I support rail renationalisation because state simulated capitalism doesn't work Watch

Suetonius
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#41
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#41
(Original post by mojojojo101)
II don't support the concept of private ownership of the means of production (mop), I think it would be too easy for a society like that to regress back to what we have now
I'm intrigued. How do you manage to conflate the concept of the private ownership of the means of production with the concept of society? One is an actual, physical, existing thing that people do, whereas the other is simply an abstraction - an epiphenomenon of multitudinous individual experiences in a complex system of human relationships.
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mojojojo101
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#42
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(Original post by Suetonius)
I'm intrigued. How do you manage to conflate the concept of the private ownership of the means of production with the concept of society? One is an actual, physical, existing thing, whereas the other is simply an abstraction (or at the very least an epiphenomenon of multitudinous individual experiences).
Ah I apologise, I didn't intend to. I'll fully admit I am far from the most eloquent of people and am by no means an expert in anarchist ideology.

What I did mean was that it is my belief that a society (defined pretty generally as the aggregate of a group of people who live in the same place at the same time) in which private ownership was the basis would show an unacceptable risk of regress back to crony-capitalism as some private owners seek to consolidate their positions. I think that some sort of collective or public ownership better protects against that so would be my preference.

Hopefully you see what I am trying to get at.
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SilverAlex
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#43
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Christ, nationalisation of rail is a terrible idea.
Just look at AMTRAK, the worst rail service in the western world.
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Suetonius
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(Original post by mojojojo101)
Ah I apologise, I didn't intend to. I'll fully admit I am far from the most eloquent of people and am by no means an expert in anarchist ideology.

What I did mean was that it is my belief that a society (defined pretty generally as the aggregate of a group of people who live in the same place at the same time) in which private ownership was the basis would show an unacceptable risk of regress back to crony-capitalism as some private owners seek to consolidate their positions. I think that some sort of collective or public ownership better protects against that so would be my preference.

Hopefully you see what I am trying to get at.
Yes, I see what you're trying to get at, but I disagree with your, or "the general", definition of society. Society is not the aggregation of groups, or the aggregation of anything. That's what collectivists (who perceive the world through the rose-tinted glasses of socialism) want you to believe, but it's false. Society, as they regard it, is a meaningless abstraction that doesn't influence or affect anything in real life. It's essentially a religious belief i.e. "society does this", "society does that" etc. No, society can't do things, simply because it's not real, it's a concept. Society is, if we're going to take a serious approach in our analysis of the world and embrace reductionism, an epiphenomenon of individual experiences in a complex system of human relationships. So, now that we accept that society is this complex system of individuals, it's possible to derive from this the idea that some of these individuals privately own the means of production.

Yet, I cannot see how there is a connection between said individuals simply owning the means by which resources are produced, and your argument, which is that this will result in a returning propensity toward crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is when government violently (by virtue of its very nature) interferes with and sabotages the free market. Instead, I would argue that the very justification for government interfering in these processes is based on this false assumption that society is an "aggregation of groups". It's the fact that people hold this very idea of collectivism and public ownership (or, as Ayn Rand identified, altruism) that is the cause behind government implementing the crony capitalism you're deriding. So it seems your view is slightly inconsistent unless you can, somehow, draw that connection.
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MatureStudent36
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#45
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
The West Coast line almost does operate like that already - Virgin is the privileged service, whilst London Midland operate the cattle trucks.

It doesn't really make sense at all to have multiple companies on pseudo-private contracts running slices of the network. It would be better to have an efficiently run national company running the whole thing. This could be a worker-owned business like John Lewis, perhaps with a profit distribution scheme to the travelling public, who would obtain shares as part of their tickets on a loyalty card. Smart-card ownership is spreading widely.

Another alternative is simply to sell the whole network to a company that is actually capable of running things properly, eg, DeutscheBahn.
I'm glad you're considering other options. different business models work differently in different country's. It's quite hard to copy something. There's national cultural differences that change the way successful business models work in one country to another.
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Rakas21
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#46
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(Original post by mojojojo101)
Ah I apologise, I didn't intend to. I'll fully admit I am far from the most eloquent of people and am by no means an expert in anarchist ideology.

What I did mean was that it is my belief that a society (defined pretty generally as the aggregate of a group of people who live in the same place at the same time) in which private ownership was the basis would show an unacceptable risk of regress back to crony-capitalism as some private owners seek to consolidate their positions. I think that some sort of collective or public ownership better protects against that so would be my preference.

Hopefully you see what I am trying to get at.
Given that the railways are traditionally loss making I've always been curious as to how a co-operative model would work. Would you continue to get a subsidy from government, would the turkeys (the workers) really vote for christmas (staff cutbacks and driverless trains) to reduce costs or would they borrow this money (though operating on a non-profit basis i'm not sure how many non-state banks would finance them).

I have no problem with co-operatives as a rival business model competing with private business but making the entire network a co-operative seems fraught with above inflation pay rises, a lack of willingness to innovate and the flawed belief that ticket prices would suddenly collapse.
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Fullofsurprises
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#47
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Given that the railways are traditionally loss making I've always been curious as to how a co-operative model would work. Would you continue to get a subsidy from government, would the turkeys (the workers) really vote for christmas (staff cutbacks and driverless trains) to reduce costs or would they borrow this money (though operating on a non-profit basis i'm not sure how many non-state banks would finance them).

I have no problem with co-operatives as a rival business model competing with private business but making the entire network a co-operative seems fraught with above inflation pay rises, a lack of willingness to innovate and the flawed belief that ticket prices would suddenly collapse.
Why do you think our ticket prices are amongst the highest in Europe? There may be contributory factors, like the need to recapitalise an ageing system, but a big factor has been the way the system was privatised, which hands a large, continuing and undeserved profit stream to the banks who lease the trains and to (some) train operating companies. I think lots of people in this country are now wise to the neoliberal con game, as practised by past Tory and Labour governments, that only privatisation can work. In fact, UK railways compared to state systems around the world are pretty good proof that it often doesn't and simply costs more to the consumer.

At the very minimum, we could have the system being run by one company and the ghastly exploitative nonsense of separated train leasing and line slicing got rid of. We could also plan a better way to run the whole concern.

I agree that different ownership and management models all have their problems, but they really couldn't be worse than the current setup.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Why do you think our ticket prices are amongst the highest in Europe? There may be contributory factors, like the need to recapitalise an ageing system, but a big factor has been the way the system was privatised, which hands a large, continuing and undeserved profit stream to the banks who lease the trains and to (some) train operating companies. I think lots of people in this country are now wise to the neoliberal con game, as practised by past Tory and Labour governments, that only privatisation can work. In fact, UK railways compared to state systems around the world are pretty good proof that it often doesn't and simply costs more to the consumer.

At the very minimum, we could have the system being run by one company and the ghastly exploitative nonsense of separated train leasing and line slicing got rid of. We could also plan a better way to run the whole concern.

I agree that different ownership and management models all have their problems, but they really couldn't be worse than the current setup.
To call what we have privatisation while true misses the entire point of a market. It's the competition that is important, not private ownership. As such, i don't support the current system. I don't think we need a single operator though.

Ticket prices being the highest in Europe does not tell the whole story. Analysis actually suggest that off-peak travel is comparable in cost to Europe, it's peak travel that is outlandish. In addition, a 2007 report blamed Network Rail for inflating the cost of a ticket by 30% and unlike a lot of European nations part of our ticket prices go to Network Rail reducing the tax burden.
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ChaoticButterfly
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#49
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I just want to be able to sit down. The only trains that come close are the Virgins ones.
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illegaltobepoor
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#50
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#50
(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Got evidence of that that you can use as an example ?
ATOS IT company over British companies
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ChaoticButterfly
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#51
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(Original post by Rakas21)

I say that we should bring the railways back into public ownership and then have open access operators register for 1 service per hour each day. That way the public can choose between getting the cramped train operated by the state at 00 or waiting 15 minutes for the Virgin train with wi-fi, extra carriages and leg room for an extra pound.
This already happens.
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ChaoticButterfly
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#52
(Original post by Rakas21)

I say that we should bring the railways back into public ownership and then have open access operators register for 1 service per hour each day. That way the public can choose between getting the cramped train operated by the state at 00 or waiting 15 minutes for the Virgin train with wi-fi, extra carriages and leg room for an extra pound.
This already happens.

In my area all the trains are **** apart from Virgin.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Rakas21)

I say that we should bring the railways back into public ownership and then have open access operators register for 1 service per hour each day. That way the public can choose between getting the cramped train operated by the state at 00 or waiting 15 minutes for the Virgin train with wi-fi, extra carriages and leg room for an extra pound.
This already happens.

In my area all the trains are **** apart from Virgin.

All the trains from Manchester to Liverpool are just awful and unless you are traveling at quiet times you pretty much know you are going to stand for at least some fo the journey.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
This already happens.
Only in limited areas. Franchise agreements have moderation of competition clauses preventing it in most cases.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Only in limited areas. Franchise agreements have moderation of competition clauses preventing it in most cases.
Actually is the opposite of what you said. The Virgin train is in fact cheaper.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
Actually is the opposite of what you said. The Virgin train is in fact cheaper.
Which companies are we comparing.
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Studentus-anonymous
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(Original post by yourFuture)
The whole point of capitalism is to create competition and through competing a better standard is produced. It is fairly obvious that with trains there is no competition in play you don't get a choice of trains you get one route, one train.
Some may argue that there is competition because train companies bid for contracts with the government. This is nonsense, this isn't capitalism. The government aren't the consumers, and so doing this to try and simulate some form of competition is a joke.
So that gives us two options we either create a true free market whereby the government has nothing to do with rail, or we can nationalise it.
Agreed.

Unfortunately a lot of people, and especially those in charge seem to think state ownership of something equates to communism rather than common sense.

But it seems that as time goes by governments and the state are less interested in providing their half of the social contract and simply raking money in from ever increasing tax burdens.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Which companies are we comparing.
Virgin vs Cross Country and Northern Rail.

A virgin only ticket is cheaper.
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tonyarcher
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It's all gone a bit Atlas Shrugged. Come on Rearden show them how it's done.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
Virgin vs Cross Country and Northern Rail.

A virgin only ticket is cheaper.
Good.

But none of them are open access operators and Virgin actively prevents other companies competing like Grand Central.

The system can be even better.
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