Can Socialism And Communism Sustain Sans Austerity?

The major difference between socialist and communist system is that under the socialist system, the individual gets from society all the material benefits in proportion to his or her capacity

May 21, 2019, 12:27 p.m.

“A communist having lust for wealth cannot run politics or communist Party”

-XI Jinping.

The last stage of socialism is communism, is what a political thinker has said. As stated by Karl Marx, "Communist society is one where each individual works according to his/her’s capacity and in return takes from the society all that he or she requires". The major difference between socialist and communist system is that under the socialist system, the individual gets from the society all the material benefits in proportion to his or her capacity. Whereas under the communist system, because of abundance of goods and services, capabilities lose their significance enabling each member of the society to get all the benefits that an individual requires.

Nepal now has been declared - a democratic federal republic-, and the present government is led by Nepal Communist party(NCP).For any new government coming to power in Nepal, it has become customary to issue directives for the maintenance of austerity measures to check public expenditures. But unfortunately, the directives remain in paper only, taking them as a ritual by the concerned agencies and all government functionaries. As a result, no one feels responsible and accountable for monitoring and implementing the directives

The country is, currently, undergoing difficult political situations and is weighted down by myriad socio-economic problems. People, in general, have started commenting on the expensive foreign tours of VVIPS and bureaucrats calling the austerity slogans of the government as a "Pennywise and pound foolish" speeches only to fooling people.

We have now a government led by a communist party, which came into fore after the two communist parties, one of which was a revolutionary one, came together which believe in communism – a communism imply national ownership of the means of production and distribution .The idea of distribution of goods and services and also of austerity and equality are inherent in this concept. But a highly tragic aspect of our political leader’s versions of communism are that those who loudly profess them themselves making a mockery of it by living in grand ostentatious style and regarding themselves as a privileged class even while countless millions of Nepal’s do not get a square meal and go semi-naked.

Despite the periodic exhortations by exponents of socialism and communism by the present breed of political leaders running the country, asking people to economies all round, in view of the unprecedented economic crisis, foreign cars, are still being bought from foreign companies for the use of VIPs, VVIPS and bureaucrats .The cost of all these comforts to the public exchequer is, indeed, very heavy and regrettable. Their salaries represent a fraction of what the nation has to spend on them and on all the pomp and show that are deemed essential for them whenever VIPS and VVIPS go on foreign tours or visit districts to inaugurate functions. Their prerequisites are so many and so out-of tune with the times that many foreign visitors wonder at the government’s extravagance while the country is still associated with the begging bowl at international forums and in affluent countries.

The conduct of Head of State and ministers in capitalist or non-socialist countries provide a sharp contrast. The Prime Minister of Turkey has refused to live in the spacious official residence or to use an official car, instead, he preferred to live in modest rented apartment. While many of our VIPs, VIPs and bureaucrats insist on using luxurious cars and furnishing their official residences at heavy cost to the exchequer. The President of Switzerland travels by bus .The Governors and Governor-Generals in Australia and Canada walk in the streets like common people and never get road cleared for them. A recent example, is that the President of South Korea Mr. Miungbak was seen ridding an ordinary bicycle on way to his office. Another example that we have seen is the former Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair travelling in train and finding no seat vacant stood in a corner reading newspaper. The Prime Minister of Holland was also seen recently riding on his bicycle to and from his office. None of these VVIPs needed body guards nor any security measure to protect them.

In Nepal, we have big contrast with those aforesaid countries and VVIPS .When our VIPs and VVIPs are to pass along a road ,other people have to make way for them and sometimes traffic both road and air are held- up hours together at the cost of people’s woes. People have started making joke that one day, Nepali air, surface and water route would be closed for hours in the name of security of the VVIPs causing tremendous hardship to the common people.

If only our VIPs AND VVIPs live in simple style like commoners, they would be better able to realize what problems are faced by the general people. If they abandon their expensive luxuries at the cost of poor tax payers sweat, they would prove to be true socialist or communist and not fake ones, as they are behaving these days. The yawning gap between their positions and practice do not extend to their mode of living. In their living styles they imitate affluent aristocracy, and in their lust for wealth they imitate the present neo-riches and in their speeches they preach democracy, socialism, communism and austerity. All the sacrifices are on the people’s side, comforts and luxuries on theirs. Isn’t it against what Xi Jinping in his quote above has expressed?

Austerity and simplicity are postulates of democracy, socialism and communism. But it is ridiculous to see our leaders and politicians who swear by socialism and communism every day and endlessly call for more sacrifices by the poor masses. It appears that our leaders have conveniently escaped the evolutionary process of socialism and communism and are trying to get all the benefits of a socialist and communist society disregarding the fact that our social and economic systems are still in pre-industrial stage. It is most unfortunate that our political leaders proponent of socialism and pursuing communist ideology, preach their"Isms" to people and themselves practice and behave like capitalists. Thus what a socialism, communism and the theory and practices of austerity in Nepal?

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