The are 24 countries that are tops in the Human Development Index, and in my opinion, 20 of them are socialist and only ~four of them are not socialist or more capitalist than socialist.
The countries on the list that are not socialist or more capitalist than socialist are:
2. Hong Kong
4. South Korea
There is a lot of debate about Japan. Personally, I think that Japan is not a capitalism country at but instead is a socialist country because the very heights of the economy are 100% owned by the state. Furthermore, the direction of the economy and economic development and strategy is run by the state. The state and the corporations have a brotherly relationship, and they both work together to determine economic policy and economic strategy and development.
It is a very smart system instead of just letting the idiotic “free market” run wild, which is more or less akin to letting wild animals like lions and tigers loose in your streets. Sure top predators are very powerful, kick ass and take names and get a lot done like a free market, but they would also cause a lot of destruction of innocent lives and other collateral damage which is exactly what a bullshit “free market” does.
Remember that economic crash in 2008 and the ensuing recession/depression? Well that was 100% caused by an unregulated free market. If you deregulate the market, this is what happens. You get a manic-depressive economy with wild booms and busts and Dutch diseases, explosive run-ups and disastrous crashes and destructive downturns and recessions/depressions. Sort of like a desert climate. Really hot in the daytime and then really cold at night, a climate of extremes. The free market creates an economy of extremes.
Much better to have a regulated market. A regulated market is fine tuned to keep the run-ups from going too wild else they turn into the crashes that any manic episode must have. Economies are like laws of Physics – what goes up, must come down. In a regulated market, you don’t episodes of wild speculative growth, but on the other hand the market is so fine-tuned that you don’t get a lot of horrific depressions or crashes either. More like a Mediterranean climate, not too hot nor too cold, just sort of nice warm year-round. So you trade wild ups and downs for a stable, sane and steady relatively good economic growth rate and good prosperity because wealth is not constantly being wiped out by crashes.
I would also argue that Japan is socialist because it has a safety net. However, the safety net is run by the corporations and not by the state. A safety net is a safety net whoever runs it. There is little poverty in Japan and homelessness has only just now begun to appear. There is a lot of solidarity and a cooperative collectivist “we are all in this together” mindset. Japanese people are horribly pained to see poverty and especially homelessness because they think all the Japanese are their brethren and they do not want to see their brothers and sisters suffering like that. Which of course is nothing other than a socialist and anti-capitalist mindset.
Japan has always had a quite egalitarian society with little in the way of large-scale social stratification or income inequality. An egalitarian society with little social stratification or income inequality is the very definition of a socialist country.
Mikhail Gorbachev referred to Japan as “the most completely socialist country in the world.” I like that!
So 20 of those countries are socialist, and only four of them are capitalist. Guess which system is better for human development?
If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site. This is my only job.