Over the past 30 to 40 years we have had a constant stream of individualism. Almost, one may add, ending with the culmination of out and out Libertarianism. Libertarian ideals whereby the individual is an island of his/her own and there is no, unless asking your fellow man/woman to fight a war for you (because you wouldn’t do this yourself, of course), government involvement in a person’s life. We see this with Cameron’s defence of his Big Society in The Guardian.
Personally I believe him to be a spiv, one who will sell what he can to achieve just about nothing very quickly, yet – and I am sure, he has a good heart somewhere.
The first objection is that it is too vague. I reject that. True, it doesn’t follow some grand plan or central design. But that’s because the whole approach of building a bigger, stronger, more active society involves something of a revolt against the top-down, statist approach of recent years. And neither is it about just one thing. Rather, it combines three clear methods to bring people together to improve their lives and the lives of others: devolving power to the lowest level so neighbourhoods take control of their destiny
Interestingly, Cameron states, quite clearly, that his Big Society is, in fact, vague. It isn’t about planning and it is about the lowest of the low taking control of the local post office and such. “Devolving power to the lowest level”: Now think about that.
You would have thought that having a big society would be a socialist ideal – from what you have read and been misinformed about it anyway. But Cameron, like many of his fellow faux-libertarians, wants you to believe the idea that a society that is working together for the betterment of all is one that the right-wing have had. It isn’t. It isn’t now, nor will it ever be. Simply look at where the tax cuts are going. It is a sham – and people, thankfully, are seeing through it. The British people did not vote for a conservative government – they voted, wrongly in my opinion, for a coalition.
So what would happen in a socialist society? I have mentioned before that within a socialist society everybody works. Can the right say that this is the case? They will tell you they are getting the ‘benefit scroungers’ of the welfare – but, as so many have asked, where are the jobs to fill? So many are now unemployed it is, literally, beyond a joke – even a Tory one. Corporations do not want full employment – it would mean higher wages for those whom Cameron wants to devolve power to.
For too long socialism has been seen as Stalinist – tyrannical government putting the higher educated in gulags. Socialism is the big society, but with a significant difference. It is a system whereby people are educated to the best of their abilities, trained constantly on the job to give back to society what they are receiving from it. Cameron’s big society is about giving tax cuts to the rich and sod the little guy.
Socialism is about devolved power. It is about allowing the local community bring about change – real change in real lives with the help of a central government that can allocate the funds that are needed. It is about breaking banks up to serve the purpose they were believed to be for. So you do need central planning, you do need co-operation. Cameron’s wishy-washy words will not bring about this change, it will – again in my opinion, bring about chaos.
Socialism is not about taxing you to death – by the Lord we all know what that feels like now – and this under a supposed capitalist system. For the greater good of our societies we must put the power back into the hands of the people – you and me. Socialism does that, the system we have now does not. It puts the power that is available in the hands of a few. Not in parliamentary buildings, nor senates, not any governmental building – but in boardrooms. That isn’t a big society we can be proud of, that is a tyranny we should fight against.
Those who are individualists have wielded influence for so long – they have promised free cash so they can elevate themselves up an invisible social ladder. To be better than either the Smith’s or Jones’. And it has failed. Thatcher, Reagan, the Bush’s – all failed. Cameron is offering people a canvass to paint on but they can only use clear lacquer. The problem is – and this is where we must be ready to protest – is that the chaos that will follow will mean more people will become hurt by this façade. Cameron is offering what he cannot deliver: Socialism.
Socialism is society, it is community and it is for you – that is if you want to grasp the non-stinging nettle. So many say it it boggles my mind – look around you and you will see what the people are asking for – it is just that they dare not say the name.