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The Enigma Of Socialism

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Khandro | 10:26 Sun 01st Oct 2017 | News
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What is its appeal? Are its supporters ignorant of world history, or of even current politics? In the USSR, China, North Korea, Eastern Europe, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Venezuela it has led variously to the suppression of free speech, the imprisonment of dissidents, state-sanctioned mass murder and widespread starvation - as witnessed recently by the President of Venezuela telling the people not to be squeamish about eating their rabbits.

So what began as a dream of equality ends up with you having to eat your pets!

With all previous attempts at Socialism having patently failed, why did nearly 13 million of the population vote for Jeremy Corbyn last June, are they unaware of the suffering and misery which Socialism has unleashed on the world?


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Because the examples of socialism you quote are extreme and nothing like the level of putting the community first (rather than in preference to the elite rich cliché whilst the rest get what they can and serve them right) which is more in favour here.
Allow me to answer your question by deliberately avoiding it:

How many people whose votes went to Labour do you think were actually going there because that was the best "not Tory" option, rather than because they were completely supportive of Labour and Corbyn?
it's a utopian dream where all in society do what they can to contribute, wonderful romantic notion portrayed in Star Trek for example where no one has need of money and the Captain does his job as does the bog cleaner. Sadly it requires that human nature be changed fundamentally for that to work. In reality Captain Kirk would demand a lot more for his services and if everyone got the same no one would do anything thus no one creates wealth (note, wealth NOT money) to support the masses. Thus socialism cannot possibly work. Now proponents of Socialism just want to impose it on the masses not themselves. Thus emerges the model that so far all attempts of it have taken.
Because each new generation of socialists think they can manage it better.

History has no place in socialism. It is only about the now. I want it all now and *** the tomorrow payment.
Jim has it right here.

The reason that Labour gained seats and votes in June, was because an increasing number of people are acting against the Tories. That might seem obvious but in a society like ours, its either Tory or Labour.

I know I will be accused of repeating this next bit, but when Labour achieved the astonishing victory that they did in 1997, it wasn't just a vote for Labour, it was a huge vote against the Tories. Major was seen as a weak, indecisive PM, surrounded by "bar-stewards" ...his words, not mine.

Its my belief that the momentum that built up against the Tories in 1997, is in evidence now as well.
I explained this to you on another thread you started.

1) There are different socialisms. Whichever one it is that you personally think Corbyn subscribes to, people who vote for him think that he is closer to Attlee than (say) Stalin. So they aren't convinced that the risks of Soviet socialism apply in Corbyn's case because they don't think he wants a comprehensively planned economy or a one-party state.

You might of course think they are wrong. I'm just saying that's why pointing to East European regimes won't work.

2) Young people have been screwed. They pay catastrophically high and ever-increasing rents at times when earnings are decreasing - and have been for about 10 years. They pay rents that are dramatically more out if step with earnings than their parents did. They also can't escape from this because property is effectively impossible to save for if you earn an average income. This means people cannot plan to start families, cannot plan for retirement, cannot plan to care for their sick relatives, and all the rest. They also know their taxes are definitely going to increase anyway in the next few decades because we have an aging population and an enormous pensions and healthcare bill.

3) We live in an undemocratic two-party system. You are allowed two choices, or else your vote is wasted - and even then it will be unless you live in a swinging constituency. One is showing an interest in helping you, and yes making you promises that you probably know cannot be kept. The other one, from your point of view, just seems to be dedicated to making everything worse. You can see why people might choose Corbyn even with his obvious credibility issues.

I'm not saying every last one of these opinions is 100% justified, but if you wipe that sneer off your face and actually speak to a young person (heaven forfend maybe put yourself in the position of someone else), you'll understand there are more profound reasons for this than just "they're gullible, they're ignorant, they're dumb." But I suspect the latter is probably what you want to hear.

Just to add....I don't think AB was around in 1997...if it was, I hadn't heard of it.

But I would like to think how different the average AB profile would have looked back then, when the Tories did so badly, and continue to do so for years ahead.

To expand this thread....why do our Tory supporters think that Major lost so badly in 1997 ?
"The reason that Labour gained seats and votes in June, was because an increasing number of people are acting against the Tories. That might seem obvious but in a society like ours, its either Tory or Labour. " - a fair assesment mikey but it's worth pointing out that there was a mass polarisation, both got a percentage over 40%, ordinarily those figures would have delivered either side a decent majority but basically they cancelled each other out.
mikey, get real the Psuedo Tories won in 1997, Saint Tony worked out, that traditional Labour cannot win that's why you've been out since TGL kicked your aris in 1979.
Yes, there has been a bit of a swing back to a two-party system. Which again makes the premise of khandro's post flawed. Outside Scotland and Northern Ireland, there are currently only two parties worth voting for in almost every seat bar a handful. So if you don't like whoever your current MP is, or whoever your current government is, then essentially your best chance of bringing about change is to vote for the other one -- if you bother to vote at all, that is.

All of this is lost at the ballot box, which sees no difference between grudging protest votes and wholehearted support. Sadly, perhaps, Corbyn won't see that either. He might be right in one sense: as long as the current Tory government continues to show a reverse Midas touch, then support for Labour will grow as the only viable alternative, and Labour can look forward to reasonable chances of being in government in 2022.

That doesn't mean that suddenly there is support for socialism, though. But anyway, as kromo points out, there's more to socialism than its Communist bigger brother anyway.
TTT...yes you are right. Both Parties were not that far apart. But under our system, its all about seats in the HOC, and in June, labour gained 30 and The Tories lost 13.

As you say, its basically a 2-Party state, with Scotland
perhaps bucking the trend.

Lets see how the Tories respond to the result in June, at next weeks Conference. They have already given that money tree, that they said didn't exist, a good shake, and surprise, surprise, Student Fees are the first fruit to drop out onto the ground ( which I support, by the way ! )

I fully expect that there will be more tree-shaking on Monday on wards.

Perhaps the Tories are listening after all !
To expand this thread....why do our Tory supporters think that Major lost so badly in 1997 ?

lol ... expand the thread when mikey er 'expands it' off topic when anyone else expands it

Got it.
Unfortunately at the moment there is no best "not Tory" option, jim.
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Kromo; I agree with most of your assessment, but just to deal with #1 you must ask why society has changed and what can be done to improve things for the young generation, do you think it is the fault of whom? Corbyn and band espousing clapped -out Socialist ideas tells these people - and unfortunately they fall for it - that the rich only got that way by robbing them, and the answer is to take it back from the wicked bankers and big businesses and re-distribute it, and then when everyone is equal (though inevitably, some will be more equal) it will be milk and honey all round.

He might be more convincing if he could point to one single place where this has ever happened.
I don't see how you can say that: Labour are clearly, right now, "not Tory" -- and therefore are by default the best such option.

Now I appreciate you might think that "least awful" would be a better way of putting it, but still, the fact remains that Labour are an alternative to the Tories and a viable governing alternative, in terms of support and seats at least.
"Socialism" doesn't have a monopoly on the causes of "suffering and misery". Where people feel aggrieved or that they are missing out then they are likely to fall for populist demagogues of left or right.
And unless you think the Labour manifesto had pictures of Joe Stalin on the front promising to starve the middle classes and small farmers, then I think your question is somewhat baffling.

Not really a question at all, in fact.
Socialism doesn't work. Period. Using Attlee is a joke - because whatever his government's achievements he lasted one term. So much for the glorious revolution (won in '45, lost in '50, lost in '51).
Well, he claims that the UK loses hundreds of billions every year to tax evasion - which is true. He also claims that it is possible to recoup that "lost" money - which I agree is questionable and rather uncertain.

I think you should also factor in that the UK does not look very much like a meritocracy to a lot of people who live in it (and I'll close critical distance here by including myself in that).
It seems a bit unfair to use Attlee's failure as the final demonstration that Socialism doesn't work. He swept into power in 1945, which was famously a year in which nothing awful whatsoever had happened to leave the country in a desperately difficult situation financially.

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