A table in the Humanities Quad on Monday afternoon displayed shampoo, conditioner and toilet paper, but they weren’t for free.
The display was a part of a Cal State Fullerton College Republicans club event “How Capitalism Works For You,” an interactive display aimed to illustrate the differences between socialist and capitalist countries.
The table featured statistics from Venezuela, the Soviet Union and Denmark.
Keith Hickson, technical director for the Republicans club, said the purpose of the display was to show students that socialism may seem like a good alternative to capitalism, but that there are drawbacks to living in a socialist state.
“Before the economic collapse in Venezuela there were 87 brands of hair care products that you could buy, now there’s only 10,” Hickson said. “This tends to be the trend with socialist economies where it eliminates competition.”
Several members of the Republicans club were at the event, including President Amanda McGuire. She said they welcomed discussions and opinions from students, even if those opinions did not align with the club’s message.
McGuire said the club focuses on starting discussions, and wants to highlight the benefits of capitalism, now that they’ve brought attention to freedom of speech with their hosting of Milo Yiannopoulos on campus on Oct. 31.
In addition to the toilet paper, the table was covered with signs saying “socialism sucks” that resembled Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign signs. McGuire wanted the table to grab students’ attention and invite dialogue.
“There’s a huge support for Bernie on this campus. We still have a spray-painted sign down on eastside walk,” McGuire said. “What was great is he did talk to college students about how to help them in their situations.”
Transfer student Arturo Ortiz stopped by the display and enjoyed it, even though he said he agrees more with the distributist economic system, which is based on Catholic teachings and encourages ownership of private property.
“I don’t necessarily classify myself as a Republican. I’m not registered as a Republican,” Ortiz said. “I don’t necessarily agree with either capitalism or socialism, but I definitely think that it was a creative setup.”
Junior business major James Mieras said this was the first display he has seen from the College Republicans and was interested in the activities the club is involved with.
“I don’t think there’s enough libertarian perspectives on campus, and all too often we say that government is the solution to our problems,” Mieras said. “I agree with most of what they’ve said, and I just like to see what other youths have similar ideas and opinions as me.”
McGuire said membership to the club has increased since Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to campus on Oct. 31, with members being more active and wanting to take on projects.
“There’s a group that thinks a little different on campus, and we assemble once a week,” McGuire said. “There’s people who didn’t necessarily agree with Milo, but they wanted to come and hang … We’re totally revamping what we do and making it varied for everybody.”