Socialism vs Capitalism

Xenophon PCDGS

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Corbyn was caught in a paradox.
He should have had enough political understanding based on his long tenure as a Member of Parliament, in which he had fully imbued the nuances appertaining to such matters, to have conveyed his views to the best way that would aid the party of whom he was leader.

In a lighter vein, when I saw this part of your posting, it immediately took me back sixty years ago when I once had a fairly good singing voice and St Bede's College in Manchester put on annual Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. The particular one that sprang to mind was The Pirates of Penzance and the song featured the words......"A paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox"
 
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hooverboy

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He should have had enough political understanding based on his long tenure as a Member of Parliament, in which he had fully imbued the nuances appertaining to such matters, to have conveyed his views to the best way that would aid the party of whom he was leader.
What you mean is he should have did what tony blair did,and give a load of soothing PR tripe,then doing something totally different in office.Blair certainly wasn't thatcherite.He was very much more for state intervention by regulation, but initially on his election run-up was trying to pass himself off as libertarian "lassaie faire" .
If you want an honest depiction of his style of government, it was basically fascism-lite( and Fascism IS NATIONAL SOCIALISM)
Meaning mussolini's defenition of fascism- the merging of corporation and state.The corporations job to generate wealth,the states job to manage it(and people)

At least corbyn wears his heart on his sleeve,and is up front and honest in his convictions.The country,however,didn't like his vision and rejected it.

I think the type of government we really want to see natioanlly by reading the teal leaves, is much less state intervention of people and pointless regulations, but better enforcement/punishment of those who transgress.

Ideally what we need is a revival of the sort of capitalism with a conscience espoused by the quakers like cadbury and rowntree.
For the labour benches someone like frank field would have been a good candidate for that sort of government.
 

433N

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He should have had enough political understanding based on his long tenure as a Member of Parliament, in which he had fully imbued the nuances appertaining to such matters, to have conveyed his views to the best way that would aid the party of whom he was leader.
Perhaps, but I think his options were limited. He could have backed Remain (which would have been my preference) and then be accused of going against his principles by supporting the influx of cheap, abundant Labour or he could have backed Leave, thus turning his back on improvements in (workers) rights that have been driven through by the EU (in the face of Tory opposition). He could have extolled the virtues of International Socialism, of course, but that would probably have not been a winner in the current climate.

I'm not altogether sure that following the vote to Leave, the Labour leadership role wasn't a poisoned chalice anyway. But it is time to move on now and fight the next battle.

If you take the view that the Leave vote was the result of the squeeze on public services due to an influx of EU migrants, then perhaps he could have pointed out that Britain was given ample time to prepare for this and did absolutely nothing ; laying the blame squarely where it should be laid.
 

Aictos

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Capitalism - anybody can be rich
Communism - nobody can be rich
Socialism - anybody can be rich but nobody should be poor
I disagree on the Communism part eg in Soviet times there was shops
I tried to start this discussion in the other thread by posting the following ...



It seems particularly pertinent since it is relevant to which way the Labour Party, and consequently its leader, might decide to go. To dismiss followers of Corbyn (or Marxism) as 'young and naive' neglects the fact that Marx understood the nature of labour, and people's relation to it, perhaps better than anyone and modern British society looks to be a direct result of his ideas of alienation.

Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, the level of debate was poor. Apparently, the benefits of capitalism are that you can post on a message board with a £1000 phone (well that's really worth the climate catastrophe) and apparently I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer for not seeing the benefits of capitalism. Ironically, socialism gets roundly condemned for suppressing individual freedoms but capitalism too has an in-built mechanism for doing so. Anyone seen Invasion of the Bodysnatchers ? Evidently, to raise (or rather re-iterate) the idea that capitalism may be inappropriate for our modern economy is a heresy which must not be spoken. In fact, it appears that many people have great difficulty in expounding its virtues (I could, but that's not the point - everyone should be able to).

Another heresy that must not be spoken, is that Marx envisaged communism as a system for developed, not developing, societies. The main criticisms stem from its application in countries which are developing and so, therefore, seem to be missing the point. Even within those criticisms, there is an innate neglect of what socialism (since communism cannot be achieved on a short timescale) achieved. Prior to the October revolution, Russia was an agrarian, feudal society. Within 50 years, it was a superpower on the world stage - almost America's equal ; and that despite being dragged into the Second World War (anyone who thinks 'we' won the war should consider Russia's contribution - it was Russia that really put in the hard yards). It really was an astonishing achievement. Similarly, you might look at China. Of course, no one is denying that individual freedoms were/are suppressed to achieve this but you might also consider what the plight of those people would have been under the rule of a brutal Tsar.

The idea that we need a mix of the two seems to be common ; that capitalism has its flaws. Yet it would seem to me that we are far from that. Since Thatcher famously banged Hayek's Road to Serfdom on the table, there have are right wingers who believe it to be the bible and that markets are the most efficient form of government (as opposed to the US where the markets ARE the government). This, as I say, despite the fact that such an approach essentially led to the destruction of the value of capital in the financial crisis. The idea of austerity (which went against Keynesian economics which even previous Tories had been happy to sign up to in the past) was rammed down our throats as the panacea for the ills of the country's finances. Yet, rather beneficially for the aforementioned right wingers, this meant smaller government and less intervention and more 'government' by market forces. Is it a surprise that we are where we are now ? Food banks, failing NHS and corporations creatively dodging paying tax ... and a populace obsessed with low taxation (and dodging thereof) as though the NHS will somehow find a magic money tree. Bring in private medical insurance, see how people feel about paying that.

In any case, the economic system that we have now is far removed from capitalism. We have a few megacorporations running monopolies and setting their own pricing ; the ideas expounded in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations seem quaint in comparison.

The Labour movement was born out of working people educating themselves. Does it not strike anyone as ironic that the quality of state education might not be great. I'm reverting to the 'not like in my day' approach although I don't believe my 70s school education was as good as the 50s school education that my parents received, though I did go to uni at a time when working class kids could get grants to do so. Considering the mechanisms for self-education, libraries are closing left, right and centre and access to higher and further education is becoming a costly endeavour. The Open University is pretty much on its knees at a time when it should be thriving. Why do state schools no longer strive to provide an education equivalent to private schools ? It is almost like working people are not supposed to educate themselves - or at least only do so by clicking links on a phone and reading information which hasn't been subjected to any rigorous scrutiny. The argument 'but look what happened in Russia' is not the definitive argument against socialism.
1. Russia was not dragged into World War 2 but had to join the conflict to defend herself as she was invaded by Nazi Germany and her allies.

2. If not for Lend-Lease policy of the US mostly supplying a lot of equipment to Russia, Russia herself would have been defeated.

3. For a constructive view of Soviet times, I suggest you read the link as it’s a eye opener:

https://www.rbth.com/history/328157-did-soviet-government-officials-live-luxuriously
 

hooverboy

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I disagree on the Communism part eg in Soviet times there was shops


1. Russia was not dragged into World War 2 but had to join the conflict to defend herself as she was invaded by Nazi Germany and her allies.

2. If not for Lend-Lease policy of the US mostly supplying a lot of equipment to Russia, Russia herself would have been defeated.

3. For a constructive view of Soviet times, I suggest you read the link as it’s a eye opener:

https://www.rbth.com/history/328157-did-soviet-government-officials-live-luxuriously
well in all the communist countries, those who were appointed by the state(elite clique) used to live like kings.Everybody else was equal.

Not much different to monopoly corporations or medeival baronets in that respect.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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What you mean is he should have did what tony blair did,and give a load of soothing PR tripe,then doing something totally different in office.
Why on earth do you wish to attach a fallacious meaning as that to what I said. Are you gifted with mind-reading?

If I had wanted to say what you suggest above, I would have no compunction in doing so without the need for a self-appointed political guru to aid and assist me in my cognitive understanding of political matters.
 

hooverboy

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No, it isn't. It is just an extreme form of nationalism.
wrong.

In ALL socialist countries, the requirements of the collective take precedence over the rights of the individual.And thus, the individual(s) must be managed to conform.

Taken to extremes is where you get hitlers lebensborn,the gulags for non conformers,euthanisation of the unfit/mentally ill/disabled/dissenters etc.
You could take this further still and put in indoctrination from childbirth through schools, and then also at some stage licencing or state approved arranged marriages for qualifying citizens only, sterilisation for everyone else.
Assigned jobs rather than voulantary careers etc.

Americans are extreme nationalists for the most part, but will fight to the death for their belief in inalieble individual liberty.They want the government out of their daily lives as far as humanly possible.
 
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433N

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wrong.

In ALL socialist countries, the requirements of the collective take precedence over the rights of the individual.And thus, the individaul(s) must be managed to conform.

Americans are extreme nationalists for the most part, but will fight to the death for their belief in inalieble individual liberty.They want the government out of their daily lives as far as humanly possible.
Strange then that the wikipedia definition of fascism manages to do so without recourse to the word 'socialism' . You are talking about your definition of fascism - which only you are privvy to.

[sigh : why do I bother ? ]
 

hooverboy

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Strange then that the wikipedia definition of fascism manages to do so without recourse to the word 'socialism' . You are talking about your definition of fascism - which only you are privvy to.

[sigh : why do I bother ? ]
The gospel according to St wikipedia!! Aah I see.

The ones I was referring to were writings by mussollini,hitler and lenin(all different flavours of SOCIALISM). Must read more.
Gets even more interesting when you find out they have a source in common.
I'll leave that as my little secret for now:)
 

433N

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The gospel according to St wikipedia!! Aah I see.

The ones I was referring to were writings by mussollini,hitler and lenin(all different flavours of SOCIALISM). Must read more.
Gets even more interesting when you find out they have a source in common.
I'll leave that as my little secret for now:)
Oxford ... Websters ... No, still no mention of socialism.

I am surprised that for someone so widely-read, your grammar is so poor. Names should be capitalised. 'SOCIALISM' should not.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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This particular website is not what one could call one to follow a balanced "middle of the road" discussion on the subject of this particular thread, recalling the recent thread with attached poll which showed the personal political preferences of website members prior to the last General Election.
 

AlterEgo

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Strange then that the wikipedia definition of fascism manages to do so without recourse to the word 'socialism' . You are talking about your definition of fascism - which only you are privvy to.

[sigh : why do I bother ? ]
I think we will agree on very little in this thread - apart from this! Indeed, the assertion that fascism is left wing is nonsense.
 

Jimbob52

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As I mentioned in the previous thread, I'm more pro socialist as I've seen that the Conservatives and capitalism only punishes the poor, forcing people onto the streets and into foodbanks.

However I'm young and have a limited knowledge of politics, so I may be wrong. I'm willing to accept that socialism has flaws, but I fail to see how capitalism is a good way to run a country when there are people literally starving to death.

I'd like to see a government implement the best ideas from both sides, although that's highly unlikely.
I am sure members of this forum would be interested to hear the evidence to support your assertion that "there are people literally starving to death".
 

TrafficEng

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I know it's been around for a while, but it's awful that foodbanks have to exist in the first place. It's even more horrendous that people are still in poverty in a developed country. I personally feel that we should be doing more to address this.
I couldn't agree more. But addressing it means understanding the problems and developing solutions to the diverse range of issues that get lumped together as 'poverty', and result in people like the Corbynites characterising it as the Conservatives 'punishing the poor'. Words aren't going to lift anyone out of poverty. Which is why socialism tends to over-promise and under-deliver.

Throwing money at people (the standard socialist response) doesn't help people who aren't good at managing their money. Before I'm criticised for criticising people not managing their money well, I'd point out your key criticism of Universal Credit was that it pays monthly rather than weekly (or fortnightly). People who need to be paid weekly are (typically) people who struggle to manage their money - in part because they don't have much to start with, but crucially because they often haven't acquired the skills to manage a month's worth of income in one go. Until society can address issues like this we will always have people in 'poverty'.

If capitalism is accused of leaving the poor behind, then socialism should be accused of chucking money at them and expecting them to cope.

According to the office for national statistics, 726 homeless people died in England and Wales in 2018. Granted, not all of them will be due to starvation, but it's still an alarming figure. I claim to know the exact reasons why so many people unfortunately lost their lives, but surely action should be taken to prevent it?
I'm not going to spend time with the stats, but I'd expect the figure for homeless deaths to heavily feature causes due to environment (e.g. hypothermia), chronic illness from alcohol and substance abuse, overdose and adverse reactions, accident, violence, untreated infection, and (probably quite significantly) suicide. Long-term malnutrition is likely to be a causal or contributory factor, but given all the other potential causes I would suggest pure starvation from lack of food to eat is likely to be a relatively minor percentage.

Typically it is quite difficult to die from starvation (in the UK). If you are in the public domain someone will see you and offer you food - even if it is limited to other homeless people sharing what they have. The greater risk is for people who are hidden away in their homes - either children whose parent(s) don't care, or the vulnerable and elderly who aren't eating and don't have contact with the outside world for the problem to come to light.
 

FelixtheCat

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I may have worded that sentence poorly, I don't think most homeless fatalities are due to starvation, but they are still fatalities.
I am sure members of this forum would be interested to hear the evidence to support your assertion that "there are people literally starving to death".
I'd add a caveat to your original statement: "...were it not for operations outside of the capitalist system". If a person is reliant on a food bank or similar, they are using something outside the capitalist system in order to survive. The fact that this is happening in a wealthy country is problematic to say the least.

<Additional paragraph wrong>
 
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underbank

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he could have backed Leave, thus turning his back on improvements in (workers) rights that have been driven through by the EU
Not necessarily. Those rights continue in existence after Brexit until the UK government vote to change the laws. Just supporting Brexit doesn't automatically mean such rights are going to be lost. In fact a Labour govt post Brexit could be argued to be more likely to preserve workers rights, than a Tory govt., so anyone thinking like that is basically causing a massive shoot yourself in the foot moment.
 

TrafficEng

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As for evidence, there are a few things that point to it being a problem:
Since 2008, the number of people who are 'food-insecure' has risen.
66 people died from 'malnutrition' in 2016-7 (an increase), with a further 351 deaths where this was listed as a contributary factor. Malnutrition is not the same as starvation, but the difference is not relevant in this context (people are dying because they do not have access to appropriate food).
It would help understanding of the issue to appreciate the figures you quote should be 66 where malnutrition was an "underlying cause" and 285 where it was a contributory factor. (351 being the sum of these figures).

The figures quoted are for deaths in NHS hospitals. Total deaths were 90 and 391 respectively.

The difference between 'malnutrition' and 'starvation' is crucially important in this context because malnutrition as a cause of death is often linked with serious (often terminal) conditions such as cancers of the digestive system where the patient is unable to obtain the nutrition they require from the food they do eat. Hence a reason for a large proportion of the deaths occurring in NHS hospitals. (The definition of which I understand to exclude hospices and private hospitals, in which some of the other deaths would occur.)

Another example is for 2016 deaths where malnutrition was a contributory factor the underlying cause of death in 13% of cases was alcoholic liver disease/chronic alcoholism. A similar percentage of cases involved dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Deaths due to malnutrition is not a proxy for deaths due to lack of access to appropriate food, nor a proxy for deaths due to poverty.
 

FelixtheCat

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It would help understanding of the issue to appreciate the figures you quote should be 66 where malnutrition was an "underlying cause" and 285 where it was a contributory factor. (351 being the sum of these figures).

The figures quoted are for deaths in NHS hospitals. Total deaths were 90 and 391 respectively.

The difference between 'malnutrition' and 'starvation' is crucially important in this context because malnutrition as a cause of death is often linked with serious (often terminal) conditions such as cancers of the digestive system where the patient is unable to obtain the nutrition they require from the food they do eat. Hence a reason for a large proportion of the deaths occurring in NHS hospitals. (The definition of which I understand to exclude hospices and private hospitals, in which some of the other deaths would occur.)

Another example is for 2016 deaths where malnutrition was a contributory factor the underlying cause of death in 13% of cases was alcoholic liver disease/chronic alcoholism. A similar percentage of cases involved dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Deaths due to malnutrition is not a proxy for deaths due to lack of access to appropriate food, nor a proxy for deaths due to poverty.
Thanks for this. (I was really not concentrating earlier.)
 

Meerkat

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If a person is reliant on a food bank or similar, they are using something outside the capitalist system in order to survive. The fact that this is happening in a wealthy country is problematic to say the least.
To quote a famous lady..
“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well”

You don’t get food banks if capitalism hasn’t created the wealth for people donate. You could argue it’s a good thing that society is looking after its unfortunate without being forced to by the state.


 

FelixtheCat

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No problem. I was aware of the stats because they were once used to claim the NHS was in some kind of meltdown because people were left starving to death in hospital.
That sounds about right for media...

To quote a famous lady..
“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well”

You don’t get food banks if capitalism hasn’t created the wealth for people donate. You could argue it’s a good thing that society is looking after its unfortunate without being forced to by the state.
...which is why a combination of capitalism and socialism is ideal.

Pure capitalism only looks at providing a service/good to sell on at a profit to accummulate wealth. Anything that does not focus on accummulation is not capitalist. Here the definition of 'capitalism' influences how one sees it. My view is that the idea that capitalism is just “people or firms producing products for sale on the market with the intention of obtaining a profit” (or similar) is far too minimal because that is the system that has been used for millennia (IE: there is no distinction between the system now, and the system 3000 years ago). Instead, one adds things like "...where priority is given to the endless accumulation of capital", or "...where all aspects are commodified". Not that selling food at a local market (for example) isn't capitalist, it just isn't what makes capitalism distinctive from other economic models.

Specific to your comment:
It is also possible to create wealth outside a capitalist system. Capitalism is probably the best system that we have come up with to make money overall (obvious stuff about rising inequality etc.), but it is not the only way.

The fact that people have to be fed outside of formal state or capitalist apparatus is the problem. One of the things that makes the capitalism successful is that it can and does rely on processes outside capitalism to aid its success and mask its failings. I don't believe that this means capitalism should be abolished, but it does mean I view it with increased scepticism (in comparison to the average person it seems).
 

yorksrob

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You don’t get food banks if capitalism hasn’t created the wealth for people donate. You could argue it’s a good thing that society is looking after its unfortunate without being forced to by the state.
This is an argument often seen from the right wing - particularly those elements of it with religious overtones.

I would argue the exact opposite. It's a bad that those less well off have to rely on charity, rather than the state doing it's job and ensuring that people have enough to live.
 
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This is an argument often seen from the right wing - particularly those elements of it with religious overtones.

I would argue the exact opposite. It's a bad that those less well off have to rely on charity, rather than the state doing it's job and ensuring that people have enough to live.
Hang on, why is it saying I said that, that's a quote from Meerkat in post 52, not me.
 

TrafficEng

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The fact that people have to be fed outside of formal state or capitalist apparatus is the problem.
But is that really a problem, so long as people get fed? Moreover, is it correct to consider charities (such as food banks) not to be part of the 'capitalist apparatus'? Beyond their charitable status they function as a company, receiving income and providing a product. Indeed there are some charities that appear to be far more 'capitalist' in their approach than some for-profit businesses.

If Tesco gave away free food directly to customers in need it would be deemed to be part of the capitalist system. The fact they donate money (and/or food) to groups of people who are better equipped to distribute it shouldn't make a difference.

I would argue the exact opposite. It's a bad that those less well off have to rely on charity, rather than the state doing it's job and ensuring that people have enough to live.
That goes to the heart of the issue of this thread. Capitalists believe it is satisfactory for the state to ensure people have enough to live on, Socialists believe it is the state's job to directly provide it.
 

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