Communism made life easy because it removed the need to feel responsible for oneself. It was the bureaucrats, the leaders, always someone else who was responsible for your condition in life.
Capitalism, as we know it, demands individual responsibility. Life is not easy. Economic and political currents toss our personal boats over uncertain waters.
Yet, personal responsibility seems to be the last thing many of us want. Many would like an easy life with the guarantee of a well-paid job. We don’t want the central control of a communist state, but we also don’t want the instability endemic to capitalism. We expect government to be all powerful, but we don’t want a powerful government.
This paradox, the desire for ease and the need for individual responsibility, is a universal characteristic not limited to former communist states. It applies here at home just as well.
Morton Marcus is an independent economist, writer and speaker. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.