Would socialism work in modern day Britain? Watch

jmrochester
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Would socialism work in modern day Britain? In terms of economy and jobs.
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RuneFreeze
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Depends on what you mean by the word 'socialism'... nowadays the word is used to mean so many different things that it has become basically useless.

I would advocate many policys you might regard as 'socialist' and would be happy to debate them but I find it difficult to debate on behalf of socialism as a whole because of its undefined nature.
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yudothis
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You live in a pretty socialist country...

For one, just think about how much of your income goes to tax and how much to social security.

Of course production is not collectively controlled but I would have thought people use communism to describe something like that, rather than socialism. I don't know, these terms are confusing in how people use them.

What do you mean by socialism then?
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by yudothis)
Of course production is not collectively controlled
The definitions of socialism is workers controlling the means of production.
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MasterJack
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"Would socialism work in modern day Britain? In terms of economy and jobs."
The word is so relative that it has little meaning. Asking this question would be like asking if capitalism would work in modern day Britain. Britain is socialist the same way that it is capitalist: i.e. as if it was neither or both.

Countries that exist today don't operate on such simplistic binaries, the best economies on the planet operate on a mixture of both capitalist and socialist principles.

Mutant hybrids > everyone.
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mojojojo101
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Britain is by no reasonable definition, anywhere near a socialist state.

The word Socialism is not relative, it is absolute, workers MUST control the means of production in order for a state to be described as socialist, that is clearly not the case.

You could argue exactly what defines workers control of production, as far as I am concerned the State =/= the People so something comparable to Stalisnism is not actually Socialism, it is State Capitalism.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by mojojojo101)
Britain is by no reasonable definition, anywhere near a socialist state.
"socialist state" is an oxymoron imo

(you have mostly alluded to this in your post)
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mojojojo101
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
"socialist state" is an oxymoron imo

(you have mostly alluded to this in your post)
Agreed. The only Socialism worth anything is Libertarian Socialsm / Anarchism. I only used the word 'state' here for simplicities sake.
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yudothis
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
The definitions of socialism is workers controlling the means of production.
So it's purely an economic idea?

What about the political aspect, what is socialism there?
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by yudothis)
So it's purely an economic idea?

What about the political aspect, what is socialism there?
Socialists generally see the economy as being part of or even the totality of politics. A socialist party standing for election will want to seize the state and put it to use in fostering socialist goals of workers controlling the means of production. There doesn't even need to be a state or party involved. If a bunch of workers form a union or some kind of collective and try to control an aspect of industry that is a type of socialism refereed to as syndicalism. But yes, socialism is an economic/poltical ideology. It's called political economy. This might look strange compared to more pro-capitalist ideologies as they often see capitalism as being "natural" in the same way the weather is, so how can you change it?

The definition I'm using is the more traditional hard philosophical/economic definition. Like anything the word gets used to mean all kinds of things.
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3121
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You kill competition and innovation, you get over powered trade unions, you get inefficient pricing passed down from supply & production to the consumer. Capitalism creates substantial wealth but yes it leaves others behind, making some extremely rich and others poor. Socialism creates little wealth and redistributes what is deemed excess wealth making everyone equally poor. To directly answer your question, considering 80% of our economy is built on services, no. Never.

We're not an industrial country. There is no need for a socialist economy. Socialism would work best in a developing country that produces a lot. That being said the principles of socialism and concepts within can give us prosperity, boost our economy and boost our standard of living such as a better welfare state, better access and quality to education, housing and healthcare, government intervention before market crashes, regulations on banks, and also large public sector investment and possibly ownership can all be good things. But a socialist built economy, no. A capitalist economy incorporating principles of socialism can and has worked for us and would be the best way forward for moden Britain.
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3121
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(Original post by yudothis)
You live in a pretty socialist country...

For one, just think about how much of your income goes to tax and how much to social security.

Of course production is not collectively controlled but I would have thought people use communism to describe something like that, rather than socialism. I don't know, these terms are confusing in how people use them.

What do you mean by socialism then?
Karl Marx often referred to socialism as the over throw of capitalism and the transition to communism, just imagine every industry run by some sort of trade union with significant power and that's pretty much socialism.
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Fadel
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It would create a civil war, beause overthrowing the bourgeois won't be as easy.
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mojojojo101
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(Original post by zayn008)
You kill competition and innovation, you get over powered trade unions, you get inefficient pricing passed down from supply & production to the consumer. Capitalism creates substantial wealth but yes it leaves others behind, making some extremely rich and others poor. Socialism creates little wealth and redistributes what is deemed excess wealth making everyone equally poor. To directly answer your question, considering 80% of our economy is built on services, no. Never.

We're not an industrial country. There is no need for a socialist economy. Socialism would work best in a developing country that produces a lot. That being said the principles of socialism and concepts within can give us prosperity, boost our economy and boost our standard of living such as a better welfare state, better access and quality to education, housing and healthcare, government intervention before market crashes, regulations on banks, and also large public sector investment and possibly ownership can all be good things. But a socialist built economy, no. A capitalist economy incorporating principles of socialism can and has worked for us and would be the best way forward for moden Britain.
What you done here is just admit that the free market, or at least the modern capitalist conception of the free market doesn't work, if it did governmwnt wouldn't have to be constantly interfering with it. We live in a 'free market' where hundreds of industries are propped up by billions of public spending, where businesses take advantage of publicly funded utilities because it is not viable to run them comercially. What we have now is not the best of both worlds, it is the worst. Wealth is continuously redistributed from those who have little to those that have far more than they can ever use, wealth that they gathered by exploitin those same poor people.

I actually am not opposed to the free market in principal, it's just that in order for it to actually work, people need to be free and with a capitalist economic structure they never will be.
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3121
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(Original post by mojojojo101)
What you done here is just admit that the free market, or at least the modern capitalist conception of the free market doesn't work, if it did governmwnt wouldn't have to be constantly interfering with it. We live in a 'free market' where hundreds of industries are propped up by billions of public spending, where businesses take advantage of publicly funded utilities because it is not viable to run them comercially. What we have now is not the best of both worlds, it is the worst. Wealth is continuously redistributed from those who have little to those that have far more than they can ever use, wealth that they gathered by exploitin those same poor people.

I actually am not opposed to the free market in principal, it's just that in order for it to actually work, people need to be free and with a capitalist economic structure they never will be.
It's quite obvious the free market doesn't solve all our problems, those who say otherwise have been blinded by what capitalism has done for them only and not around them I'd imagine. What you've pointed out is actually true and has been happening ever more since the 2008 crisis, also might I add that pure capitalism is opposed to government intervention including taxes and public spending as a whole. I think a good way of putting it is that the concept of socialism has been reworked to benefit the wealthy rather than the poor which is anti socialist and anti capitalist, which I would say is the worst of both worlds
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yudothis
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
Socialists generally see the economy as being part of or even the totality of politics. A socialist party standing for election will want to seize the state and put it to use in fostering socialist goals of workers controlling the means of production. There doesn't even need to be a state or party involved. If a bunch of workers form a union or some kind of collective and try to control an aspect of industry that is a type of socialism refereed to as syndicalism. But yes, socialism is an economic/poltical ideology. It's called political economy. This might look strange compared to more pro-capitalist ideologies as they often see capitalism as being "natural" in the same way the weather is, so how can you change it?

The definition I'm using is the more traditional hard philosophical/economic definition. Like anything the word gets used to mean all kinds of things.

(Original post by zayn008)
Karl Marx often referred to socialism as the over throw of capitalism and the transition to communism, just imagine every industry run by some sort of trade union with significant power and that's pretty much socialism.
Well in that case the way socialist is being used these days is very different. E.g. the SPD in Germany is nothing like socialism even thought their name is social democrats.

A bit confusing tbh.
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the bear
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yudothis
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Reading what people say about socialism:

Capitalism = Good for economic output, terrible for equality

Socialism = Terrible for economic output, good for equality

ps that is why I assumed we live in a socialist society, because as I said with taxes and social security contributions, there is a lot being done to address the second point I made above (equality).
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Rakas21
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(Original post by jmrochester)
Would socialism work in modern day Britain? In terms of economy and jobs.
Command economies don't work and will never work if your primary aim is the prosperity of the masses. The only socialist country that was not a proper hell hole was Cuba and even they (fully command economy until 06) are dirt poor compared to the rest of the world.

In terms of jobs the UK economy currently creates around 400,000 full time jobs each year (plus part time jobs). Creating state non jobs may lower this further but there's only around 2 million people without a job who are actually seeking one (about 6% of the active labour force) so there's really not much room before you need more immigrants or start to see significant inflation.

In conclusion, i'm open to conscripting the long term unemployed under 30 to basic training however for the most part i believe that moves to a command economy would be more catastrophic than positive.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by yudothis)
Well in that case the way socialist is being used these days is very different. E.g. the SPD in Germany is nothing like socialism even thought their name is social democrats.

A bit confusing tbh.
Yeah it is. Social Democrat used to be a word for none revolutionary reformist socialists and Marxists to break them apart from the revolutionary socialists. The modern version of these parties have no real link to these old parties as apart from tiny factions within the parties none of them are serious about transitioning away from capitalism to socialism.
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