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Opinion

Capitalism didn’t build the modern world

Socialism built the modern world, not capitalism.

Socialism built the modern world, not capitalism. Anyone who tells you that global poverty is dropping, and it’s because of capitalism doesn’t understand how the real world works.

What people fail to realize is that anything that seems to be an innovation of capitalism and that helped raise the global standard of living are made possible by the state.

More people have access to food, for example, not because of multinational food conglomerates, but because of the infrastructure states have created: transportation, communication, banking, and so on are all made possible because of governments, not because of capitalism.

Research in food technology and in medical technology is made possible by public funding to public research institutions, such as universities and federal research centres, not because of altruistic billionaires.

Improvements in quality of life and longevity are likewise a result of government investment into public health research and healthcare, not because of large pharmaceutical companies posting billions of dollars in profits.

Global wages are rising because of labour legislation passed by governments that increase wages and reduce worker exploitation, not because of the kindness of company owners.

Capitalism would have let people starve if it meant business owners could make a profit. Or at the very least, business owners would feed the poor just enough to keep them alive as they worked in their mines, on their plantations, and in their factories.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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