Why Socialism? by Albert Einstein

“The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are
suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.”

(…)

“The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules.”

(…)

“The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor
power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist. The essential point about this process is the relation between what the worker produces and what he is paid, both measured in terms of real value. Insofar as the labor contract is “free,” what the worker receives is determined not by the real value of the goods he produces, but by his minimum needs and by the capitalists’ requirements for labor power in relation to the number of workers competing for jobs. It is important to understand that even in theory the
payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.
Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.”

(…)

“Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.
I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate
abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.”

 

Full article here…
Why Socialism? by Albert Einstein
Originally published in the first issue of Monthly Review (May 1949)

The Munger Operating System: How to Live a Life That Really Works

  • To get what you want, deserve what you want. Trust, success, and admiration are earned.
  • Learn to love and admire the right people, live or dead.
  • Acquiring wisdom is a moral duty as well as a practical one.
  • Learn to fluency the big multidisciplinary ideas of the world and use them regularly
  • Learn to think through problems backwards as well as forward.
  • Be reliable. Unreliability can cancel out the other virtues.
  • Avoid intense ideologies. Always consider the other side as carefully as your own.
  • Get rid of self-serving bias, envy, resentment, and self-pity.
  • At the same time, allow for the self-serving bias in others who haven’t removed it.
  • Avoid being part of a system with perverse incentives.
  • Work with and under people you admire, and avoid the inverse when at all possible.
  • Learn to maintain your objectivity, especially when it’s hardest.
  • Concentrate experience and power into the hands of the right people – the wise learning machines.
  • You’ll be most successful where you’re most intensely interested.
  • Learn the all-important concept of assiduity: Sit down and do it until it’s done.
  • Use setbacks in life as an opportunity to become a bigger and better person. Don’t wallow.
  • The highest reach of civilization is a seamless system of trust among all parties concerned.

Full article here

 


 

“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.
Discharge your duties faithfully and well.
Systematically you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts.
Nevertheless, you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts.
Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day.
At the end of the day – if you live long enough – most people get what they deserve.”
— Charlie Munger

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