Socialists Question Time AKA 'Ask a Socialist' Watch

This discussion is closed.
Faland
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#5481
Report 5 years ago
#5481
(Original post by chrisawhitmore)
Good point. I guess there isn't really a precedent for a functional capitalist society with a good level of material wealth and luxury goods attempting to transition to a pure socialist model.
If you are interested in this issue then it's worth reading up on the Catalan revolution. Asides from the economic distortions of the civil war, the Catalan experience does provide a part of the truth of what you could expect from a transition to socialism-anarchism in an industrial society. The history of Cuba is also of relevance: how a poverty-stricken deeply hierarchical society ran by US-based corporations became a state whose standard of living compares very favourably to that of its neighbours. I visited Cuba a while ago and it is extraordinary how ordinary people have access to things that we would consider luxuries, things such as the opera, the ballet, sports training, an extensive post-graduate education system, and very good healthcare, but then, mainly due to trade restrictions, simultaneously have low access to ubiquitous things like salt and cars.

(Original post by Observatory)
Do you believe that, or do you hope that? I can't think of a single socialist country that either developed a semiconductor industry or produced good wine. I think it is likely that a socialist society established today would have smartphones because they are too popular to abolish, but I doubt they would exist today if the world had gone socialist in, say, 1980.
Scientific progress in a capitalist society is driven by the need for profit; most of the time, companies can find a less-expensive way to increase their rates of profit than spending extensively on research and development. Hence we have a state of affairs where pharmaceuticals corporation spend more money on marketing their drugs than on developing new ones, and, even when they do spend this money, they have it go towards tweaking existing drugs to maximise their sales (hence the antibiotics crisis). I hopefully don't need to point out that most groundreaking technological innovations of the last century have been borne out of state spending, be it on military programmes, space programmes, or the university system.
1
Republic1
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#5482
Report 5 years ago
#5482
(Original post by chrisawhitmore)
Good point. I guess there isn't really a precedent for a functional capitalist society with a good level of material wealth and luxury goods attempting to transition to a pure socialist model.
I can't think of an example of a functional capitalist society with a good level of material wealth and luxury goods for all equally. Those things are a reality for some people, but not a majority.

(Nordic countries might be close, but still unequal)
0
Observatory
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5483
Report 5 years ago
#5483
(Original post by Faland)
Scientific progress in a capitalist society is driven by the need for profit; most of the time, companies can find a less-expensive way to increase their rates of profit than spending extensively on research and development.
Progress in a socialist society, especially one not in military competition with free societies, is not driven at all. Individual officials do not suffer any personal loss from failure to develop new technologies. How can they - no one knows what new technologies it would be reasonable to expect them to develop!

But the problems are deeper than that. A new idea having been conceived, it needs capital investment to be implemented. In a market system, successful ideas can expand naturally even against contrary public opinion, by reinvesting their own profits and securing loans against their current income. In a state system, any new ideas need the support of a monopolistic bureaucracy that will naturally tend to stick to the conventional wisdom.

Hence we have a state of affairs where pharmaceuticals corporation spend more money on marketing their drugs than on developing new ones, and, even when they do spend this money, they have it go towards tweaking existing drugs to maximise their sales (hence the antibiotics crisis). I hopefully don't need to point out that most groundreaking technological innovations of the last century have been borne out of state spending, be it on military programmes, space programmes, or the university system.
And yet, every pharmaceutical treatment of note has been developed in the free market countries, and state attempts to accelerate this process (eg. the US 'War on Cancer') have broadly failed to do so.
0
Faland
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#5484
Report 5 years ago
#5484
(Original post by Observatory)
Progress in a socialist society, especially one not in military competition with free societies, is not driven at all. Individual officials do not suffer any personal loss from failure to develop new technologies. How can they - no one knows what new technologies it would be reasonable to expect them to develop!

But the problems are deeper than that. A new idea having been conceived, it needs capital investment to be implemented. In a market system, successful ideas can expand naturally even against contrary public opinion, by reinvesting their own profits and securing loans against their current income. In a state system, any new ideas need the support of a monopolistic bureaucracy that will naturally tend to stick to the conventional wisdom.

And yet, every pharmaceutical treatment of note has been developed in the free market countries, and state attempts to accelerate this process (eg. the US 'War on Cancer') have broadly failed to do so.
Well firstly, why would a socialist society visit war against a fellow free society? I can't see how that'd happen. If by a 'free society' you mean the kind of false, ideological freedom propagated within the oligarchies of modern capitalism, with their choiceless electoral systems, then war could occur. Though I think it'd be the empires of the West who'd likely initiate it, just as they have against democratic movements in countless peripheral countries when they get in the way of exploitation.

And I think you might be confused about how new technologies are developed - officials should have nothing to do with it. All that is necessary is for the scientists and technicians to be given the resources they need to pursue the experiments they want; now, under capitalism, these resources are only provided with the condition that doing so eventually results in more profit for the corporations. In a more ideal society, the resources would be provided at the behest of an educated public, through democracy, so as to ensure that the projects necessary for the welfare of future societies are undertaken.

The 'war on Cancer' is not something I know much about; what I do know, however, is that state-sponsored research has been far more successful in recent years than anything in the private sector. You just need to look at clinics like the Manchester Christie to see how innovative treatment methods can be explored to great reward without having anything to do with capital. It is because of places like The Christie that the cancer deathrate has been in a perpetual downwards slide.
0
Observatory
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5485
Report 5 years ago
#5485
(Original post by Faland)
Well firstly, why would a socialist society visit war against a fellow free society? I can't see how that'd happen. If by a 'free society' you mean the kind of false, ideological freedom propagated within the oligarchies of modern capitalism, with their choiceless electoral systems, then war could occur. Though I think it'd be the empires of the West who'd likely initiate it, just as they have against democratic movements in countless peripheral countries when they get in the way of exploitation.
A society in which all property is controlled by the state is not free by definition, since people are entirely dependent for survival and for every action they would like to take on the availability of property.

And I think you might be confused about how new technologies are developed - officials should have nothing to do with it. All that is necessary is for the scientists and technicians to be given the resources they need to pursue the experiments they want; now, under capitalism, these resources are only provided with the condition that doing so eventually results in more profit for the corporations. In a more ideal society, the resources would be provided at the behest of an educated public, through democracy, so as to ensure that the projects necessary for the welfare of future societies are undertaken.
Unless you think there should be a referendum on every research proposal (perhaps line-item referenda on all public spending?) people will elect someone who will appoint an official who will decide how money is spent. The indifference of this official to what makes money is not an advantage: rather, it removes any mechanism for sorting useful inventions from useless ones.

One interesting example of this is titanium in the USSR. As everyone knows, iron was important early in the industrial revolution and steel was important later on. The key difference is that iron is stronger than wood per weight and steel is stronger than iron per weight. The USSR decided that titanium, which is stronger per weight than steel, is therefore the natural progression and established a huge titanium industry. In the West, which had a price mechanism, titanium has some niche uses in air and space construction, but in the USSR it was applied much more widely. The Americans were shocked to find out that the Soviets had titanium-hulled submarines that could dive much deeper than any of theirs, for instance.

What they didn't realise, because they did not have a price mechanism, was that titanium consumed much more resources to produce than steel but was only a little better. In most circumstances titanium was not worth it as opposed to using steel. Those titanium hulled submarines were better than steel hulled submarines, but steel hulled submarines were so much cheaper that many more could be built, and the titanium hulls weren't that much better. Eventually the Soviets realised, by looking at what was happening in the West, that they had overestimated the usefulness of titanium. If the whole world had been socialist, however, they might not. The simple heuristic of their educated engineer-bureaucrats had failed.

Actually, having line item referenda on every spending proposal wouldn't have helped here either, just wasted more of everybody's time.

Now with titanium they incorrectly extrapolated a trend, but socialism is even worse at exploiting entirely new developments, because there's no model that the bureaucrats/voters can apply to see where they are going to come from. Another military example is stealth technology, which was actually invented by Soviet scientists. But they didn't understand what they had done. The bureaucracy was set up with a mindset from WWII and following Western developments: planes should be faster, fly higher, and have bigger radars. Stealth technology reversed the trend and introduced a new factor. So, stealth technology went to the US.

Smart phones fall into this second category. A state monopoly research institution would almost certainly eventually develop the ability to make large networks of radio transceivers. It's not very complicated, after all; the USSR's problem was that quality control tended to be too poor to actually manufacture them. But would the state monopoly telecommunications company decide to invest in a huge network of base stations when it is set up to provide cable communications, and when its officials receive no reward for developing a new service (but would certainly be punished severely for wasting society's money if it failed)? I doubt that this world would have smart phones in 2014.

The 'war on Cancer' is not something I know much about; what I do know, however, is that state-sponsored research has been far more successful in recent years than anything in the private sector. You just need to look at clinics like the Manchester Christie to see how innovative treatment methods can be explored to great reward without having anything to do with capital. It is because of places like The Christie that the cancer deathrate has been in a perpetual downwards slide.
What breakthrough treatments have there been in cancer in the past 50 years? There have been very few, despite the US government's vast spending (and similar, though more morally obtained, private charity money in the UK and elsewhere). Tamoxifen is actually one, and it was first used at The Christie. But The Christie didn't discover or develop it. It was discovered by ICI, a private chemical company.
0
Faland
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#5486
Report 5 years ago
#5486
(Original post by Observatory)
A society in which all property is controlled by the state is not free by definition, since people are entirely dependent for survival and for every action they would like to take on the availability of property.
Making arguments reliant on straw men is a bad habit to have. If you were familiar with the subject you so hate, you'd know that socialism doesn't actually advocate total control over all property by the state. But, nonetheless, your argument is interesting: you know that the central complaint of the socialist against capitalism is the way the majority of people, under capitalism, "are entirely dependent for their survival and for every action they would like to take on the availability of property". Under capitalism, the means needed to produce the necessaries and luxories of life are controlled by the need of capital to reap profit, all people are subject to this system of production.

Going back to the issue of property in Marxist theory, there are some important technical distinctions to make. 'Private property' is the private ownership of any economic enterprise based on socialised production and wage labour - this is the only type of 'property' socialists object to. We propose to remove the parasitic element from this arrangement: namely, the privatisation of profit. We instead maintain that economic enterprises are perfectly capable of operating when the profit stays with the people who work to earn it.

Unless you think there should be a referendum on every research proposal (perhaps line-item referenda on all public spending?) people will elect someone who will appoint an official who will decide how money is spent. The indifference of this official to what makes money is not an advantage: rather, it removes any mechanism for sorting useful inventions from useless ones.
Actually you're not far off. The kind of choiceless electoralism of the UK certainly wouldn't suffice for a socialist economy based on democratic control of the means of production. The extent of our democracy is visiting a ballot box and ratifying policies that the vast majority of us have no hand in creating. What we need is a model with maximum participation, taking full advantage of the Internet. "When the Parliament becomes a bourgeois theatre, all the bourgeois theatres should become parliaments."

One interesting example of this is titanium in the USSR. As everyone knows, iron was important early in the industrial revolution and steel was important later on. The key difference is that iron is stronger than wood per weight and steel is stronger than iron per weight. The USSR decided that titanium, which is stronger per weight than steel, is therefore the natural progression and established a huge titanium industry. In the West, which had a price mechanism, titanium has some niche uses in air and space construction, but in the USSR it was applied much more widely. The Americans were shocked to find out that the Soviets had titanium-hulled submarines that could dive much deeper than any of theirs, for instance.

What they didn't realise, because they did not have a price mechanism, was that titanium consumed much more resources to produce than steel but was only a little better. In most circumstances titanium was not worth it as opposed to using steel. Those titanium hulled submarines were better than steel hulled submarines, but steel hulled submarines were so much cheaper that many more could be built, and the titanium hulls weren't that much better. Eventually the Soviets realised, by looking at what was happening in the West, that they had overestimated the usefulness of titanium. If the whole world had been socialist, however, they might not. The simple heuristic of their educated engineer-bureaucrats had failed.

Actually, having line item referenda on every spending proposal wouldn't have helped here either, just wasted more of everybody's time.

Now with titanium they incorrectly extrapolated a trend, but socialism is even worse at exploiting entirely new developments, because there's no model that the bureaucrats/voters can apply to see where they are going to come from. Another military example is stealth technology, which was actually invented by Soviet scientists. But they didn't understand what they had done. The bureaucracy was set up with a mindset from WWII and following Western developments: planes should be faster, fly higher, and have bigger radars. Stealth technology reversed the trend and introduced a new factor. So, stealth technology went to the US.

Smart phones fall into this second category. A state monopoly research institution would almost certainly eventually develop the ability to make large networks of radio transceivers. It's not very complicated, after all; the USSR's problem was that quality control tended to be too poor to actually manufacture them. But would the state monopoly telecommunications company decide to invest in a huge network of base stations when it is set up to provide cable communications, and when its officials receive no reward for developing a new service (but would certainly be punished severely for wasting society's money if it failed)? I doubt that this world would have smart phones in 2014.
This is a great argument against the kind of state capitalism practiced by the Soviet Union, which, I assure you, was not socialist. It's internal structure more closely resembled a corporate hierarchy than it did the socialist ideal.

What breakthrough treatments have there been in cancer in the past 50 years? There have been very few, despite the US government's vast spending (and similar, though more morally obtained, private charity money in the UK and elsewhere). Tamoxifen is actually one, and it was first used at The Christie. But The Christie didn't discover or develop it. It was discovered by ICI, a private chemical company.
So scientists funded by the state are inferior to scientists funded by private corporations because neither set of scientists have found a definitive cure for the many disparate forms of cancer?
0
Monkey.Man
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5487
Report 5 years ago
#5487
uh yeah I've got a question or two up my sleeve:

1) do you think you can decide better for other people than they can themselves in terms of their economic decisions?

2) do you think should have that moral right? to treat people like fools when they can't live their economic lives without a government telling them what to do and to take from one to give to the other?

3) do you have a higher claim on other people's wealth/property than them themselves? if it's a tax of over 50% then it sure looks like it. why should you claim such a right for yourself in the name of democracy when this principle of doing good with other people's money can extend to justify potentially any transgression of individual rights so long as it is voted on by a mob majority?

4) what do you think provides a more rational control of the means of production economically: private or public ownership; is a government bureaucrat more motivated to controlling a company than an economic stakeholder, namely the owner? and why?

5) in a society where it is more equitable in terms of time and happiness to be middle class and not a property owner and therefore not highly taxed in comparison to someone who is wealthy (or would be wealthy) who is worked like a dog and then taxed most of their money and has the responsibility to create the institutions that create the jobs, how do you account for that lack of employment if the wealth isn't coming into the country through competition (e.g. if you pay people too much you won't be able to sell things cheap enough locally or internationally for people to want to buy it and therefore no profit will come in), due to the fact that less and less people are going to find reason to work harder and become wealthy, in order to create the institutions that will create those jobs? we can create public jobs by hiring people to dig with spoons instead of machines, but will that be sustainable when we're paying people higher than they should be earning in proportion to their input and therefore losing money to help create those employment positions?

6) if you believe in authoritarianism for economics,with that principle of controlling people for a collective good in mind, does that mean you support social authoritarianism? if not, why not and with what consistent principle in mind? it could be easily said that banning hard drugs, sex, cigarettes or alcohol will stop the vulnerable in society from getting addicted or unhealthy for the good of the society as a whole, on what grounds is this incompatible with the principle of taxing everybody for the sake of the poor?

7) why do you think eastern europe is so poor today in comparison to western europe when they started out relatively equal economically pre-communism in the region?

8) would you rather the poor were poorer provided the rich were less rich? if you tax people enough to deter the cause of employment, how can you create the wealth to provide for those in the majority class through such institutions?

9) if you can't trust people to make their economic decisions, for better or worse, how can you trust them with democracy which can be used to make even worse decisions on their own basis applied to the entire community? doesn't that just put those who are unable to make their own decisions at the helm of the government? how is that successful when a free society (free market) isn't? if a government is needed to regulate the society, what is going to regulate the government? what is going to regulate the regulator? society? how does that make sense when society is flawed enough to need a regulator? how does this make sense? if the government is run by humans, and society is human and selects the government, then on what grounds does this stand to logic?

10) if freedom causes exploitation in your mind, does that mean you think that "freedom is slavery" as orwell put it in that particular famous book (which obviously was a propaganda statement from the government in the story)?
0
Faland
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#5488
Report 5 years ago
#5488
(Original post by Monkey.Man)
QFA
This is a debating thread for respectfully asking socialists about socialism and receiving respectful answers. From reading your questions, it would seem that you want us to justify and defend ideas and beliefs that none of us hold. Is it possible you could be holding some false preconceptions about socialism?
0
Monkey.Man
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5489
Report 5 years ago
#5489
(Original post by Faland)
This is a debating thread for respectfully asking socialists about socialism and receiving respectful answers. From reading your questions, it would seem that you want us to justify and defend ideas and beliefs that none of us hold. Is it possible you could be holding some false preconceptions about socialism?
no I'm not, I'm asking serious questions in a serious manner. don't assume the worst of me just because I'm not a socialist. and if I seem like I hold false beliefs about socialism, then enlighten me - or let the socialists do it, in light of the questions I posed
1
Faland
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#5490
Report 5 years ago
#5490
(Original post by Monkey.Man)
no I'm not, I'm asking serious questions in a serious manner. don't assume the worst of me just because I'm not a socialist. and if I seem like I hold false beliefs about socialism, then enlighten me - or let the socialists do it, in light of the questions I posed
Okay, so can you explain how your questions relate to socialism (read: the theory that socialised production should be combined with social ownership of the productive means)?
0
Monkey.Man
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5491
Report 5 years ago
#5491
(Original post by Faland)
Okay, so can you explain how your questions relate to socialism (read: the theory that socialised production should be combined with social ownership of the productive means)?
you mean to tell me that every socialist here is an anarcho-collectivist? if you're trying to distinguish social ownership with state ownership and argue that this is what those that I am pitching these questions to believe, then that seems to be the case
0
Republic1
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#5492
Report 5 years ago
#5492
(Original post by Monkey.Man)
you mean to tell me that every socialist here is an anarcho-collectivist? if you're trying to distinguish social ownership with state ownership and argue that this is what those that I am pitching these questions to believe, then that seems to be the case
Well I for one am of the libertarian/anarcho branch. I cannot speak for the rest of the party, because unlike what you seem to suggest, the party is not an authoritarian body with a single doctrine.
0
Monkey.Man
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5493
Report 5 years ago
#5493
(Original post by Republic1)
Well I for one am of the libertarian/anarcho branch. I cannot speak for the rest of the party, because unlike what you seem to suggest, the party is not an authoritarian body with a single doctrine.
okay but at least I'm guessing that most socialists here will be of the conventional branch of statist collectivism. I probably have even more questions for an anarcho-collectivist; in a anarchy, do you think that people will spontaneously group together for protection and subsistence? that's a fair enough position, but does it involve a dictatorship of the majority through direct action to substitute the government? e.g. those whom don't want to live as a group will be forced to not own private property? if there was an anarchy, in my opinion, people should have all the right to live and work as a collective if they want, the thing I oppose is forcing that onto people who are independent from groups
0
Republic1
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#5494
Report 5 years ago
#5494
(Original post by Monkey.Man)
okay but at least I'm guessing that most socialists here will be of the conventional branch of statist collectivism. I probably have even more questions for an anarcho-collectivist; in a anarchy, do you think that people will spontaneously group together for protection and subsistence? that's a fair enough position, but does it involve a dictatorship of the majority through direct action to substitute the government? e.g. those whom don't want to live as a group will be forced to not own private property? if there was an anarchy, in my opinion, people should have all the right to live and work as a collective if they want, the thing I oppose is forcing that onto people who are independent from groups
Well I'm more libertarian, not an anarchist so I believe in a free association of people instead of government. A very limited state, with social ownership of production. If people want to live alone in the wilderness then by all means go ahead, but it is beneficial to group together and work in a collective. I'm sure if Joe Bloggs living alone as a nomad saw a collection of people, with a factory etc, working together, he would like to join them.
0
Observatory
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5495
Report 5 years ago
#5495
(Original post by Faland)
Making arguments reliant on straw men is a bad habit to have. If you were familiar with the subject you so hate, you'd know that socialism doesn't actually advocate total control over all property by the state.
This is how the Oxford English dictionary defines socialism:

"a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."

There is, I admit, some wiggle room in whether "the community as a whole" constitutes a state, but it's difficult to imagine how a body that owns all property would not also have the power to make and enforce law.

But, nonetheless, your argument is interesting: you know that the central complaint of the socialist against capitalism is the way the majority of people, under capitalism, "are entirely dependent for their survival and for every action they would like to take on the availability of property". Under capitalism, the means needed to produce the necessaries and luxories of life are controlled by the need of capital to reap profit, all people are subject to this system of production.
People are entirely dependent for their survival and for every action they would like to take on the availability of property because of mechanical limitations inherent to the natural world. Political philosophy cannot change this; it rather concerns the distribution of ownership of that property.

Going back to the issue of property in Marxist theory, there are some important technical distinctions to make. 'Private property' is the private ownership of any economic enterprise based on socialised production and wage labour - this is the only type of 'property' socialists object to. We propose to remove the parasitic element from this arrangement: namely, the privatisation of profit. We instead maintain that economic enterprises are perfectly capable of operating when the profit stays with the people who work to earn it.
If I have £100 left at the end of the month from my wages, and I use this money to buy a tool which I rent to my friend, am I allowed to keep the tool and the rent payments? If you answer yes, then you have conceded all private property rights (imagine a large number of people investing their money in common to build a factory...); if you answer no, then you are denying me ownership of profit that I have (by both of our definitions) earned.

Actually you're not far off. The kind of choiceless electoralism of the UK certainly wouldn't suffice for a socialist economy based on democratic control of the means of production. The extent of our democracy is visiting a ballot box and ratifying policies that the vast majority of us have no hand in creating. What we need is a model with maximum participation, taking full advantage of the Internet. "When the Parliament becomes a bourgeois theatre, all the bourgeois theatres should become parliaments."
This is all a bit woo-woo. First, how exactly would your preferred system avoid any of the problems I described? Second, do you believe that socialism was impossible (or at least undesirable) before the creation of the internet?

This is a great argument against the kind of state capitalism practiced by the Soviet Union, which, I assure you, was not socialist. It's internal structure more closely resembled a corporate hierarchy than it did the socialist ideal.
The socialist ideal is society turned into a corporate hierarchy that has an absolute monopoly. This is quite clear if you read the original texts: they saw that factories centralised cottage industries, and simply extrapolated this trend to infinity. In many ways the socialists did for political philosophy what Gosplan did for metallurgy.

Of course you may have different ideas than Karl Marx and so forth, but while you're extremely vague on what precisely they might be, it sounds a lot like you don't propose to change the basic principles of the organisation, only fiddle with the management structure. As I pointed out this doesn't matter: the failure of the USSR (and state industries in democracies for that matter) was not because those in charge were necessarily wicked people, but that they lacked the information provided by the market to direct their decisions. The market is a sort of evolutionary system: individual decisions may be made for bad reasons or entirely at random, but the good decisions survive and grow. Under socialism, a single set of decisions is imposed by fiat and the chances that they happen to be the best ones (or even good ones) in the absence of other information are pretty low.

So scientists funded by the state are inferior to scientists funded by private corporations because neither set of scientists have found a definitive cure for the many disparate forms of cancer?
There's nothing wrong with the scientists; there's something wrong with the funding mechanism. A private company that threw $30bn at cancer research to finda couple of marginally effective and extremely expensive treatments would go bankrupt and more practical people would be put in charge of that money. Yet, I would guess if you held a referendum on cancelling war on cancer money the war on cancer people would win it, and most of those voting would never have any idea or even try to investigate the relative return.
0
Melancholy
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5496
Report 5 years ago
#5496
(Original post by Observatory)
This is how the Oxford English dictionary defines socialism:

"a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."

There is, I admit, some wiggle room in whether "the community as a whole" constitutes a state, but it's difficult to imagine how a body that owns all property would not also have the power to make and enforce law.
There's also room for wiggling in terms such as "ownership", and over whether the OED is even a more authoritative source for definitions than any other source. Depending on your definition of "ownership", it's perfectly conceivable that a community "owns" all the land/property, but a separate entity (courts, state, constitution, government, executive, etc.) place restrictions on what you can do with the land/property. We tend to think that people have "ownership" of over their house or income or land, but in reality that ownership amounts to a set of rights and entitlements which are still subject to restrictions. It's intelligible, for instance, to talk about ownership over resources despite being taxed on them; or ownership over items despite having restrictions put on how we use them. Pure ownership (in the Libertarian sense of being able to control something without restrictions [other than those protecting other people's rights/preventing harm]) has never existed. It is far more precise to talk about entitlements rather than "ownership", which is a really ambiguous and empty word (which can become a loaded word in the hands of political adversaries). And different socialists will believe in different systems of entitlement.
1
Keckers
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#5497
Report 5 years ago
#5497
In Britain we see regular uproar concerning social welfare. Which manages to cost the government a whopping 0.7% of their income. I know, a whole 0.7% the filthy scroungers!!!!

What would the socialists do to level the playing field between state handouts for the unemployed and state welfare for multinational corporations who never pay tax, get bailed out for being bad at business, receive government secured loans, receive favourable rulings from the competition commission to increase barriers to market entry, are granted contracts via PFI's for services that nobody really wants and are funded for 'public infrastructure' work contracts for silly things like super duper high speed rail networks that will concentrate more of the countries wealth in the south east?

I won't even mention guiding monetary policy into a state where personal savings are devalued to pay for all this nonsense.
1
AidenLloydJepsen
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5498
Report 4 years ago
#5498
What's the difference between the Socialist Party and Labour?
0
nixonsjellybeans
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#5499
Report 4 years ago
#5499
(Original post by jake4198)
What's the difference between the Socialist Party and Labour?
In real life or here in TSR?

Here in TSR not that much is different except we primarily identify as socialists rather than social democrats and vice versa. Of course we do have some social democrats though. We believe in nationalisation of assests vital to the state and the removal of tuition fees alongside other issues.
0
Technicus
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5500
Report 4 years ago
#5500
Iraq war? or more generally: what is your policy on international intervention?
0
X
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Brexit: Given the chance now, would you vote leave or remain?

Remain (1381)
79.5%
Leave (356)
20.5%

Watched Threads

View All