Socialists Question Time AKA 'Ask a Socialist' Watch

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usainlightning
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#1741
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#1741
Why Has Socialism Never Worked?
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Adorno
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#1742
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#1742
(Original post by usainlightning)
Why Has Socialism Never Worked?
Because people don't realise that it has. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels outlined their 10 measures they considered most important for advanced industrial nations before the achievement of Communism:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

Now, out of that list the majority have happened at some point in the development of states - particularly in Western and Northern Europe, New Zealand, and Latin America. It is a fallacy to claim that socialism has never worked because, in reality, in our everyday lives we live with elements of it.
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D R E A M Z
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#1743
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#1743
(Original post by Adorno)
Why would I wish to punish my own class? The middle class are the ones who deserve a taste of their own medicine.
Contradiction?

(Original post by Adorno)
No it's not simple: it's a sociological phenomenon. Portrayals of working-class life in the media are generally negative
A good thing. Gives the working class an incentive to progress, you don't want people to feel cushty at the bottom of society.

(Original post by Adorno)
fears about grade inflation are driven by private school kids being outdone by working-class, comprehensive-schooled kids.
They're not being outdone, it's just that comprehensive-schooled kids are doing better, which is again a good thing.

(Original post by Adorno)
Negative portrayals, an education system the privileges intellectual endeavour over vocational qualifications; a social system which privileges the mores of the middle class over all else - all of these things feed an everyday habitus of "just getting on with it" or turning one's back on social "progression" for the sake of enjoying the comforting routine you're used to.
Intellectual courses should be encouraged over vocational qualifications just so that bright hard working kids don't end up in vocational courses when they could be doing intellectual ones and thereby progressing up the social ladder. Perhaps the fact that people have a 'comforting routine' is the problem..

(Original post by Adorno)
It would be of great benefit to everyone if they could, like me, progress from the Valleys to Oxford and go on to do a PhD but that isn't for everyone and since social progress in this bourgeois world is not for everyone either, I think we should start affording greater respect to the life choices people make at the lower echelons of society.
Well done you, being only 16 I can't match that, but I did just get 8A*s so I'm on the right track
And I will disrespect the life choices of people at the bottom of society if they involve taking money from the state when in a lot of cases they could just get a job.

(Original post by Adorno)
I didn't say worthy - you're changing the nature of my argument through your own miscomprehension. I said that only a handful do make it. In fact, your entire post smacks of miscomprehension.
I didn't say you did, I asked you a question. If they aren't worthy it would be your job to explain why we should be bothered about them not progressing, as you clearly are mr miscomprehension.
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Adorno
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#1744
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#1744
(Original post by Richiboi)
It could be construed as such, but when i make any statements, i only make relevance to what i mention, rather than what i dont.
That's as true, but you also have to be aware of unintentional meaning of what you say. Whilst you have not made explicit your agreement with the lazy thesis; your choice of lexis for your post betrays a certain agreement whether you intend it - I hope not - or not.
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Adorno
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#1745
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#1745
(Original post by D R E A M Z)
Contradiction?
No: you misunderstood. I was deliberately clear about my use of middle class and you suddenly switched it to working class. Your mistake, not mine.
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usainlightning
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#1746
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#1746
(Original post by Adorno)
Because people don't realise that it has. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels outlined their 10 measures they considered most important for advanced industrial nations before the achievement of Communism:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

Now, out of that list the majority have happened at some point in the development of states - particularly in Western and Northern Europe, New Zealand, and Latin America. It is a fallacy to claim that socialism has never worked because, in reality, in our everyday lives we live with elements of it.
Yes of course we live with elements of it, but the whole package has never worked, which is i'm sure what you would advocate.
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D R E A M Z
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#1747
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#1747
I'll reply to posts later going out bye.
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Adorno
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#1748
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#1748
(Original post by usainlightning)
Yes of course we live with elements of it, but the whole package has never worked, which is i'm sure what you would advocate.
The whole package has never been applied all at once, so how can you be sure?
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usainlightning
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#1749
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#1749
(Original post by Adorno)
The whole package has never been applied all at once, so how can you be sure?
I'm sorry. Communism seems to fit the bill.
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paperclip
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#1750
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#1750
(Original post by usainlightning)
I'm sorry. Communism seems to fit the bill.
Germany or Russia were never communist, and if you think so you really don't know what communism is.

Anarchism on the other hand...http://www.geocities.com/capitolHill/1931/secI8.html
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Adorno
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#1751
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#1751
(Original post by usainlightning)
I'm sorry. Communism seems to fit the bill.
In stereotypes based on little factual evidence, sure. In reality? No.
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usainlightning
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#1752
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#1752
(Original post by paperclip)
Germany or Russia were never communist, and if you think so you really don't know what communism is.

Anarchism on the other hand...http://www.geocities.com/capitolHill/1931/secI8.html
Everyone considers the former USSR communist.
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Adorno
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#1753
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#1753
(Original post by usainlightning)
Everyone considers the former USSR communist.
No they don't. Everyone in that instance is a strawman.
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Collingwood
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#1754
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#1754
(Original post by Adorno)
Because people don't realise that it has. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels outlined their 10 measures they considered most important for advanced industrial nations before the achievement of Communism:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

Now, out of that list the majority have happened at some point in the development of states - particularly in Western and Northern Europe, New Zealand, and Latin America. It is a fallacy to claim that socialism has never worked because, in reality, in our everyday lives we live with elements of it.
Hang on - you can't say that this is your working definition of communism, and then deny that the USSR was communist. The USSR meets all the criteria stated here; Western countries only partially (and I dont think anyone denies that Western societies are mixed, incoherent systems). And sure, the USSR 'worked' in the sense that it managed to survive for a non-trivial length of time, but it was not exactly a pleasant place.
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paperclip
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#1755
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#1755
(Original post by usainlightning)
Everyone considers the former USSR communist.
Communism:
# a form of socialism that abolishes private ownership
# a political theory favoring collectivism in a classless society
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

State capitalism
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Thunder and Jazz
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#1756
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#1756
(Original post by Adorno)
Private schools are evil ...
Exaggeration or something else?


And that thing about rich vs poor. Why should it be a given that poorer people work harder than richer people? They probably do, but some of them sure don't. Stop generalising if you would be so kind.
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CyclopsRock
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#1757
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#1757
Do you support prostitution? I can't remember how ya'll voted way back when.
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Mr_K_Dilkington
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#1758
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#1758
(Original post by scanningforlifeforms)
on the question of private schools, i wouldn't see to ban them, simply remove their charitable status. Extremely rich parents will always want to separate their children from other, poorer ones, and will find methods of doing so. However, removing charitable status (or making it dependent on a large proportion of scholarships to local children) would bring a large number of parents into the state system.
So basically you want to bring the ~10% of children in good private schools down to the level of the impressively mediocre state schools? Level the top down rather than level the bottom up?

(Original post by scanningforlifeforms)
2) allow universities to only admit from private schools the same proportion as private pupils make of all pupils. v
Have you even thought through the logistics of that? idk what the exact percentages are, but I'll take a guess. 40% of state school pupils go on to university. 90 % of private school pupils go on to university. So now to fulfill your arbitrary quotas you have barred HALF of private school pupils from university. That's tens of thousands of children a year (I think).

Whether you like it or not private schools DO produce a lot of well educated kids who will go on to produce a lot in the economy and pay an awful lot in tax. Harming the economy in this way isn't exactly going to do wonders for the tax revenues you would be using to fund the state schools.

(Original post by scanningforlifeforms)
Most parents are willing to shell out for private schooling on the assumption that a good university place is guaranteed. If this were not the case, more would use the state system, which would rise in quality with more actively involved parents, and better teachers as the number of private schools shrank.
I don't see how the state school system would prosper with an influx of previously private educated children. Parents who send their kids to private schools are currently paying for their kids to be schooled twice, once to the government and once to the private school. By putting them into the state school system you have just increased the numbers of pupils massively without increasing the budget.

Another point? Do you expect the richest in society to just sit there and take it in the ass? No. The rich are the most mobile members in society and are the most able to respond to policy changes such as this. Many would just send their kids to school abroad (which means lost jobs and revenue in this country as well as kids being more likely to work abroad once they finish school). Some of the rich will just say screw you, don't tell me how to run my life and move to a more liberal part of the world. If you think that would be good for the country, I'd beg you to take an economics class or two.

These sort of blind policy assertions are a classic case of the headless heart.
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Adorno
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#1759
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#1759
(Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
Exaggeration or something else?
No, that's pure vitriol. I despise private schools and all who sail in them.

And that thing about rich vs poor. Why should it be a given that poorer people work harder than richer people? They probably do, but some of them sure don't. Stop generalising if you would be so kind.
It's not a given, but it sure is more likely. The rich don't care if they work hard or not because it doesn't matter to them that they need money to survive. The poor, who have tight margins, have to work long hours in demeaning jobs to make ends meet. So no, I won't "stop generalising" until the fat cats decide to throw that lazy "argument" in the historical dustbin where it belongs.
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Adorno
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#1760
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#1760
(Original post by Collingwood)
Hang on - you can't say that this is your working definition of communism, and then deny that the USSR was communist. The USSR meets all the criteria stated here; Western countries only partially (and I dont think anyone denies that Western societies are mixed, incoherent systems). And sure, the USSR 'worked' in the sense that it managed to survive for a non-trivial length of time, but it was not exactly a pleasant place.
It is worth bearing in mind, which I'm sure you prefer not to, that Marx and Engels also insist that those 10 points apply to advanced industrial nations and that other states that are less industrially advanced will have different routes to communism. After all, M & E had Britain and Germany in mind when writing that, not Russia. So whilst that is a definition of a route to communism it is not exclusive. The point is, also, that Communism was not intended to be authoritarian or bureaucratic, which is why Western Marxists (influenced a great deal by Trotsky) decry the Soviet Union as acommunist. I'm usually careful about that but I guess I wasn't yesterday; however, I still consider the Soviet Union to be a very reactionary, conservative form of communism which is not representative of the possibilities of communism.

I can't really reply at length as I'm currently sat in a train station so you'll just have to wait.
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