(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
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
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.