There is an age-old debate about which is a better form of economy, a capitalist economy or a socialist economy or a communist economy? I will not be going into that debate in this blog as economics has never been my forte. Although experts will be able to put more light into the difference between a socialist and communist economy, I, as a novice feel that socialism and communism have a lot of similarities but capitalism is definitely on the other side of the spectrum. It’s always debatable which one is good and which one is bad, but it’s undeniable that they have their pros and cons.
Economically, capitalism is considered as right-wing ideology and socialism or communism are considered left-wing ideologies. Although the central government is run by a right-wing party I personally feel that the economy is still a socialist one. A major chunk of the budget every year is allocated for social schemes and subsidies. Same goes for state governments. In Bengal, also there are a lot of social schemes targeted mainly to poor people and especially girls. Educating a girl in rural India has always been considered as a burden. The schemes have actually helped many. but a recent conversation with one of my acquaintances has made me think, are these socialist schemes actually fuelling capitalism?
In our childhood, we always relied on small shopkeepers for our day to day needs especially when it came to stationary needs. They also supplied academic books. Mall culture and supermarkets or departmental stores were still not that popular. There were a lot of small booming stationery shops. Recently I went to India and I wanted to buy a few stationery items. So I naturally turned up to one of these shops which I used to visit regularly during my school days. After a few moments of happy words exchange the theme gradually turned into a sad one. We were talking about demonetisation, GST and its impact on his small business. Suddenly he said that his business is dying and it’s not what used to be earlier. One of the major reason is because of the government schemes or the policies adopted by the school. Earlier students used to go to these shops for books, pens, notebooks and other stationery needs. but, most schools these days provide books, pens and other stationery items sometimes at reduced prices. In many government schools, it’s also sometimes provided for free. Now, these are mostly supplied by big companies and as a result, the small shopkeepers are going out of business.
So, this little conversation let me thinking is socialism actually fuelling capitalism?