13 Notes on Innovation in Socialism and Communism

  1. All levels of education would be free for all people. Socialist (or at least nominally socialist) states have always put a huge emphasis on education. Cuba, a third-world country, is a shining example with the world’s highest literacy rate, and a ratio of one teacher to every 12 students.
  2. Duplicated effort would be eradicated, and collaborative effort would take its place, with the disappearance of corporate secrecy and competition.
  3. Innovation along the lines of bourgeois logic would be deprecated in favor of innovation according to the needs of humanity. The huge amount of labour expended on things like improving the effectiveness of advertising, the profits of the banks, the snoopiness of state spying apparatus, or the deadliness of weapons of mass destruction would be put to better use.
  4. The patent and copyright system would be abolished. People would be free to hack upon any work without restriction.
  5. The stark toll on mental and physical wellbeing from poverty would be eradicated.
  6. The pressures and distractions of monetary concerns would be thrown to the wayside. The straining and stressing of the mind from an ever-present threat of the chains of unemployment, bankrupty, or just the worries of choosing whether to put food in mouths or pay off the credit card interest for the month, would be gone.
  7. Creative and inventive labour wouldn’t be alienated. Innovation would ultimately be for you and the whole people, not for the further enrichment of a certain, already enriched, class.
  8. Rather than help it, research has shown that rewards – bringing money into the equation – for even rudimentary cognitive work actually harms performance.
  9. Discrimination would actively be combatted. Talented people would get a proper and full chance to shape the world without the fetters and challenges of oppression.
  10. Full employment would be provided. A constant 5% to 15% (and sometimes even more) of working-age people wouldn’t be denied jobs. More people would be granted the chance at innovation.
  11. Since ever increasing monopolisation (an absolutely undeniable empirical fact, by the way) is an unavoidable law of the development of capitalism, liberals have backed themselves into a corner with “competition” being the sole premise for their position on innovation. Competition-based arguments – if we even accept their validity in the first place – are not sustainable.
  12. The profit motive, another one liberals cite, can actually be a hamper to innovation according to human need. Two examples are:
    • Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are becoming ever more common, and a huge crisis looms, but since antibiotics are only needed for a short time, pharmaceutical companies – and they have admitted this themselves – choose to develop treatments for more profitable chronic (and generally less deadly) conditions instead.
    • Malaria, being primarily a disease of the poor regions of the world, gets less research funding than male pattern baldness.
  13. With the disappearance of private property, huge portions of the legal system constraining innovations from being used and innovators innovating, would be gone.