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    I guess I'm just wondering how many other people out there identify as socialists and what kind of socialists you consider yourselves to be (democratic socialist, totalitarian socialist, liberal socialist, feminist socialist) and why? What made you think that way about the world, was it an event or studying a particular subject?



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    My socialist tendencies lie almost totally in education. That is in support of equality and equal opertunities.

    Other than that I'm far more right wing.
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    Democratic market socialist. Because it makes perfect sense to me.
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    (Original post by MOsborn11)
    I guess I'm just wondering how many other people out there identify as socialists and what kind of socialists you consider yourselves to be (democratic socialist, totalitarian socialist, liberal socialist, feminist socialist) and why? What made you think that way about the world, was it an event or studying a particular subject?
    In some ways. I'm a bit of a mix of market socialism, parliamentary socialism (in the Healeyite, postwar Labour mould) and libertarianism. I do also consider myself a democrat.

    I concede that a 21st century economy cannot be a command economy (governments cannot respond quickly enough to changing circumstances), but I do think that the government should own the means of production where it is a natural monopoly (rail, water, etc).

    I also believe strongly in redistribution, and trade unions, co-operatives and worker-owned enterprises. What usually makes me happy is seeing socialists ends through capitalist means.
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    I'm a socialist mostly because of my economic education and flirting with hardcore communism a few years ago. However that isn't really a sustainable system.
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    The thing I can never understand about socialism/communism is why is there a need for a one party state? Capitalism doesn't restrict people's right to choose something different (not today anyway).


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    I've only ever met one totalitarian hard line communist in my life, most socialists seem to accept a multiparty system and some privatisation as they way forward, with the state heavily regulating what goes on and insuring its the best thing for the people?


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    A lot of people I've met who are socialist think if we became a lefty country we'd need to be governed like china.

    Personally I think country is already socialist enough, everyone is educated and treated when their ill if you want more then work hard for it. It's never made sense to me why anyone believes that they have the right to take someone of somebody else's income


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    Most interesting opinion I read yesterday, which I'll summarise:

    The uk is not capitalist, it's crony capitalist. All the rich people and big players look out for their own interests while squeezing the masses for all they've got. In the UK, try to set up a little shop or stall to make ends meet, and you'll find yourself taxed and expensed so hard that you can't afford to run. Compare this to a lot of Asian countries, which are a lot more innately socialistic as it's ingrained into their culture, and you have street vendors selling little trinkets and snack foods where they earn a pittance, but the pittance is theirs to keep. China is more capitalist than the uk. They're a booming economy with huge global exports - blatantly capitalist - yet the people are hardly taxed and are free to set up whatever little business venture they want in order to survive. We just can't do that in the uk any more.

    I'd be willing to admit the world is innately capitalistic. The problem, in the uk at least, is that any business endeavours are always greatly stifled by tax and regulation. You aren't allowed to succeed here until you can afford to give the government their free share. Its hardly a free market. Crony capitalism!

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    (Original post by LewisG123)
    A lot of people I've met who are socialist think if we became a lefty country we'd need to be governed like china.

    Personally I think country is already socialist enough, everyone is educated and treated when their ill if you want more then work hard for it. It's never made sense to me why anyone believes that they have the right to take someone of somebody else's income


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    Jealousy And unfortunately in the UK, it's one of the worst cases of it. 'Let's make laws to tax x's inheritance, because their children didn't earn that money!'

    Hey, guess what, neither did you!

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    (Original post by OedipusTheKing)
    Jealousy And unfortunately in the UK, it's one of the worst cases of it. 'Let's make laws to tax x's inheritance, because their children didn't earn that money!'

    Hey, guess what, neither did you!

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    And if they earned it due entirely to accident of birth, upbringing and a superior education paid for in turn by wealthy parents, who inherited their advantages, etc....?

    The problem with this type of thinking is that it ends up with a more and more entrenched classist society, with a vastly rich overclass and a propertyless, impoverished underclass. After the Reagan/Thatcher-era tax cuts, that is exactly how the US and UK are heading and have increasingly become. In the long run, it isn't good for the wealthy to live in an embattled, dominated society where the poor have no hope of advancement. Zero inheritance taxes deliver a cruel society in the long run.

    There are those who would like to see us return to a medieval model, with lords and serfs.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    And if they earned it due entirely to accident of birth, upbringing and a superior education paid for in turn by wealthy parents, who inherited their advantages, etc....?

    The problem with this type of thinking is that it ends up with a more and more entrenched classist society, with a vastly rich overclass and a propertyless, impoverished underclass. After the Reagan/Thatcher-era tax cuts, that is exactly how the US and UK are heading and have increasingly become. In the long run, it isn't good for the wealthy to live in an embattled, dominated society where the poor have no hope of advancement. Zero inheritance taxes deliver a cruel society in the long run.

    There are those who would like to see us return to a medieval model, with lords and serfs.
    Not necessarily. A flat rate of tax could subsidise a basic level of education. The problem in the UK however is that in contrast to countries such a Germany, where apprenticeships are common by comparison, our government is not keen on endorsing these schemes and instead prefers to shovel the youth into schools to reflect well on employment figures. The free market does have the means to supply people with the skills for a profitable future career, but instead we waste our taxes on an outmoded 3-tiered system which wastes money by the bucket load.

    I initially wanted to do engineering, and there was a lovely company in Lostock here in the NW that would train you at their expense for 2 years, before paying for your university fees. This is, in contrast to just undertaking an engineering degree at the tax payer's expense. The conditional arrangement was that you would have to work for the company for x years after the education. Do you not see the benefit of endorsing these schemes?

    I don't object to people having an education and equal opportunities, but our government is so inefficient at doing this through taxation that it would be better if the free market took over some responsibility.
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    (Original post by OedipusTheKing)
    Not necessarily. A flat rate of tax could subsidise a basic level of education. The problem in the UK however is that in contrast to countries such a Germany, where apprenticeships are common by comparison, our government is not keen on endorsing these schemes and instead prefers to shovel the youth into schools to reflect well on employment figures. The free market does have the means to supply people with the skills for a profitable future career, but instead we waste our taxes on an outmoded 3-tiered system which wastes money by the bucket load.

    I initially wanted to do engineering, and there was a lovely company in Lostock here in the NW that would train you at their expense for 2 years, before paying for your university fees. This is, in contrast to just undertaking an engineering degree at the tax payer's expense. The conditional arrangement was that you would have to work for the company for x years after the education. Do you not see the benefit of endorsing these schemes?

    I don't object to people having an education and equal opportunities, but our government is so inefficient at doing this through taxation that it would be better if the free market took over some responsibility.
    Left to itself, the 'free market' (which incidentally doesn't and never has existed in a pure form) would solve education? Nope. Left to themselves, corporations seek to spend as little as possible on education and poach skilled workers from each other. When the UK ended highly subsidised apprenticeship schemes under Thatcher, they were not replaced by industry. The result was a declining British skills base, heavy pressure to bring in immigrant workers, etc.
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    (Original post by stuart_aitken)
    Most interesting opinion I read yesterday, which I'll summarise:

    The uk is not capitalist, it's crony capitalist. All the rich people and big players look out for their own interests while squeezing the masses for all they've got. In the UK, try to set up a little shop or stall to make ends meet, and you'll find yourself taxed and expensed so hard that you can't afford to run. Compare this to a lot of Asian countries, which are a lot more innately socialistic as it's ingrained into their culture, and you have street vendors selling little trinkets and snack foods where they earn a pittance, but the pittance is theirs to keep. China is more capitalist than the uk. They're a booming economy with huge global exports - blatantly capitalist - yet the people are hardly taxed and are free to set up whatever little business venture they want in order to survive. We just can't do that in the uk any more.

    I'd be willing to admit the world is innately capitalistic. The problem, in the uk at least, is that any business endeavours are always greatly stifled by tax and regulation. You aren't allowed to succeed here until you can afford to give the government their free share. Its hardly a free market. Crony capitalism!

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    Firstly, high economic growth and exports does not equate to 'blatant capitalism', Soviet Russia had both of those things and its people were oppressed and taxed to the point of starvation and famine, North Korea the same, I could go on and on.

    Secondly, the UK government doesn't spend thins money on new shoes and slush funds (although they do occasionally squizz us out of a moat cleaning service or a toilet seat now and again). The government reinvests that money in the NCS, Fire Service, Pensions, Benefits and Student Loans. The point being that, yes there is a high price placed on the success of small businesses in the UK, but that money isn't taken for no reason, it is redistributed back into society. Whether or not you think this is wrong, or that corporation tax is too high is another issue.

    So, effectively what I'm saying is that your Crony Capitalism is probably correct in that we in the UK lean more to the left that we care to admit, but certainly does not make us 'less capitalist than China'. In China, if you work in a way that is unproductive to the international efforts of the nation, they will find a way to make your life so difficult you starve to death (not an exaggeration), here Jeremy Kyle earns £2m plus per year. I rest my case.
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    (Original post by LewisG123)
    The thing I can never understand about socialism/communism is why is there a need for a one party state? Capitalism doesn't restrict people's right to choose something different (not today anyway).

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    There are lots of democratic socialists (some of them in elected high office) who don't believe in one-party states. However, they also believe in a fair system of media where people can get to hear more opinions than just those formulated on behalf of the interests of the very wealthy. In many countries, the media only represent the latter. The same is broadly true here in the UK, although due to historical processes and a great deal of pressure, some media, like the BBC, that is independent of private wealth interests have been permitted.

    There is no genuine democracy if people can't hear information from more than one source. The global corporate-controlled media now only distribute information supportive of their model of capitalism. As it has clearly demonstrated a calamitous ability to contain crisis, with dire consequences for countless millions of people, this doesn't seem sensible.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Left to itself, the 'free market' (which incidentally doesn't and never has existed in a pure form) would solve education? Nope. Left to themselves, corporations seek to spend as little as possible on education and poach skilled workers from each other. When the UK ended highly subsidised apprenticeship schemes under Thatcher, they were not replaced by industry. The result was a declining British skills base, heavy pressure to bring in immigrant workers, etc.
    Well, we'll just have to disagree with that one. Are you aware of the mill enlightenment during the industrial era? The owners of Quarry Bank Mill were one example, who instead of offering their workers the rod as an incentive (as was common in Victorian Britain) – gave them access to a doctor, basic education, living quarters and food. Many of these workers were indeed orphans, but by training them from a young age the company gained their loyalty and a number of them went onto higher managerial positions.

    Companies have a vetted interest in benefiting their worker, because it benefits themselves. They get a hard working employee, who knows the ins and outs of your system and won't spit out their dummy at the first sign of trouble. The worker's education benefits the company because it increases their output.

    And I never said that the free market should be 'left to itself' – even Nozick, advocated a night watchman role for the state in order that companies do not default on contracts etc.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    And if they earned it due entirely to accident of birth, upbringing and a superior education paid for in turn by wealthy parents, who inherited their advantages, etc....?

    The problem with this type of thinking is that it ends up with a more and more entrenched classist society, with a vastly rich overclass and a propertyless, impoverished underclass. After the Reagan/Thatcher-era tax cuts, that is exactly how the US and UK are heading and have increasingly become. In the long run, it isn't good for the wealthy to live in an embattled, dominated society where the poor have no hope of advancement. Zero inheritance taxes deliver a cruel society in the long run.

    There are those who would like to see us return to a medieval model, with lords and serfs.
    Agreed. Surely the government taxing inheritance and dividing it up among the people is more beneficial than it being given to the undeserving spoilt offspring of fat cats and landed gentry. Also, as Fullofsuprises mentioned, the emergence of this kind of viewpoint leads, unavoidably, to a class-based society, without the collapse of which we would not be having this conversation as the computer would not have been invented as the only people rich enough to develop such technology would be unfit to do so thanks to inbreeding to the point of braindeadedness.
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    (Original post by Linesylines)
    Agreed. Surely the government taxing inheritance and dividing it up among the people is more beneficial than it being given to the undeserving spoilt offspring of fat cats and landed gentry. Also, as Fullofsuprises mentioned, the emergence of this kind of viewpoint leads, unavoidably, to a class-based society, without the collapse of which we would not be having this conversation as the computer would not have been invented as the only people rich enough to develop such technology would be unfit to do so thanks to inbreeding to the point of braindeadedness.
    Evidence of the everyday lifestyles of the super-rich in a free inheritance oligarchy can watch the Tudors, currently showing. Lost track of all the executions and torturings last night, there were so many.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Left to itself, the 'free market' (which incidentally doesn't and never has existed in a pure form) would solve education? Nope. Left to themselves, corporations seek to spend as little as possible on education and poach skilled workers from each other. When the UK ended highly subsidised apprenticeship schemes under Thatcher, they were not replaced by industry. The result was a declining British skills base, heavy pressure to bring in immigrant workers, etc.

    My personal opinion is that the free market should not be relied upon to deliver a positive effect to society in unique areas such as education and healthcare for example. I also believe that apprentices are incredibly beneficial and that Maggie T stopped subsidizing them it was a terrible decision she made (one of many).

    What the government should be doing is starting again to subsidize such schemes and to invest in education. David Cameron has said that he believes the subsidization of apprentices would be 'an excellent solution to a terrible problem' (despite his idolization of Thatcher and her role in pursuing a policy directly opposed to this viewpoint), and yet Cameron continues to let his party’s fear of the deficit (despite all western economies except Denmark running on one for the past two decades), dissuade him for investing at all in our countries future or even ruling on his conscience. I despair!
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    (Original post by MOsborn11)
    I guess I'm just wondering how many other people out there identify as socialists and what kind of socialists you consider yourselves to be (democratic socialist, totalitarian socialist, liberal socialist, feminist socialist) and why? What made you think that way about the world, was it an event or studying a particular subject?
    I'm a technocrat first and a socialist second. But my support for socialist systems come from one major point: they are more efficient and successful.

    While I also think morally, everyone should be provided with enough to live on regardless of whether they work (if the society can provide it), and if the society can function without everyone working, then not everyone should. The system as it stands now aims to reduce the amount of labour, while needing to increase it. Leading to ridiculous situations where innovation and streamlined processes are at odds with people needing jobs.

    In any case, no particular event made me socialist, it's something that has slowly evolved and developed over time. There are different socialist aspects I support for different reasons however.

    (Original post by Linesylines)
    and yet Cameron continues to let his party’s fear of the deficit (despite all western economies except Denmark running on one for the past two decades), dissuade him for investing at all in our countries future or even ruling on his conscience. I despair!
    It's short term politics, Cameron and his party are (among other things) trying to gain a short term victory by decreasing the deficit instead of genuinely improving the economic situation. Instead of trying to restart the economy (which they should be doing) like certain other countries, they are shaving a bit of money off the deficit in the hopes of pointing to it and saying "Look! We've done good! Previous government, previous government, labour, labour, previous government rabble rabble rabble!". This plan doesn't get rid of the deficit and only damages the economy in the short and long term.
 
 
 

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