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    “When asked whether or not we are Marxists, our position is the same as that of a physicist, when asked if he is a “Newtonian” or of a biologist when asked if he is a “Pasteurian.”
    There are truths so evident, so much a part of the peoples’ knowledge, that it is now useless to debate them. One should be a “Marxist” with the same naturalness with which one is a “Newtonian” in physics or a “Pasteurian.” If new facts bring about new concepts, the latter will never take away that portion of truth possessed by those that have come before.


    CHE
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    Because I believe the idea of equality to be childish and absurd. I believe in inequality.
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    Political beliefs are not tangible in the way newtonian physics are. One can be proved the other cannot. You can't prove capitalism or Marxism are correct. Politics becomes dangerous when you start to believe you are stating absolute truths, beyond reproach, it leads to fanaticism.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Political beliefs are not tangible in the way newtonian physics are. One can be proved the other cannot. You can't prove capitalism or Marxism are correct. Politics becomes dangerous when you start to believe you are stating absolute truths, beyond reproach, it leads to fanaticism.
    But if we all agree that we are being exploited by the dominant class as means of production then we can build a better society run by the majority rather than the powerful. This is something that can be agreed upon, whether or not we are being exploited by the ruling class.
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    (Original post by arminb)
    But if we all agree that we are being exploited by the dominant class as means of production then we can build a better society run by the majority rather than the powerful. This is something that can be agreed upon, whether or not we are being exploited by the ruling class.
    But others would object to the idea of a ruling class or exploitation. There are people on the right that believe wholeheartedly that the individual has the power to change their lot in society no matter what. There are no universal truths in politics.
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    Because I believe in personal responsibility. Also why "Pasteurian" rather than "Darwinist" ?
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    I think socialism is idealistic claptrap. I don't think wealth redistribution is fair or practical. I think punishing success is a bad idea and I would prioritise the individual over the collective.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    But others would object to the idea of a ruling class or exploitation. There are people on the right that believe wholeheartedly that the individual has the power to change their lot in society no matter what. There are no universal truths in politics.
    so you take a relativist approach. There is no truth and logic and reason can't provide a solution to end this ****. Child poverty, fuel poverty ,inequality of opportunity, violent crime, racism, etc...
    We must reach a consensus otherwise we will keep rolling in **** forever and ever ... and ever.
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    In line with what AJ said, politic beliefs aren't absolute fact so I can see why people are attracted to right wing ideals - even though I think defenders of capitalism are delusion.

    I have time for people on the right who advocate free markets but criticise capitalism for the awful inequality it brings.
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    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    I think socialism is idealistic claptrap. I don't think wealth redistribution is fair or practical. I think punishing success is a bad idea and I would prioritise the individual over the collective.
    When you say 'success' you're using veiled terms to mean that someone has managed to set up a very efficient process of exploitation. They've managed to extract the maximum value from the labours of others while paying as little as possible. The rich are successful because they have exploited others to do so. Look at any major corporation in the world today: Nike, Coca Cola, Apple, Microsoft. Wealth sustained by the exploitation of poor workers.

    But you don't think it's fair?

    Let me explain to you what is unfair.

    I hypothetically work in a factory producing chairs from raw resources. I work 8 hours a day and am paid £8 an hour. Obviously using basic maths you can work out that I'm being paid £64 a day.

    The problem here is that I've produced far more than £64 of value. I've actually created nearer on £100 of value. But I'm not actually receiving the full fruit of my labours. I'm not receiving it because the person I'm working for (who's not actually working) needs to keep some profit for himself after he's sold off my work and paid me some fraction of their actual worth for it. The only possible justification is this vague idea that of 'risk' involved with starting this business, but it relies on the assumption that without capitalism the business wouldn't have been started at al, which is nonsense on the face of it.

    Capitalism is inherently 'unfair.' And it leads to the most disgusting excesses. Poverty.org.uk points out that

    The poorest tenth of the population now have, between them, 1.3% of the country's total income and the second poorest tenth have 4%. In contrast, the richest tenth have 31% and the second richest tenth have 15%. The income of the richest tenth is more than the income of all those on below-average incomes (i.e. the bottom five tenths) combined.
    Or you could look at this BBC article that also explains how grossly unequal American society is.

    the CBO found most of the income gains over the past 30 years had gone to the top 1% of US households. Their incomes had almost quadrupled with rises of 275%.
    And in an OECD report, they wrote

    • "Income inequality in OECD countries is at its highest level for the past half century. The average income of the richest 10% of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10% across the OECD, up from seven times 25 years ago."
    • In the United States inequality has increased further from already high levels.
    Oxfam point out "85 wealthiest individuals in the world have a combined wealth equal to that of the bottom 50% of the world's population, or about 3.5 billion people," and "According to a Los Angeles Times analysis of the report, the wealthiest 1% owns 46% of the world's wealth; the 85 richest people, a small part of the wealthiest 1%, own about 0.7% of the human population's wealth, which is the same as the bottom half of the population.[18]"

    But of course the existence of such horrific inequality is a non-problem if you don't see inequality as a problematic feature in the first place. Personally I find it morally offensive and unacceptable that some men enjoy such extravagant wealth and grotesquely excessive luxury while so many starve in the street, going unfed and unclothed, lacking shelter and safety.

    But aside from being offensive on an ethical and philosophical level, inequality has measurable negative impacts on society and the economy. It's not about 'envy.'

    The Joseph Rowntree Foundation wrote a report on the health and social problems caused by income inequality. These are some of the key points to take from its summary of the paper:

    • The literature shows general agreement about a correlation between income inequality and health/social problems.
    • There is less agreement about whether income inequality causes health and social problems independently of other factors, but some rigorous studies have found evidence of this.
    • Some research suggests that inequality is particularly harmful beyond a certain threshold. Britain was below this threshold in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, but rose past it in 1986–7 and has settled well above it since 1998–9. If the threshold is significant it could provide a target for policy.
    • Anxiety about status might explain income inequality’s effect on health and social problems. If so, inequality is harmful because it places people in a hierarchy which increases competition for status, causing stress and leading to poor health and other negative outcomes.
    • Not all research shows an independent effect of income inequality on health/social problems. Some highlights the role of individual income (poverty/material circumstances), culture/history, ethnicity and welfare state institutions/social policies.
    • The author concludes that there is a strong case for further research on income inequality and discussion of the policy implications.
    The New York Times likewise invesigated some of the impacts of income inequality on society. Not only does it have negative effects on society's health and social cohesion, it has a corrosive effect on democracy as well.

    Other researchers have focused on how income inequality can breed corruption. That may be especially true in democracies, where wealth and political power can be more easily exchanged, according to a study of 129 countries by Jong-Sung You, a graduate student at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and Sanjeev Khagram, a professor of public affairs at the University of Washington in Seattle.
    Of course, these are all things that socialists have been arguing for over two hundred years now, but these are good all the same.
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    (Original post by forfrosne)
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    You effectively killed him :cool::cool::cool:
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    I am a democratic socialist.

    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    I think socialism is idealistic claptrap. I don't think wealth redistribution is fair or practical. I think punishing success is a bad idea and I would prioritise the individual over the collective.
    It would lead to a better society which should be the aim. Capitalism is the attitude of a lone wolf fighting in the big wide world. Many have this attitude because capitalism falls in line with many human traits - self interest, only caring about those close, greed, etc. This is why capitalism will be favoured by most - they see it as giving themselves freedom and a way of bettering themselves. It's all about individual gain.

    Socialism is a strange concept to grasp for many. To accept it peoples mindsets must change - self interest must become societal interest. Greed must become sharing. Socialism will never truly work unless people drop the capitalist 'me' attitude and think about society as a whole. As a group working together we are stronger.

    Why be a lone wolf trying to go it alone in a capitalist state where society stagnates at the expense of a minority when you can be a pack of wolves working together to protect the pack? You're a stronger unit. The problem is people are never content and happy (some are and find peace) but others chase the dream of becoming rich, successful and have a high status.

    In afraid Britain has gone too far the wrong way in the pursuit of happiness. Rather than working together as a society we are competing against one another which means there are winners and losers and unfortunately more losers than winners.

    To get people to buy into a socialist state would take years of education, the dumbing down of materialism and the promoting of family values and charity - bringing back the community way of life where neighbours knew one another a lot more.

    A capitalist society breeds jealousy, greed, resentment, selfishness - crime is more rife because of these traits. Those who do well look down on the poor. Those who are poor are disgusted with the rich. Its a vicious cycle of hate that will never lead to a truly happy state.

    In a socialist society you may never reach the highs you could in a capitalist one bit you'll also never reach the lows. The fairer distribution means people have a fair level of living - they are then more likely to be happy, commit less crime, help others, etc.

    This will never happen until attitudes change and unfortunately in Britain I don't think attitudes ever will. Far too many Brits worship the capitalist 'its all about me' culture.
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    (Original post by arminb)
    “When asked whether or not we are Marxists, our position is the same as that of a physicist, when asked if he is a “Newtonian” or of a biologist when asked if he is a “Pasteurian.”
    There are truths so evident, so much a part of the peoples’ knowledge, that it is now useless to debate them. One should be a “Marxist” with the same naturalness with which one is a “Newtonian” in physics or a “Pasteurian.” If new facts bring about new concepts, the latter will never take away that portion of truth possessed by those that have come before.


    CHE
    Socialism has never worked on this planet. It can only exist within a Capitalist system where voters of a democracy value morality and common human decency.

    For this reason I am a Libertarian 1st and a Socialist 2nd.
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    (Original post by arminb)
    so you take a relativist approach. There is no truth and logic and reason can't provide a solution to end this ****. Child poverty, fuel poverty ,inequality of opportunity, violent crime, racism, etc...
    We must reach a consensus otherwise we will keep rolling in **** forever and ever ... and ever.
    er....but if morals are subjective there can be no "absolute right" positions in any human society, it simply is as what people determine at the time..

    and he's right, politics is philosophy, not science.....it's as subjective as any other philosophical branch.
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    I think equality should only exist in terms of legal rights, rule of law, etc. I don't believe in economic equality.
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    Because I believe it not possible to have both freedom and equality, and I know which one is worth more. Moreover my concept of fairness is one in which every man receives what he deserves, based on his talents and application, rather than one in which the feckless are compensated by the productive.

    Finally, socialism just doesnt work. Put a socialist in charge of the deserts and eventually we'll run out of sand basically.
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    (Original post by Zürich)
    Because I believe it not possible to have both freedom and equality, and I know which one is worth more. Moreover my concept of fairness is one in which every man receives what he deserves, based on his talents and application, rather than one in which the feckless are compensated by the productive.
    Libertarian socialism (or anarchism as it's better known) combines freedom and equality. I highly recommend you. I had the same concern as you, actually. To me the two most important ideals in the world are liberty and equality. The conflict as you pointed out is how it is possible to achieve the two. I believe libertarian socialism does this, and I think a careful examination of capitalism demonstrates that it is actually detrimental to both liberty and equality. And I think an examination of it would show you that actually under the current system of capitalism each man and woman receives far less than they deserve, while a very few people at the top receive far, far more, not based on their talents or application but on their ability to set up by efficient systems of exploitation.

    Obviously it's difficult to take a random stranger seriously when he recommends you go watch some relatively long videos just for a forum debate, but I genuinely think you might be interested in this political philosophy of libertarian socialism. Libertarian Socialist Rants has a fantastic four part video series that explains some of the fundamentals of libertarian socialism: The Case Against Hierarchy, The Case for Liberty, Arguments Against Anarchism (which is where he refutes the common criticisms/misconceptions) and Achieving an Anarchist Society. He also addresses the supposed distinction between 'true capitalism' and 'crony capitalism' here and some of the common capitalist arguments here.
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    Newtonian Physics is proven to work and is open to attack like any other scientific theory. Marx developed a theory explaining and criticizing the existing capitalism during his time. It is no where near as scientifically accurate as Newtonian physics if it is accurate at all. Like anything you read it, take away anything useful or relevant and ignore what isn't. There are aspects of Marx's work that I think is relevant and described ways in which capitalism can really fail humanity. Marxism on the other hand is very much like a religion and can cause a lot of harm when in the hands of authoritarian regimes. Einstein was a brilliant physicist but there is no such thing as Einsteinism.


    Cuba also managed to withstand the attack of the USA for decades and exported more free health care than any other country in the world at the time. This was when every other south american country was being economically raped. THat is what Che was fighting against, America behaved awfully towards south america which created people like Che.
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    Jesus was the first socialist, the first man to seek a better life for mankind.

    Conservatism and the belief in globalisation/free markets is very much a very modern belief that only emerged out of industrial capitalism. Socialism, on the other hand, and the idea of collective responsibility/ownership has been with us since the birth of mankind.
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    Socialism is dead. It longer exists in its traditional form. Modern (state) socialists have given up on what the idea that problems like unemployment and poverty were social problems not caused by nature or human greed.

    Rather than reorganising society so there is plenty for everyone, modern socialists want the state to punish the rich (usually those pesky bankers). They view problems as caused by human greed not by the societal structure. Often now they modern socialists are environmentalists calling for humans to reduce consumption contrary to what traditional socialists wanted, a great production for all. Lots of stuff for everyone.

    Modern socialists are often misanthropes who want state socialism to reign in what they believe is mankind's natural penance for greed.

    (Original post by Sanctimonious)
    A capitalist society breeds jealousy, greed, resentment, selfishness - crime is more rife because of these traits. Those who do well look down on the poor. Those who are poor are disgusted with the rich. Its a vicious cycle of hate that will never lead to a truly happy state.

    Freedom and human progress are the most important ideals to me and modern socialism is in opposition to both.

    The currently existing capitalism we have is not good either. These big evil corporations everyone seems to get so worked over about only exist because they benefit from privileges they get from the state.
 
 
 
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