Sarup: What Will Happen If Maoist Gain Power?
What Will Happen If Maoist Gain Power?
By Kamala Sarup
If the maoists gain complete power in Nepal, the subsequent history of this beautiful but tragic country is likely to follow the history of many other countries that adopted communism (aka socialism, maoism) for a while, only to reject it later, after its failure becomes obvious.
The governments of many countries have adopted maoism, communism or socialism for at least the most important economic sectors: USSR, CPR, eastern Europe under USSR, United Kingdom, Egypt, India, Syria, Chile and Cuba, for prominent examples. All have failed. Only Cuba remains socialistic today and that is only because its revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, has maintained a tight security grip on the country.
That it is a failure is amply illustrated by the large numbers of Cubans who continuously risk life and limb to reach the U.S.A., 90 miles away, via flimsy ocean craft.
Desperate people welcome new ideologies, so it is not surprising that the people of Nepal would welcome the maoists to power. Intially, they would fare well with land redistribution and job creation for all who apply. No starvation would exist and everyone who wants to work is able to do so. However, there the dream ends.
To become developed economically, Nepal must be able to import goods and services available in developed countries, for it cannot make most of them itself. To trade, one must have something worthwhile to sell to the peoples of other countries. Tourism is insufficient. Therefore, the maoists would have to build an infrastructure of education, electrical power, communications, water supply and transportation. These take time and money. Where to obtain the money? From the capitalists of the developed countries. Would the capitalists supply it? Not likely in a country governed by leaders committed to an ideology of communal control of businesses.
Therefore, after some initial successes, the people of Nepal would continue to be poor. Another problem with maoism is its lack of incentive.
It has been shown time and time again in formerly maoists countries, that people will not work hard when the product of their efforts are mainly to benefit others rather than themselves. They are selfish this way. However, maoism or communism requires the intellectual and manual efforts of people that benefit the community, not the innovator.
Capitalism is featured by selfish incentives to creative and hard working people. It is a system where selfishness benefits both the producer and the consumer, since the latter is the final arbiter of what is sold, for "the consumer is king". Since a maoists or socialist economy lacks adequate incentives, its workers will not produce well in comparison with the capitalist economies. Furthermore, in its endeavor to have jobs for everyone, labor costs will escalate, thus making prices uncompetitive in world markets. Therefore, the Nepalese economy will not be competitive, and it will be unable to import goods and services in sufficient quantities.
The result would be that its people will continue to be poor. Eventually, the general population would become so dissatified that a group of counterrevolutionaries would win their support and oust the maoists. The people would be no better off than before, except for maoist party functionaries who would line their own pockets before fleeing to a safer haven.
Equality and incentive are mutually incompatible. When will revolutionaries learn that maoism in its various forms will never succeed?