Socialist bees

BBC Earth reports that "[s]ick honeybees may be nursed by doctors." Bees are "among the most industrious creatures on the planet," and if disease strikes their hive, many will be affected and even die. Thus, one may argue that their productivity would go down, if their workers were incapacitated in vast numbers. This is a good analogy as to how socialism, or ideologies with socialistic tendencies, benefit both the individual and the collective.

Click the image for the article on bees on BBC Earth's website.

Click the image for the article on bees on BBC Earth's website.

The bees "selectively eat honey that has a high antibiotic activity," BBC reports that Silvio Erler has stated. The same bees who administer this medicinal honey feed honey to the larvae and all members of the colony; they might be the hive's doctors, or "nurse bees", who prescribe different kinds of honey depending on the infection in the bees. At least Erler and his team's study aims to find out if they do, in fact, prescribe different medicinal honeys (and other remedies) for different infections.

Not only may this spell good news for the survival of bees, with climate change and such threatening their very existence (although, human activity may just mean their end, regardless), but these bees are a simple, yet accurate analogy to socialism, or rather ideologies with certain socialistic tendencieswelfare states.

Capitalists feel that the best thing for their society is a dog-eat-dog environment, in which the weak are weeded out and the strong thrive. (And yet many of the same people say evolution must be false or else we'd have to live in a society run with the mindset of social Darwinism.) They say that helping individuals who are sick, hungry, and poor is too expensive and will make those people dependent on welfare, thus not becoming productive and valued members of society.

Regarding this, one might say that capitalism favors the economy in the form of big corporations and the richest one percent, whereas socialism favors humans, both rich and poor, and through their welfare, the collective thrives, as well. What is best for the collective is also best for the individual. Of course this will not be true in one hundred percent of cases, but it is much better than a capitalist ideology where these fringe cases are the only ones that do thrive, while most people are pushed down into poverty. What is best for the collective is a healthy and happy workforce, which is also what is best for the individual, as they are part of that healthy and happy workforce. The economy thrives and the people are happy.

At any rate, universal healthcare—a socialist idea and something many capitalists oppose, because obviously a price should be put on human lives, according to them—will not only benefit the individual, regardless of their economic situation, but it will also benefit the collective; it will have a positive effect on the economy, even though it will require tax dollars. A healthy workforce, of both sound mind and body, will also work more efficiently. The same can be said for a well-fed workforce and one that is happy with their jobs, as with rights such as a relatively high minimum wage, paid vacation, a certain degree of job security, and so on.

Socialism and welfare states do not breed a lazy workforce. In fact, Sweden, a socialist nation (it is actually a social democracy, a blend of capitalism and socialism, but that is what is considered socialism, nowadays), has a good work ethic; we work hard and we and the collective benefit from doing so and from our socialist politics. In short, there is simply no valid reason to oppose universal healthcare, available to everyone, not just those who are rich enough to afford it.

Source: BBC Earth's article "Sick honeybees may be nursed by doctors".