This piece I picked up from a friend of mine on good old facebook. As I do try to give as much rope to conservatives to make a consummate ass of themselves I decided to read the piece with as open mind as possible reading a conservative blog piece. But, as always, and as uneducated as conservatives are – the person who wrote the piece is a councillor – a Tory councillor at that. Ho-hum.
His claim, as so many make, is that socialism doesn’t work. Again, we have to ask; how do you know? His answer is one that is, well, fragmented – but understandable when addressing poverty in the UK as the same as poverty on a global scale. Are poor people in the UK as poor as those, say, in a poverty-ridden African state? Well – no, obviously. But what has that to do with socialism? As a socialist I want people in Africa – and any other poverty stricken nation – not to be poor. Being poor kills people, a lot. But what is being poor in the UK? Well, if we are to take any inference from this particular conservative, you must be as poor as the poorest in any given State – or you are not poor because the social welfare system makes you rich!
Let’s look into the mind of a Conservative:
Ever give a thought to the poor masses of this country? Of course, the masses aren’t poor; on a global and historical scale, they’re moderately wealthy and getting more so year on year. Socialism is grounded in the Nineteenth century concepts of poor exploited workers so let’s pretend for the sake of argument that they really are poor and plentiful. Oh, and trapped there. There’s no fluidity in this imagining unlike the real world. The standard argument runs: how do we help these people? We give them wealth. Where do we get the wealth? From the government. Where does the government get the wealth? From the rich. Where do the rich get the wealth? From exploiting the poor. So the money runs a cycle back to its rightful source.
I would hazard a guess that getting the author to live for a year on what he calls ‘moderate wealth’ would be a hard task. But his argument would be he does not need to. Mine is yes he does. For one year – not a week, nor a month – a year – then come back and tell us all that he is of moderate wealth. He won’t, of course – that doesn’t fit in with his political agenda. He indicates, or I read him wrong, that the world has never exploited workers – obviously, again, not a history buff.
[…] it would make perfect sense for the poor/state to destroy the rich, absorb their assets and have the state employ the workers directly as a form of benign management. Nice on paper, murderous in practice. At last count Communism cost upwards of a hundred million lives in the last century.
I am, from that, assuming that the author means a socialist/communist/Stalinist mock up? Pol Pot? Interestingly within many realms of socialists we have said, many times, that 1. Stalinism isn’t, wasn’t nor ever will be socialist let alone communist. 2. totalitarianism isn’t socialism, nor ever will be – a simple read of what socialism is, stands for should wake him up – yet to be hit with facts about this would wash above him much as the idea that the UK poor really are, in fact, poor.
He is an advocate of the ‘free market’ – a free market where good is bought and sold and profit is the motive, capitalism to some degree. Yet, as we have seen most recently, his view of the world has come crashing down because, as we have empirical evidence of, capitalism hasn’t worked. These free markets he so brightly speaks of went to the States he so desperately lords as the evil – to the poor – who bailed them out. What happened to the free market:
Contrast this with a free-market. Here all transactions are, by definition, free, rather than forced and directed, so accurate information about desires and intentions are passed at every stage. Similarly, because producers are financially rewarded for successful production, and especially the bosses who oversee and own said production, then there are strong incentives to perform at full capacity. Profit is not an inefficiency, it is an incentive. Profit helps, it doesn’t hinder.
Pricing – Prices in a free-market are jointly determined between the ability of a producer to supply and the demand of the consumer.
Maybe he should look at the current obsession with supply-side economics of which his party so hilariously advocate.
Socialism has never been tried. Some claim that they were socialist and became totalitarian with the corruption of power. Socialism can only work once capitalism has defeated itself, something I would like to see in my lifetime but probably won’t.