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To wonder how Socialism would work in the UK?

(129 Posts)
smashinghairday Sat 18-Jun-11 18:22:42

I read posters talk about Socialism and wonder how people would like to see it operate in the UK today?

Is it desirable or achievable?

Mamaz0n Sat 18-Jun-11 18:28:51

it is totally unworkable.

If everyone earned the same no matter what the job, where is the motivation to succeed? to work harder or to train for many many hours in order to become a professional.

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sat 18-Jun-11 18:34:27

That's communism, not socialism.

We have quite alot of socialism left in the UK: NHS, state schools, social housing, benefits etc.

Remember the days of nationalised industries? We were pretty much a socialist country then.

(Quite frankly I'd love to have British Rail back at least)

Mamaz0n Sat 18-Jun-11 18:35:32

D'oh.
blush

well that'll teach me to pay attention.

I wouldn't mind but i knew that too.

fluffles Sat 18-Jun-11 18:38:31

well we have schools and healthcare that are run on socialist principles (free at the point of delivery, everybody contributes towards regardless of whether they actualy use the service).

we used to have nationalised railways and utilities - now they're private haven't you just noticed how wonderfully better they've become?? hmm

fluffles Sat 18-Jun-11 18:48:18

oh, and the BBC. we have the bbc which is essentially socialist in principle.

i am glad we have the BBC - if we had commercial tv only then we'd have a far narrower range of entertainment, news and sport.

EggyAllenPoe Sat 18-Jun-11 18:49:55

we had it..it didn't work very well. the problems Mamazon points out with communism actually apply to some extent with socialism too...

dadof2ofthem Sat 18-Jun-11 18:58:43

i would love to see more socialism in the uk, the cool thing for people who have no idea about politics to say is 'socialism doesnt work', well, i would be very aggreaved to think the only economic system that works is one based on greed, and capitalism has had 4000 years to sort it'self out, socialism only 150, and about 100 in application, and more inportantly, all the fuckwits have been in charge giving it a bad name , the stalins and the maos etc.
i think capitalism re-invented itself in the 20th century , once communism became a real threat, after russia, then various places in latin america, then cuba, vietnam cambodia, when the world looked like it was turning red , then the life of the blue collar worker in the uk seemd to improove , finally.

EggyAllenPoe Sat 18-Jun-11 19:03:20

if you substitute the word 'greed' for 'motivation' you understand the problem with socialism. people need reasons to do things.

Hobbes managed to argue about socialism before it was thought of, in his little paragraph on 'of why men are not like bees'. People do not have a born-in need to work as part of a hive.

HowlingBitch Sat 18-Jun-11 19:03:25

I always find it interesting to imagine what would happen if we lived in an entirely socialist country and someone suggest we try capitalism? They would be rolled in a red flag and thrown in the ocean!

HengshanRoad Sat 18-Jun-11 19:03:48

China is doing pretty well on "socialism with Chinese characteristics" a la Deng Xiaoping. Having said that, they don't have the vote...

darleneoconnor Sat 18-Jun-11 19:04:12

The bits of the Scottish economy that Scotland controls is social-democratic. That basically translates into- free uni, free social care for the elderly and free prescriptions. What's not to like?

smashinghairday Sat 18-Jun-11 19:07:41

Well, the problem is Darlene that the rest of the UK subsidises Scotland in that.

I don;t think those things would be there if Scotland was independent, which is probably why the Scots will never vote for it.

HHLimbo Sat 18-Jun-11 19:08:18

People do have a born-in need to work, be part of society and to contribute something worthwhile.

That is why some people train (i.e working for free to learn) in order to contribute more (even if the job at the end is not well paid or convenient, eg nursing).

atswimtwolengths Sat 18-Jun-11 19:08:42

The BBC isn't Socialist - we all pay the same licence fee. Isn't it "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"?

HHLimbo Sat 18-Jun-11 19:09:47

I prefer the way Scotland is going to the direction England is taking.

EggyAllenPoe Sat 18-Jun-11 19:09:56

China is not really doing as well as might seem. even aside from the corruption, glaring human rights violations, general total lack of political freedom....

it remains an extremely poor and backwards nation.

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sat 18-Jun-11 19:13:12

My understanding of it is, that there is no reason why people cannot compete and be paid different rates under socialism. A doctor earning more than a cleaner for example. It's communism which would insist that both of those people be paid the same.

Socialism is state control for the good of the people, a utilitarian approach to government with nationalised healthcare, education, essential services and utilities.

Doesn't much of Scandinavia operate along these lines, resulting in a higher standard of living and more equality of oportunity? It isn't just a choice between the USA way of doing things and that of the old USSR.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sat 18-Jun-11 19:13:30

It wouldn't work.

People are far too selfish for socialism to ever work. It requires acting for the greater good even if that is to your personal detriment, or if not to your detriment, at least not to your benefit.

There aren't enough people in the world of that nature for socialism to work. Most people are just too selfish, imo.

HHLimbo Sat 18-Jun-11 19:17:56

Actually socialism and 'the greater good' means that it would most likely be better for you too.

(Unless you are a selfish millionaire like, um, many of our governments cabinet. hmm...

HHLimbo Sat 18-Jun-11 19:20:27

Our economy is in the shit, so we are going to need more socialism if we are to keep our standard of living.

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sat 18-Jun-11 19:22:23

No it doesn't, that's communism.

It goes something like this:

Communism - from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs.

Socialism - from each according to his ability; to each according to his deeds.

Ergo, you can still decide to work hard and expect to be financially rewarded for it. However, you can also expect the state to manage the economy closely and be responsible for essentials such as healthcare, education, utilities, transport etc. Yet there is nothing to stop a person starting a for-profit private business.

smashinghairday Sat 18-Jun-11 19:23:00

No millionaires in the last " Socialist " Govt. eh, Limbo? hmm

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sat 18-Jun-11 19:24:20

Socialism is the only truly utilitarian (the greatest possible good for the greatest possible number) philiosophy of government.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sat 18-Jun-11 19:24:38

Gawd, I wish grin It would certainly be better for me! grin

Those who are filthy rich want to stay that way. Most people want to aquire things. People aren't generally very good at sharing or letting other people have stuff. Folks want to line their own pockets. I just can't see it ever working.

I'd love to have a 'star trek' society. <sigh> I just think that it can never happen while everyone is scrabbling around trying to make sure they've got more than those around them.

I mean, can you imagine the oil companies giving up control and giving ownership of oil to the world? <dies laughing> For resources and goods and services existing to meet human need instead of to make money for the select few?

The inherited wealth lot giving it up and having only what they need? Ha. Ha. Ha.

Never ever ever going to happen.

People are just too selfish, imo.

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