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Calling the Greens socialists is an insult to socialists Watch

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    Interesting article in the Spectator

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-week/...to-socialists/

    The Green party has been likened to a watermelon: green on the outside and red on the inside. But that is to do a huge injustice to generations of socialists and communists. Misguided though they were in many of their ideas, nobody could accuse them of actively seeking to make society poorer.
    If a depression were a reasonable price to pay for an improved environment, Tyneside in the 1930s would be remembered as a paradise. No doubt the air became cleaner as shipyards closed, yet those who lived through the Great Depression tended to remember it for other reasons: hunger and desperation.
    Pollution from industrial activity has fallen hugely since the 1930s, not because we have held back from wealth creation but for the opposite reason: we have learned how to do things better. We have learned to mitigate the problems associated with rich societies rather than retracting into a form of pre-industrial existence.
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    Where the article refers to "If a depression were a reasonable price to pay for an improved environment", it's talking about the Greens policy to implement "negative growth" and contract the economy for environmental reasons

    Oh and this paragraph. What a daft woman Bennett is

    Ukip is rightfully often damned as a party of Little Englanders, but they are not nearly so little as the Greens. Ukip is at least consistent in wanting to leave the EU so that Britain can better face the world and adopt its own immigration policy. Natalie Bennett appears to believe (she said so last Sunday) that Britain could remain a member of the EU while imposing import taxes on all foreign goods.
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    they are socialists though
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    I agree with most of the article in that the Green policy of a radical reduction in consumption would be harmful to the poorest in society and not what most social-democrats would want.

    However there are plenty of cases in history of socialists or communists prioritising economic leveling over economic growth or the creation of wealth etc. Just because the Greens would do it primarily for the sake of the environment (they want levelling too really) doesn't make them that much different.

    Just look at the authors of the Spirit Level for an example of people who hold that if the poor in Britain get richer by 10% but the rich get richer by 15% that is worse than the poor getting poorer by 5% but the rich by 25%.

    The main case made by the article is true though, which is that the Greens hatred of consumerism and modern life would lead to policies which are directly contary to what most social-democrats believe in.
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    they are socialists though
    What evidence do you have for that statement?
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    What evidence do you have for that statement?
    what would constitute "evidence"? a list of very left wing policies, by any chance?
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    what would constitute "evidence"?
    A self-description as socialists? Evidence that their policy analysis is viewed through the lens of class struggle as opposed to the environment?
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    A self-description as socialists? Evidence that their policy analysis is viewed through the lens of class struggle as opposed to the environment?
    haahahahahaha. oh right. okay. sorry I didn't realise you were the kind of socialist that banned other kinds of socialist thought other than marxist socialism :lol:. wow.

    but honestly, their socialist policies:
    1) renationalisation of the railways (yeah, it's not radical but still conforms to socialism as it is usually understood, e.g. public ownership)
    2) a wealth tax on the wealthy.
    3) a citizens' income of £72 a week. sounds almost communist to me...
    4) scrapping tuition fees
    5) and you can be sure they want more behavioural taxes, council taxes, corporation taxes, "tax" taxes etc
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    haahahahahaha. oh right. okay. sorry I didn't realise you were the kind of socialist that banned other kinds of socialist thought other than marxist socialism :lol:. wow.
    Calm down, dear. I simply asked a question.

    Considerations of class are common, in fact, fundamental to all forms of socialism. The distinction is that communists / Marxists believe in a dictatorship of the proletariat.

    3) a citizens' income of £72 a week. sounds almost communist to me...
    Which merely demonstrates how little you know. It's actually generally considered to be a libertarian policy, and in fact its most ardent advocate was Milton Friedman. Richard Nixon had even considered it.

    As for the rest of those policies, they are policies that have existed under non-socialist governments. We didn't have tuition fees under Thatcher, does that make her a socialist?
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Calm down, dear. I simply asked a question.

    Considerations of class are common, in fact, fundamental to all forms of socialism. The distinction is that communists / Marxists believe in a dictatorship of the proletariat.
    they're not so common that they are a fundamental feature of non-marxist socialism (e.g. social democracy, etc). and "class struggle" is part of the dialectical materialist narrative of typical marxism, though. the fact that you chose that language to describe something like "class" and "inequality" doesnt help you if youre trying to distinguish yourself from communists

    Which merely demonstrates how little you know. It's actually generally considered to be a libertarian policy, and in fact its most ardent advocate was Milton Friedman. Richard Nixon had even considered it.
    you what? :lol: where on earth did milton friedman advocate *that*? friedman opposed a minimum wage, so how on earth could he have possibly advocated something that is even worse? and how can you possibly call it a "libertarian" policy when it isn't based on limited government but rather expanding government?

    As for the rest of those policies, they are policies that have existed under non-socialist governments.
    what, wealth taxes? a government that has a wealth tax is *very* likely a socialist regime - how would it not be? why would a non-socialist government need that much revenue in peace time?
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    they're not so common
    My dear fellow, it sounds as though you're confused. Show me which forms of socialism do not engage considerations of class struggle. And show me which forms of non-Marxist socialism advocate a dictatorship of the proletariat.

    you what? :lol: where on earth did milton friedman advocate *that*? friedman opposed a minimum wage, so how on earth could he have possibly advocated something that is even worse?
    This is really funny on two counts. First, that you are just now realising that Milton Friedman was inconsistent.

    The second is that you seem to think you know what he stands for and yet were unaware of this basic fact.



    why would a non-socialist government need that much revenue in peace time?
    What do you mean "that much revenue"? A wealth tax doesn't raise much revenue at all, it's a hopelessly inefficient tax. In France it raised only 4 billion euros.

    Anyway, tbh I think you're probably not really on the level and debate with you would be a waste of my time.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Which merely demonstrates how little you know. It's actually generally considered to be a libertarian policy, and in fact its most ardent advocate was Milton Friedman. Richard Nixon had even considered it.
    You are right that the idea of a citizen's income is one that has been favoured by some on the right but I would disagree that Milton Friedman advocated a citizen's income similar to the one that the Greens are. The principles behind the Friedman's idea of a Negative Income Tax are similar in that it is meant to lower the costs of administration by being given universally to those in and out of work but the Greens have made a meal of the policy.

    In Friedman's system every citizen would be guaranteed a certain level of income by the state (let's say £10,000 p/a) and this would be regardless of whether they had a job or not. Then you can work while receiving this benefit to top-up your income and you could do this up to a certain level, say £20,000 p/a. Anyone who made £20,000 p/a after tax would not get the benefit as their income would be considered sufficient to not need it. The cost of administration wouldn't be that high in theory and the idea is also that it doesn't discourage getting work.

    This is pretty different to the Greens policy of giving everyone (or every citizen) in the country £72 quid a week regardless of income. This is just pretty ridiculous as you get the situation where billionaries receive their weekly £72 and you are just moving money around for no real purpose at all. They can argue this would lower costs of administration but you also get the costs of administration of giving benefits to those who don't need it.

    Just saw your point above. I don't think it's necessarily inconsistent to support a negative income tax and oppose the minimum wage. In fact with a negative income tax, the case for the minimum wage becomes a bit less credible as poverty would already be less of a problem. However I guess someone could counter that the combination of the two would lead to people with low skills, and therefore low pay in a free market, to reject working as they have a guaranteed income to fall back on. I think classical arguments against minimum wage laws do make sense but that the consequences are not so bad in terms of employment in practice for those who aren't 19 or younger. It has had an effect on the employment of those still at secondary education in my opinion but its a trade off we have to make.
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    (Original post by The_Mighty_Bush)
    This is pretty different to the Greens policy of giving everyone (or every citizen) in the country £72 quid a week regardless of income. This is just pretty ridiculous as you get the situation where billionaries receive their weekly £72 and you are just moving money around for no real purpose at all. They can argue this would lower costs of administration but you also get the costs of administration of giving benefits to those who don't need it.
    There's little difference in the sense that under both policies, in considering net benefit billionaires would not really be receiving the money. It's only that, as you point out, under the Greens policy you would have the ridiculous situation where you see completely unnecessary churn of money as it bounces from the Exchequer's bank accounts to the citizen's and back again, with all the attendant administration costs
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    My dear fellow, it sounds as though you're confused. Show me which forms of socialism do not engage considerations of class struggle. And show me which forms of non-Marxist socialism advocate a dictatorship of the proletariat.
    first of all, I'm sorry but the way you talk is ridiculous. if you talk to me calling me "dear fellow" I'm going to instantly picture you like this:
    Spoiler:
    Show

    and we wouldn't want that now would we

    and, again, social democracy doesn't, or, if it does, then it doesn't centralised upon it to a noticeable degree - wilson's government in the 60s, the one that featured a 90% top rate of tax, didn't talk about class or its relevance, and again, if it was ever mentioned, it wasn't a policy approach.

    This is really funny on two counts. First, that you are just now realising that Milton Friedman was inconsistent.

    The second is that you seem to think you know what he stands for and yet were unaware of this basic fact.

    wow, milton friedman was on crack before he became well-known...

    What do you mean "that much revenue"? A wealth tax doesn't raise much revenue at all, it's a hopelessly inefficient tax. In France it raised only 4 billion euros.

    Anyway, tbh I think you're probably not really on the level and debate with you would be a waste of my time.
    oh boy, so you've gone from the former image to this now:
    Spoiler:
    Show


    impressive.
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    and we wouldn't want that now would we
    How you picture me in your fantasies is no concern of mine.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    How you picture me in your fantasies is no concern of mine.
    uh oh, you're doing it again:
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    uh oh, you're doing it again
    Prefer to look like that than how I imagine you to be

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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Prefer to look like that than how I imagine you to be

    nice one, I look pretty friendly
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    The Greens always did seem a bit loony to me.
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    The Green Party is not a socialist party (though undoubtedly a lot of its members and supporters, including some of those right at the top, are socialists) because it doesn't explicitly advocate workers' control of the means of production. That's all there is to it. People calling the Greens socialists are just using the term for anything they consider left-wing. And considering that's all this article is doing as well, I don't take it as an insult at all.

    As for the article, mostly a massive strawman, just repeating the "any growth is always great for everyone at every time and outweighs any other cost" assumption that's part of the reason we're in a mess in the first place.
 
 
 
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