It seems Gorbachev has become too much interested in America – the high-rise buildings, miles and miles of cars – the richness has overwhelmed his mind. He has been reported to have said, “What should I call my revolution?” It is not a revolution in the first place, it is anti-revolutionary. And then he thought about it, and said, “Perhaps I should call it socialist capitalism, or capitalist socialism.” In both ways, capitalism will be the victor and communism will be the defeated. He has already stopped talking about communism, he is talking about socialism.
Socialism I have been against always, because it is an effort to keep the capitalist incentive for people to work. What is the capitalist incentive for people? Private property: my house, my car, my wife, my children. That is the incentive, and it creates competition. My house should be better than your house. My wife should be more beautiful than your wife. My children should be educated better than your children. It starts competition, it starts ambition. Of course, people start working harder. That’s what Gorbachev is thinking, that people are not working as hard in the Soviet Union as they are working in every capitalist country.
It is true, because Karl Marx is not a complete communist. He has no idea that man is not just an economic animal; he has a mind and he has a soul. He thought, absolutely wrongly, that once the financial conditions change, once the society changes its structure, consciousness will change also. That is wrong. It is taking things from the wrong end.
If consciousness changes, then certainly the social structure will change, because the social structure is just a projection of man’s mind. But Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, or Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, have no idea what the mind is. The question of going beyond the mind does not arise.
They worked hard for seventy years to bring communism in Russia, but slowly, slowly…In the beginning there was some incentive, because the poor were thinking they would become rich, that everybody would be equal. But slowly, slowly it was found that as all the property was taken from the individuals it was a great struggle. In that struggle one million people were killed. By not changing the mind first, this was the outcome. People’s minds have lived for centuries, thousands of years, with the idea of private property. Their only incentive is that if it is going to help their ego, if it is going to help them rise higher than others, only then they are going to work hard.
It is said about Henry Ford – he was a poor man as far as his birth is concerned, but he became one of the richest men in the world – it is said that he used to come to his office at eight o’clock, early in the morning. The peon used to come at ten o’clock to open the doors and clean the office. The clerks used to come at eleven o’clock, the manager used to come at twelve o’clock. And the manager would leave by two o’clock, the clerks would leave at five o’clock. The peon would leave at six o’clock, and Henry Ford? – there was no time for him. Sometimes eight o’clock in the night, sometimes nine o’clock, sometimes ten o’clock. A great incentive to work hard, because he was such an ambitious man and he wanted to be the richest man in the world. And he succeeded.