderstanding was due to spacing requirements. Because of this several important points did not make it into my original article.
One in particular all of us can relate to as college students is grades. Lets say the professors on our campus decided to take a communistic/socialistic approach to grades. This would mean that when tests are taken, the professors would average out the grades of the class and issue the same grade to everyone. As a result, the people who worked hard to earn an A would be disappointed with a B or C and the people who didn’t study for the exam would get a B or C even though they did not do any work.
Eventually, those who work hard for a good grade will stop working and those who don’t work hard will continue to expect decent grades for little or no effort. The resulting trend would be that no one would work hard and the whole class would achieve universal mediocrity or perhaps fail. Do you strive for mediocrity?
Some in opposition to this example may say this is unreasonable due to not everyone having the same opportunity in life as with grades. I agree that some are born into a more advantageous position than others, but that does not mean that the same opportunity isn’t given.
Point being, there are kids at this (very expensive) school who are less fortunate than others and have gotten to this place because of hard work alone. The U.S grants equal opportunity to all, not a guaranteed way of life.
The rebuttal to this is, “they can go to this school because of federal aid!” This is true to some extent, however, after speaking with Scott Siebring (the director of financial aid), he informed me that the school receives a little under $1.5 million from the federal government for the 387 students (roughly $3,800/student) who require federal aid.
I could be wrong, but my guess is that you cannot run this school on $1.5 million alone. The rest of the scholarship and grant money that various students throughout campus receive is from alumni and private donations, i.e people who have been successful within the framework of capitalism.
In fact, without the donations from alumni and our tuition, this school would not exist. I would be very surprised to find a school comparable to ours in a communistic or socialistic country. And, because you are still at this school, I’m assuming you appreciate the opportunity that capitalism has provided for you.
In a society where everyone is exactly equal, there is no incentive for progress. This means no incentive for advancements in medicine or technology, which in turn means that we will be moving farther away from finding a cure to cancer or AIDS to name a few.
I propose that this University as a whole does an experiment. I challenge the university to take a communistic/socialistic approach to grades and see how many people will still think that communism and socialism are the way to go.
Communism and socialism may look good on paper, but let’s see how well it’s liked in practice.