Is the West reaching the end of the socialism era?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by sunnoficarus, Aug 8, 2011.

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  1. "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

    If we are to survive the looming catastrophe, we need to face the truth - Telegraph

    The EU can only survive as a dictatorship and certainly has the political mindset of one.
  2. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    What "Socialism Era"?

    There has never been a "socialism era?" whatever that means.

    The economy is a capitalist construct (and just as well, or I'd never get paid). We in the west have never had an economy basted on Karl Marx's dictum that society should "Take according to ones ability, and give according to ones need".

    As for the EU, OMS are our major trading partners. EU Directives attempt in the main to ensure that there is a level playing field between partners. It does not direct criminal law policy. and It has no means of repression (no police or armed forces).

    A mindset for dictatorship - I think not.
  3. Fair point, but when over 50% of GDP is used for social support then this does smack of socialism rather then capitalism.
  4. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    the EU just needs to abolish the member states legislature and then they can have pictures of van rompoy put up on every street corner so people can know just who he is.

    the socialist state ideal failed because they ignores basic keynes financial frugality and went for the capitalist ideals of profit profit and more profit at the expense of the socialist elements like health and govt who end up paying too much for all their goods to fund the profits. as we've seen in the headlines and we know about defense spending rip offs.

    govt became inefficient because it suited big business to have it that way I reckon certainly in the states anyway.

    what she misses is the fact that we had socialist industries for years which due to being state monopolies were actually pretty successfull, world leaders in some cases and should have stayed that way. they were shackled with the duty to break even but instead of being privatised they should have been give the freedom to streamline, invest and make more money for the govt. if we hadnt sold off bt, ba, rover (okay maybe not, but the french proved a state car industry can work), bae, british rail, water electricity and gas - how much extra would be flowing into the state coffers? simplistic I know but we all reckon that the railway, gas, water and power would be better and cheaper back under state control as they've been used as a cash cows for private equity firms and hedge funds with no investment or interest in service improvement. most of the ones which didnt work properly hadnt had the business decisions made early enough to amalgamate and close where required.

    communism failed due to self interest and lack of social responsability, the same reason capitalism is also failing so that only leaves socialism as a working model provided they could resurrect it, which is unlikely but it could be done if enough legislation is passed for providers to have a duty of care, not selling the banks off but creating a state industry to compete with the high street and maybe even take over the high street duties so that mortgages are state backed at a fixed rate and without the risk of being collateralised and sold on. same with business loans etc.. if the private firms wont do it then its time for the state to start. all that equity and savings also helps the govt bank balance, one of the reasons the bank of england and the trustee savings bank were formed in the first place.

    they wont but the govt should be starting up its own road, rail, power, building companies in direct competition to business and turn a profit while they are at it or at least break even. re-nationalising may even be required to fix the idiocy of the first break ups where they should have sold the whole concern or privatised it as one unit like they did with BT (which was privatised to raise 2 billion for investment in the network which the tories at the time couldnt fund. so the govt didnt get any money out of the deal just fewer employees and the hope of a future tax yield. after privatisation they did a stock take as nobody had bothered to do it before for some reason and found that they had billions worth of unused assets like buildings and neednt have been privatised at all. same for gas, electric, water and rail. how much profit has BP made after the sell off?)

    again maybe simplistic and idealised but the socialist state did work when it provided for the people what the people needed at costs the people could afford. it kept hold of what was strategically important and even founded industries where there was a need for them allowing competition to grow up using the govt infrastucture as support. the mistake was in not allowing the unions to have a responsible say in what happened, so we ended up with strikes and the big sell off which was seen as the easiest way to break the stranglehold. now due to their own selfishness we have a union elite who have no interest in the people they serve, crap employers and bad working enviroments.
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  5. I don't agree...

    Since 1945 "progressive" tax policy has been just that.. The population has been taxed on one's ability to pay, and benefits have been given according to ones assessed need. The fact that the inputs and outputs are completely de-linked is one of the major failings..

    EU governance has gone way beyond "level playing fields" and incorporates all sort of political kites, many of which are clearly "in restraint of trade" .. and anyway is not the enforcement of a "level playing field" not fundamentally socialist..?

    Finally, yes I agree that the EU is not involving itself with the criminal law, however ECJ most certainly is, and is a part of the socialist "Europe Experiment"..

    The socialist made the running in the european experiment as they have always been an international organisation with established links across national boundaries.
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  6. Surely the introduction of the European Arrest Warrant, whereby people can be lifted from one country to another, on minimal evidence and for crimes which may not be an offence in one's mother country, is the EU involving itself in criminal law?

    Also the fact that ex eurocrats can have their pensions withdrawn if they are critical of the EU, and consider how many return to their own country's law making process, Kinnock, Mandelson, and Patten spring to mind, means that the EU is involved in all law making by stealth?
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  7. Good grief GG - on the sauce early this morning I see...!

    To your first point..

    I suggest "government" has always been inefficient. Politicians of whichever colour are always too short term in their outlook because they are vulnerable to pressure groups be they "business", "labour", "media" or "special interest". In the past, we had a civil service that had a long term view that balanced the idiocy of the political class, but this has now been corrupted.

    As to state monopolies being "pretty successfull" - you are having a giraffe!

    Monopolies, state or otherwise have NEVER been a good idea, particularly in the long term. It is always too easy for them to become self serving, inefficient and corrupt. It is possible, sometimes, to maintain a necessary monopoly such as the police or armed services, but you need to take very careful precautions to prevent them becoming corrupt. They need a very strong code of conduct and ethics and severe sanctions for deviancy! We used to be pretty good at this..!

    The problem is as ever:

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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  8. Europe and America will decline and break down due to Capitalism. With emerging powers such as India, China, Russia and others, the Capitalists will have few nations to exploit hence their decline will commence.

    I think the west is more to do with capitalism than socialism.
  9. Once again Kandak, you demonstrate your intellect is better suited to discussing the relative merits of donkeys than economics and politics.
  10. WAH, must be. 1/10
  11. A few things about capitalism on the whole have been self apparent to academics for a while but not usually noticed by populations.

    The ultimate national indication of capitalist success is GDP growth. The problem with GDP growth is that majorities can feel no benefit - this is especially true of developed nations.

    There have really been three eras since the second world war where mass consumerism, economic expansion and often overall rises in the standard of living have taken place. These were the Macmillan, Thatcher and Blair/Brown eras. GDP growth was often strong in all three but if one actually looks at income distribution per hear, this usually fell for individuals and rose for corporations.

    So how does a capitalist government take majorities with it into feeling that rises in gross domestic product mean rises for individual wellbeing?

    Well, sadly, the answer for Macmillan, Thatcher and Blair/Brown was debt every time. Lending creates artificially high standards of living for as long as it can be sustained/serviced.

    As for the 'end of socialism' argument - yes I think sadly this is true of many things. The NHS will not long survive if the Health and Social Care Bill becomes law. The previous government attempted to privatise military technical training and PMCs are rife both sides of the atlantic (read Wikileaks for the sheer volume of contacts they've had).

    I won't get into the flawed logic of a lot of this privatisation-orientated thinking. Ultimately I think it will take a large scale crisis or war to shake people out of their myopia, and the probability of this does seem to be rather thin.

  12. Capitalism pays for the c.£460bn UK spends on health, education, pensions & welfare each year, so "the majorites" are lavished with the benefits - its just that they are generally too economically illiterate to appreciate it.

    The problem now is that the tax (and regulatory) burden on productive capitalism is now strangling the goose that lays the golden eggs - and there is no way of funding the ongoing spending and future liabilities of the welfare state other than moving to some sort of fantasy communist system capable of printing money for everyone....
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  13. What brings down societies is the collapse of the economic model it is based on. While we are currently being stretched and put under pressure it is still being managed. When a government, of whatever type be it a dictatorship, democracy, theocracy et al, fails to provide for it's infrastructure (civil servants, military...) then change is brought about from within. It happened to Rome, it happened to the Soviets and it has happened to many many sovereigns over the years. The lower, working classes can always be controlled as long as establishment has the money. Keep them in control and the system rolls along - and the major players can reap the goodies.

    So as it's all about the money I think we are a long way away from any upheaval of any significance.
  14. But that is different from feeling an enhancement in the standard of living. Tax yields keep a lot of people at a subsistence level - safe and healthy.

    My observation was that most people don't actually experience an improvement in their standard of living with GDP rises, unless this is artificially synthesised by other means (proliferation of debt).