Excerpt from Chapter VI
Myth 5: Only Capitalism Guarantees Abundance
To observe the more affluent sectors of our society is to be struck with the extraordinary material comfort they enjoy: stately homes with rolling lawns, swimming pools nestled behind, and a couple of luxury cars in every driveway. The children are off to $40,000-a-year colleges, or doing a semester in Europe, and the families weekend at the country club or their vacation houses. How can one conclude other than it must be a wondrous system to create such luxury? We sustain this illusion as long as we don’t turn our eyes to the deprived living conditions of the less fortunate majority – the 99%.
The material privation in Cuba, the former Soviet Union, and other countries that have claimed to be socialist are incessantly offered as examples of capitalism’s superiority. But deprivation in these societies was not a result of socialism, but of a historical underdevelopment of the means of production. Developed industrial capitalism, on the other hand, depends upon deprivation for its very existence, which it masks with a flashy show of abundance lavished only on a few.