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Grape190190
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(Original post by DanGrover)
The UK isn't a state "founded in the name of socialism" - he injected a small ammount of socialism into what remains a largely free market country.
Erm, which states were 'founded in the name of socialism'? I certainly can't think of any: they all either had elections of revolutions. Socialism is a system by which a state operates, not the state itself.

That said, I don't think we can't deny that the power of the state has gotten greater and greater in the last 10 years, and in that same time our civil liberties have been eroded. I'm certainly not blaming this on socialism, but that wasn't really the point I was making in the first place.
lolwut? Yes, all the privatisation and devolution has massively increased the power of the state.


No it doesn't. It comes from any political system which requires that people be subserviant to the state. Fascism is one of these. I also believe socialism is, albeit to a significantly smaller degree than both Fascism and Communism. It's tough for a state to redistribute wealth and hold collective ownership of property without the people being subserviant to it. This, alone, certainly doesn't mean that there are any abuses of rights within a country.
That's complete piffle. Socialism is mere ideology unless you make it more specific. Equating autocratic socialism with generic socialism is absurd. You might as well equate third way economic centrism with fascism, because hey, Hitler was fairly middle of the road on the economy but boy was he fascist. You got that, kids? Gordon Brown's a neo-Nazi!

The fact is that under democratic socialism people are subserviant to nothing. You can simply vote us out.

I beg your pardon? The republicans "supporting" the torture of people in Gitmo is no more in the name of Capitalism or Liberalism than Stalins treatment of the people in the Gulags was in the name of Socialism (and I'm not suggesting it was).
I wasn't suggesting that at all! On the contrary, I was merely pointing out that in contemporary western spheres the authoritarian parties are also the ones that lean towards laissez faire government. The democratic socialists tend to be pretty liberal about everything except the economy. Note, for example, how the hard left of the Labour party bitterly opposes the erosion of civil liberties.

Do they? Really?
Where have you been? They developed it at the last Conference and have been plugging it for the last year. On Panorama last night, Dave-C pathetically attempted to defend it, and when challenged about how it'll impact poor single-parents, mumbled something like, "Well, I think it's right, and people may disagree."

Today at Conference - though I didn't see it - Gove apparently announced that a Tory government was going to start providing marriage counselling. Great.

I'm not saying "socialism = tyranny". I'm asking you if you think it's a coincidence that many of the countries that are formed in the name of Socialism (Cuba, China, USSR etc)turn into despotic regimes, even though, as I have already stated, I appreciate this has nothing to do with the aims of socialism. I could have asked "Do you think that political systems that require a powerful central state have a greater chance of turning despotic, due to the nature of humans and power?" but since this isn't the Ask a Fascist or Ask a Communist thread, I didn't.
Well, the ones in parentheses were theoretically communist states, but nevermind.

I think that countries that adopted autocratic, one-party socialism were destined to be autocracies. Stunning analysis, that. That, of course, is not what we're proposing.
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SuperhansFavouriteAlsatian
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(Original post by Grape190190)
Erm, which states were 'founded in the name of socialism'? I certainly can't think of any: they all either had elections of revolutions. Socialism is a system by which a state operates, not the state itself.
In what way is a state born out of a revolution indending to instill a socialist government not "founded in the name of socialism"?

lolwut? Yes, all the privatisation and devolution has massively increased the power of the state.
Devolution doesn't decrease the power of the state, it merely dilutes the number of people who hold that power. And can you tell me what's been privatised in the last 10 years? Also, the terrorism act? Stop and Search? The smoking ban? (The latter, which you may or may not agree with, is a relatively unprecendented act of making illegal something in a private place of business something that is not illegal in the privacy of ones home. Unopposed as it was, it sets a precedence for further action.)

That's complete piffle. Socialism is mere ideology unless you make it more specific. Equating autocratic socialism with generic socialism is absurd. You might as well equate third way economic centrism with fascism, because hey, Hitler was fairly middle of the road on the economy but boy was he fascist. You got that, kids? Gordon Brown's a neo-Nazi!

The fact is that under democratic socialism people are subserviant to nothing. You can simply vote us out.
What on earth are you talking about? Are you just reading what you want to read here? Given the nature of the question, the fact I've cited Ussr, Cuba and China as examples supporting my case, why would you really think I'm talking about democratic socialism? Ok, so it's in HoC, but there's no where else to put it. My point is there I think it's difficult for socialism (in the traditional sense) to exist without eventually morphing into autocratic socialism. That's all my point's ever been, not that they are instrinsically the same thing. I've actually gone out of my way a few times to clarify this.

I wasn't suggesting that at all! On the contrary, I was merely pointing out that in contemporary western spheres the authoritarian parties are also the ones that lean towards laissez faire government. The democratic socialists tend to be pretty liberal about everything except the economy. Note, for example, how the hard left of the Labour party bitterly opposes the erosion of civil liberties.
Not enough to risk their careers over, mind? Again, I'm quite clearly not talking about your Labours and your Democratic parties. Though that's not really relevant to this debate, I suppose. I think that's exactly what you were suggesting - unless you can suggest a reason why and/or considerable numbers of examples of laisez-faire governments causing civil rights abuses, I can't see that post of yours that I quoted to be anything other than a vague "look, a capitalist doing something naughty, isn't that bad?" post. My theory is based on the fact that socialist governments require more control over their people than laisez-faire ones, and this leads to a great capacity and potential to abuse them. Couple this with the fact that governments are run by entirely fallable humans, and you have a great potential for socialism to develop into an autocratic regime - more so than "small-government" ideologies, where the government require less control over their people. Certainly, it's still possible, but significantly less likely. Generally, looking across the world at countries that label themselves as socialist vs countries that label themselves as economically free, there's an undeniable correlation in civil rights violations and freedom of existance, and this is my offering for the cause of that.

Where have you been? They developed it at the last Conference and have been plugging it for the last year. On Panorama last night, Dave-C pathetically attempted to defend it, and when challenged about how it'll impact poor single-parents, mumbled something like, "Well, I think it's right, and people may disagree."

Today at Conference - though I didn't see it - Gove apparently announced that a Tory government was going to start providing marriage counselling. Great.
But how are they forcing anyone to get married? They aren't. I'm against these, anyway - as most libertarians would suggest, marriage has nothing to do with the state. It's an entirely religious affair, and even civil partnerships should have nothing to do with the state. Rewarding or otherwise couples or people for living together is far beyond the remit for what most Libers and free-marketeers would suggest the government do, so you won't find any support for him from this corner.

Well, the ones in parentheses were theoretically communist states, but nevermind.
The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics were theoretically communist? None of them attempted complete common ownership of all property, even in their grandest of promises; I'd certainly suggest they were always indended to be more close to socialism than communism.

I think that countries that adopted autocratic, one-party socialism were destined to be autocracies. Stunning analysis, that. That, of course, is not what we're proposing.
I know that, and I keep going out of my way to say that I know that. All i'm suggesting is that the nature of socialism, or any political system that requires having a powerful central state, is more likely to lead to abusing it populus as a result of an increase ability and potential to do so.
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Grape190190
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(Original post by DanGrover)
In what way is a state born out of a revolution indending to instill a socialist government not "founded in the name of socialism"?
Revolutions bring about changes in regimes; they don't "found" states, unless they are revolutions of liberation.

Devolution doesn't decrease the power of the state, it merely dilutes the number of people who hold that power.
Later in your post, you said: I could have asked "Do you think that political systems that require a powerful central state have a greater chance of turning despotic, due to the nature of humans and power?"

So, I sorta assumed you were talking about large, centralised bodies of power. After all, it seems kinda nonsensical to talk about a correlation between devolved socialist ideology and tyranny. Tell me, were there many mayoral elections in the Soviet Union? Do they elect local councils in the PROC? Good ol' Cuba has lots of elected assemblies, doesn't it?

And can you tell me what's been privatised in the last 10 years?
Try our schools and hospitals, under PFIs? The last twenty years has seen economic power stripped away from our government. In case it hasn't become apparent, there's not a lot of finnacial regulation either.

Also, the terrorism act? Stop and Search? The smoking ban? (The latter, which you may or may not agree with, is a relatively unprecendented act of making illegal something in a private place of business something that is not illegal in the privacy of ones home. Unopposed as it was, it sets a precedence for further action.)
Yes, but those involve the erosion of civil liberties, which I stipulated to. Your argument was that the erosion of civil liberties has come alongside the expansion state control.

What on earth are you talking about? Are you just reading what you want to read here? Given the nature of the question, the fact I've cited Ussr, Cuba and China as examples supporting my case, why would you really think I'm talking about democratic socialism? Ok, so it's in HoC, but there's no where else to put it. My point is there I think it's difficult for socialism (in the traditional sense) to exist without eventually morphing into autocratic socialism. That's all my point's ever been, not that they are instrinsically the same thing. I've actually gone out of my way a few times to clarify this.
My point is that traditional, revolutionary socialism tends to be autocratic because it was never designed to be anything other than autocratic. It's like asking, "Why does free-market fascism tend to be despotic?" Er, because it's fascism and democracy was never on the table.


Not enough to risk their careers over, mind? Again, I'm quite clearly not talking about your Labours and your Democratic parties. Though that's not really relevant to this debate, I suppose. I think that's exactly what you were suggesting - unless you can suggest a reason why and/or considerable numbers of examples of laisez-faire governments causing civil rights abuses, I can't see that post of yours that I quoted to be anything other than a vague "look, a capitalist doing something naughty, isn't that bad?" post. My theory is based on the fact that socialist governments require more control over their people than laisez-faire ones, and this leads to a great capacity and potential to abuse them. Couple this with the fact that governments are run by entirely fallable humans, and you have a great potential for socialism to develop into an autocratic regime - more so than "small-government" ideologies, where the government require less control over their people. Certainly, it's still possible, but significantly less likely. Generally, looking across the world at countries that label themselves as socialist vs countries that label themselves as economically free, there's an undeniable correlation in civil rights violations and freedom of existance, and this is my offering for the cause of that.
But that's not really a theory supported by the evidence, is it, since your examples tend to be ones that set out to be, er, abusive. Yes, in terms of political extremes, there's some truth in what you say: dogmatic libertarianism, or even anarchism, has little scope for tyranny, because there's no one to carry out the abuse; and dogmatic communism might lean towards depostism, because it doesn't work if people are allowed to do what they want. However, to the extent that our debate excludes absolutism, I don't see how there's a logical correlation between economic socialism and despotic states.



But how are they forcing anyone to get married? They aren't. I'm against these, anyway - as most libertarians would suggest, marriage has nothing to do with the state. It's an entirely religious affair, and even civil partnerships should have nothing to do with the state. Rewarding or otherwise couples or people for living together is far beyond the remit for what most Libers and free-marketeers would suggest the government do, so you won't find any support for him from this corner.
It's the use of economic sanctions to alter someone's social behaviour. As a libertarian, you should surely recognise that you can restrict freedom through monetary means.

The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics were theoretically communist? None of them attempted complete common ownership of all property, even in their grandest of promises; I'd certainly suggest they were always indended to be more close to socialism than communism.
Well, if I recall correctly, the Bolsheviks fought against the socialists - amongst others, obviously - in the Russian revolution. And Lenin's inital (failed) economic policies were known commonly as, "war communism", so go figure.

I know that, and I keep going out of my way to say that I know that. All i'm suggesting is that the nature of socialism, or any political system that requires having a powerful central state, is more likely to lead to abusing it populus as a result of an increase ability and potential to do so.
As above.
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Gremlins
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How left-wing is the Socialist party supposed to be? Scottish Socialist level? Scandinavian-style social democracy? Cruddas-y people?
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oriel historian
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(Original post by Gremlins)
How left-wing is the Socialist party supposed to be? Scottish Socialist level? Scandinavian-style social democracy? Cruddas-y people?
We're all different. Some - like me - are Scottish Socialist level, Alasdair's fairly left wing too, others (such as Grape and UKE) are more pragmatic in their views, though UKE is probably the most pragmatic of all of us. However, I think we're pretty much all members of the Labour Party in RL.
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UniOfLife
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Hey OH, nice to see you back
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oriel historian
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(Original post by UniOfLife)
Hey OH, nice to see you back
I'm back in a need to keep in touch with someone whilst I'm living alone at home capacity! But hello!
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Grape190190
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(Original post by oriel historian)
We're all different. Some - like me - are Scottish Socialist level, Alasdair's fairly left wing too, others (such as Grape and UKE) are more pragmatic in their views, though UKE is probably the most pragmatic of all of us. However, I think we're pretty much all members of the Labour Party in RL.
That kind of depends on the issue, doesn't it? On some economic stuff, I'd agree that I'm a little to the right of you. But I reckon I'm more militantly liberal than you: secularisation, internationalism, civil liberties, etc.
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oriel historian
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(Original post by Grape190190)
That kind of depends on the issue, doesn't it? On some economic stuff, I'd agree that I'm a little to the right of you. But I reckon I'm more militantly liberal than you: secularisation, internationalism, civil liberties, etc.
Possibly! I am -9.83 on political compass for social left and - 10 for economic left so that certainly does give you some lee-way there. I'm pretty left wing on all of those categories, I just have a desire for social change here in Britain too. But we've not ever really discussed civil liberty so I'm not sure what you're actually getting at there. I desire to see the imposition of the French laicité here in Britain which would put in place a secular state, so again ... am a bit confused. I take it this refers to your assemblies bill. Well, in that debate I was merely pointing to the logic of having an assembly and that religion is merely a bit part of it. I went to a secular school and my head was a socialist with little love of religion. I suppose experiences influenced my thinking as I am fairly sure it did yours (given what you said).
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UniOfLife
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You mention civil liberties so I would like to ask a question on that point.

Someone mentioned earlier, I think, banning private health care and forcing everyone to use the NHS. How does this square with personal freedom? Doesn't it rather contradict individual rights to forcibly remove a portion of a person's own money to be spent against their will on health care?
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Alasdair
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(Original post by UniOfLife)
You mention civil liberties so I would like to ask a question on that point.

Someone mentioned earlier, I think, banning private health care and forcing everyone to use the NHS. How does this square with personal freedom? Doesn't it rather contradict individual rights to forcibly remove a portion of a person's own money to be spent against their will on health care?
Not really. I don't take the premise that removing the 'right' to do something that harms society is an infringement of civil liberties per se. You recently voted for a bill that forces people to take a special test to drive a 4-wheel drive - was that an infringement of civil liberties?
UniOfLife
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(Original post by Alasdair)
Not really. I don't take the premise that removing the 'right' to do something that harms society is an infringement of civil liberties per se. You recently voted for a bill that forces people to take a special test to drive a 4-wheel drive - was that an infringement of civil liberties?
Yes in the sense that it reduced their freedom to do whatever they wanted but a necessary one because their actions would otherwise put others in direct risk. But the big difference is that no one was forced to spend money on something they may not want. It would be unacceptable to force all people to take a driving test, for example. But shutting down private health care is the State saying that every person must value health care the same amount - the amount decided by the State. This surely is not true though as some may value health care more or less than others.
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oriel historian
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(Original post by UniOfLife)
You mention civil liberties so I would like to ask a question on that point.

Someone mentioned earlier, I think, banning private health care and forcing everyone to use the NHS. How does this square with personal freedom? Doesn't it rather contradict individual rights to forcibly remove a portion of a person's own money to be spent against their will on health care?
In the absolute sense that people are not free to choose what they want to do then yes. But I do not see that civil liberties automatically implies total liberty. I feel that social liberty and social justice are very closely allied and indeed ultimately social liberty must be the weaker partner of social justice since it is the latter that ensures greater social freedom for all rather than the former. As such, banning private health care and 'forcing' everyone to use the NHS ensures that we all, no matter how rich or how poor we are, get the same service and the same quality of treatment insofar as one can account for all bar the quality of human ability.

There can never be absolute social liberty but there can be relative social liberty.

But hey, to paraphrase your glorious leader UoL: I'm not a libertarian, I'm a socialist!

Actually - what are the libertarians going to do now, Cameron essentially said he doesn't want them any more!
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UniOfLife
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Well Cameron isn't my glorious leader tbh (roll out the TSR/RL difference). Most politicians these days have no discernible principles or do their utmost to hide them.

But I must take issue with your assertion that "social liberty must be the weaker partner of social justice" which seems to me just another way of saying that the "common good" is more important than the freedom of the individual. While it is certainly true in the pure sense the problem is in identifying the "common good" which is the point I was making initially. Once we accept this argument then totalitarianism is just around the corner since anything can be done and any rights quashed so long as it is deemed to be "in the common interest" etc.
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oriel historian
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(Original post by UniOfLife)
Well Cameron isn't my glorious leader tbh (roll out the TSR/RL difference). Most politicians these days have no discernible principles or do their utmost to hide them.

But I must take issue with your assertion that "social liberty must be the weaker partner of social justice" which seems to me just another way of saying that the "common good" is more important than the freedom of the individual. While it is certainly true in the pure sense the problem is in identifying the "common good" which is the point I was making initially. Once we accept this argument then totalitarianism is just around the corner since anything can be done and any rights quashed so long as it is deemed to be "in the common interest" etc.
I meant in terms of being a RL conservative - I assume you are. Either that, or you're a bloomin good pscyzophrenic

Well in most cases I would agree, but there are a few areas where I think what I said stands - one of these is the health service, the other is education - I can appreciate, for example, the right to free speech (heck, I exercise it enough) and everything associated with that but what we're seeking to do is even out the gross imbalances in potential treatment and education that occur when you let wealth get in the way.

Common good is a vacuous term and reminds me a little of Maggie T or GWB. Just thought I'd throw that out there :p:
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Grape190190
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(Original post by UniOfLife)
Healthcare, freedom, etc.
I don't place a value on economic freedom, because:

1. I don't believe in capitalism to the degree that markets and money should be considered an intrinsic part of life;

2. (and this is the important point with regards to healthcare) In a capitalist system, by definition, the prosperity or privillege of one person restricts the propserity or privillege of someone else. It's not "freedom" for one person to be allowed a doctor and other person to be denied one.

But this is a fight we'll be having shortly, I suspect.
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oriel historian
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Grape - do you have an unhealthy obsession with the US?
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Grape190190
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(Original post by oriel historian)
Grape - do you have an unhealthy obsession with the US?
Frankly, yes.
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oriel historian
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(Original post by Grape190190)
Frankly, yes.
You scare me even more now than five minutes ago. :p: And man, do I get weird ads on TSR. The current one is a lioness asleep on a tree branch ... apparently it's a screensaver.
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UniOfLife
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(Original post by oriel historian)
I meant in terms of being a RL conservative - I assume you are. Either that, or you're a bloomin good pscyzophrenic

Well in most cases I would agree, but there are a few areas where I think what I said stands - one of these is the health service, the other is education - I can appreciate, for example, the right to free speech (heck, I exercise it enough) and everything associated with that but what we're seeking to do is even out the gross imbalances in potential treatment and education that occur when you let wealth get in the way.

Common good is a vacuous term and reminds me a little of Maggie T or GWB. Just thought I'd throw that out there :p:
Why would you assume I support the RL Tories? I suppose it would be odd if I supported any of the other parties, but would it be odd if I supported none?

Why only healthcare and education? Why not even out the gross imbalances in nutrition and quality and amount of food when wealth gets in the way? Is there any qualitative difference that allows you to put some notion of social justice ahead of liberty in those cases without allowing you to do so also in all other cases?

Grape - in any system the gain of one is at the expense of someone else unless you posit infinite resources.
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