Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Socialism in Britain

Welcome back, Socialist Wankers. (Haven't heard from you in a while, though I've been a bit out of it myself.)

Before I go further, here are my views on Socialism:

I think Socialism is great for certain situations: on small scales, and when participation is voluntary. I think about monastaries and convents, Israeli kibbutzim, and even open-source software projects. They work well, and I commend them for it.

But on the national scale, Socialism is the worst blight ever perpetrated on this wretched planet (particularly its twin: Communism). I don't say that to justify other horrific ideologies. But Socialism is the worst. By any objective measure (like human life or poverty), Socialism has done more to murder and impoverish than anything else, by a wide margin.

So, back to today's article. If you didn't like this (or this), today's article from City Journal is really going to get your goat: The Roads to Serfdom.


Comments:

(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)



As I told you before you are an evil, evil person. When the revolution comes I am going to make sure that you are first up against the wall.
 


Just like a leftist socialist. Preach love and equality, but threaten to kill all that get in your way.
 


I was preaching revolution.

Hear that scrutinator? I come for you! and your dog!
 


Dave Bones, any chance you can actually address Scrutinator's comment that "Socialism has done more to murder and impoverish than anything else, by a wide margin." Please...say something engaging to defend the revolution to which you speak...the name calling isn't very influencial.

PS I've enjoyed watching you and Brad go at it a couple times. Heh. He's a good debator, isn't he?
 


sorry to my knowledge I've never "Gone at it with Brad" as, although I am what you Americans call a "liberal" I am not gay.

I am brewing a response to the Scrutinator's comments on socialism for socialistwanker
although I am afraid that I am neither a true socialist or a true revolutionary in a political sense.

It must also be said that I invited the scrutinator to be our guest republican (check our web page) but he declined saying that he had to look after his wife and chop up his dog or something.

The vacancy is still open, but would ideally be suited to someone a bit more vicious and condescending than mr. scrutinator... any takers?
 


By way of translation to our somewhat confused american readership, socialistwanker is not a socialist web magazine.

It is a joke at the expense of a rather dogmatic group of british socialists. Not that I am against socialism...

For the record I think you lot are confusing socialism with stalinist communism (which wasn't what I'd call communism either...)

A more concise version of our views is here

-not that this explains anything either!
 


ok, ok, I am busted.

I'm afraid that although I know the broad spectrum of politics that I hate, ie conservatism/republicanism, the more I film the less of an established viewpoint I actually take.

Politically I am a jester. All "sides" seem to dislike me. I have deliberately put myself in this position and I don't know why.

I have finnaly read the whole article that the scrutinator is refering to.

I am very happy that I am learning about the history of socialism from a republican.

here is what a fellow disillusioned lefty said about me. There is a recording of the chat we had at the bottom.

Maybe you can work out my politics from that cos I can't.
 


"Socialism has done more to murder and impoverish than anything else, by a wide margin."

No it hasn't, that's utter bollocks. Pre-1945 Germany and Japan weren't socialist. Looking at history, a combination of rigid dogmas and the scientific-military complex produced the despots and police states of both the left and right.

Personally, as a situationist, I believe in putting the revolution at the disposal of poetry...
 


dave bones says...
"The vacancy is still open, but would ideally be suited to someone a bit more vicious and condescending than mr. scrutinator... any takers?"

I'm crestfallen. You got my hopes up with by calling me "an evil, evil person," but now I don't measure up! ;-(

Seriously, though, I appreciate the dialog. And I do take heart in your calling yourself a "disillusioned lefty," though I won't presume to guess where you'll finally land, politically (if you ever do). I completely missed the worker / wanker play. Someimes ya just gotta spell it out for me, and I appreciate it.

deek deekster...
You're right that Germany and Japan weren't socialist, but horrifically murderous just the same. And rigid dogma does promote totalitarianism.

But the gruesome statistics are what they are, and Communism is clearly the bloodiest.

dave bones says I'm "confusing socialism with stalinist communism (which wasn't what I'd call communism either...)"

But some say that the socialist utopian dream itself carries the seeds of Stalinism. That best explains why every socialist experiment has gone heinously awry.

(The "scientific-military complex" I'd debate, but maybe not here and now. Don't forget they gave us the personal computer and the Internet--two powerful weapons for freedom.)
 


there is a socialist experiment going on right now in Venezuela, despite your governments attempts to stop it.

I have friends who are part of it. (sorry cant find anything to hyperlink) These are real people trying to run society with the lessons learned by the open source projects you are quoting.
 


Venezuela, eh? You say "These are real people trying to run society with the lessons learned by the open source projects you are quoting." But just the opposite is true: Chavez is cozying up to Stalinist Cuba, the most repressive dictatorship in the western hemisphere.

Are your friends the ones making sure people like me are the "first up against the wall?"
 


You and Brad both feature on my virtual birthday blog. I tried to post earlier but your server was down.

To answer your points: Yes. I have definately heard from people who would put those who oppose the revolution against the wall. Not my idea of a solution, but didn't your government back Pinochet who did the same thing?

In the US backed coo that tried to depose him, Chavez chose not to go down this route. From what I have heard, those involved are under house arrest.

I understand that from your original post you and those who supply the news you read would like the failure of socialism to be the truth, and I and my ilk would like the success to be the truth, but neither of us are in Venezuela are we?

I dragged the deekster over here to defend socialism in more words than I am able, be assured that I will try and get those involved in the Venezuelan experiment to come over here to speak for themselves.

Good to meet you mate, I hope this will be an experiment in which we will all end up happier!

God bless! (if there is one!)
 


I'd love to hear from your friends in Venezuela, perhaps now, but more so as things progress futher. But I need an objective point-of-view, too: are your friends on a Potemkin village tour? Or are they Walter Duranty wanna-be's? (Even films can be misleading: "In this society, with the visual language we all now speak, a citizen who does not understand the power of the cut is likely to be taken, and taken badly, by the likes of Michael Moore and me.")

I won't defend Pinochet, but this article (by a really, really disillusioned leftist) puts things in perspective: "Fidel, Pinochet & Me". I think what he says might actually resonate with you. And the parallels to Venezuela are remarkable.

And that brings me around to what you didn't address: If it's true that Chavez is in league with Cuba, doesn't that mean this experiment is going the very Stalinist route you refuse to defend? How do we determine, objectively, whether Cuba is involved?
 


We have to go I suppose! see you in Bogata!

I bumped into my venezeula solidarity friend at a cannabis march today funny enough. He got my email and said he'd get back shortly.

The website he is involved with is hands off venezuela

personally I dont trust any "ego-leadership". I think it is yesterdays news for my species, hence the "attack your own side" socialistwankerleanings!. When humans evolve beyond this to take communal responsibility we will all make progress.

I have heard various reports from cuba. A few friends went and never bothered to come back, they are having a great life over there.
 


Looking through your links I can see that the way castro behaves in Cuba leaves a lot to be desired. Never been there, don't know what the feeling is on the streets.

As far as my friends, they are involving themselves with an emerging society of people who are taking responsibility for themselves and each other, from what I have heard.

Going back to your original posting I am drawn to what the guy says about the derogatory effect of socialism on the populace:

Hayek thought he had observed an important change in the character of the British people, as a result both of their collectivist aspirations and of such collectivist measures as had already been legislated. He noted, for example, a shift in the locus of people’s moral concern. Increasingly, it was the state of society or the world as a whole that engaged their moral passion, not their own conduct. “It is, however, more than doubtful whether a fifty years’ approach towards collectivism has raised our moral standards, or whether the change has not rather been in the opposite direction,” he wrote.

“Though we are in the habit of priding ourselves on our more sensitive social conscience, it is by no means clear that this is justified by the practice of our individual conduct.”

I certainly notice just the opposite in the stuff I have seen. Are the people who make this media going to have their pulitzer prize withdrawn for lying? Don't know mate. As I said at the begining,

see you in bogata!
 


ps. just shows my political naiievity bogata is fuckin columbia innit.

carracas is venezuela. Ah well lets go to columbia for a good sniff instead. nothing like coke to make you forget your politics!
 


Going back to the original article you link to, it seems to say that years of socialism has made a populace that relys on the state. In some ways I can see that may have been true in the seventies. I can see from my own experience that 20 years of rampant capitalism, where everyone is encouraged into capitalist individualism has produced this.

and a nation which doesn't think of the country as THEIRS but for sale to the highest bidder.
 


Won't fault you for the geography. Mine's lousy. (I'll pass on the sniff, but thanks. How about a Newcastle when I'm in London?)

"Hands off Venezuela." That's rich. Not totalitarian Cuba's hands, of course.

Not being a Brit, I can't defend the author's observations. I hope he's wrong, as that would reflect best on the British people. But Hayek predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union while your forebears were praising its accomplishments: that alone ought to give him a Pulitzer.

Are you sure your Cuban visitors aren't in prison or dead? (Not that good apparatchiki would have anything to fear.) Maybe they're strapping together anything that floats to try to get to the US, like tens of thousands of Cubans have done. Think about that: what would it take for you to make a raft out of anything you could get your hands on, launch across the english channel (but five times wider and shark infested), and start a new life with just the clothes you're wearing?
 


I know, I've heard the stories and watched scarface (is that the one where the cubans get themselves deported for a wedding back home?)

as far as I know my friends are mountain biking, diving and spending a lot of time camping in the jungle.
 


none of them are particularly political.
 


Dave, you sound like you've moved from athiest to agnostic, and from staunch socialist to an "I still like the ideology" socialist (i.e. rich people are bad). Baby steps...it's all about baby steps.

PS LOVE the birthday party.
 


I've actually moved from born again christian to agnostic/mystic/techno-pagan chemical experiment.

I dont think my politics have moved far at all. I'm just much more polite about them than I used to be!
 


more venezuela
 


Yet all's not well with the Venezuelan proletariat. And the comments at the bottom reveal the word on the street. Have these voices, like those in Cuba, been silenced?
 


There is a follow up film to "the revolution will not be televised"which deals with just this story. the coopreatives taking over the oil industry. Apparently they had to get software written by US hackers to get it all up and running again.

Both films are great.
 


more venezuela
 


The Venezuelan propaganda machine is well-oiled (pun intended). Like Stalin's purges, it will take a decade or more to wade through the propaganda and obfuscation to get the real picture. And, sadly, at the cost of many lives.
 


"Socialism has done more to murder and impoverish than anything else, by a wide margin."

I wear a crucifix around my neck and by God more people have been killed burned tortured raped murdered in the shadow of that sign than that of any other throughout the ages!
 


M: I challenge you to back that statement with fact. Research it yourself and you'll see that my statement stands to scrutiny.

With you, I decry each of the many, many wrongs done in the name of Christianity. But they've been dwarfed by the evils done by Communist (Socialist) states.
 

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