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Updates: Currently slacking off

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Socialist rant

The constant hypocrisy, double standards and disingenuous arguments I see surround economic and political discussion are astounding.
Good people discard nuance in favour of rhetoric and discussion in favour of what amounts to chanting obscenities to the opponents at a professional sporting arena.

As a socialist, the focus of my anger is often the "fiscal conservative" with a fetish for free markets. The idea that free markets are able to self govern and are the only path to liberty.
What they fail to appreciate or admit is that capitalism infringes on "personal rights" constantly...
I don't *get* how proponents of capitalism can be so obtuse to it's perils.
It's always some excuse as to how the state is at fault, or that some kinds of capitalism don't count because "real capitalism" is altruistic and everyone is filled with love, sunshine and rainbows.

Socialism is not about dictating to or limiting people, any more than capitalism is about stealing. It happens within those "systems" and it happens independently of them too.
Its foundation, the CORE PRINCIPLE from which all others stem is that a worker should share in the fruits of his labour.
Early socialists dealt with capitalism that: used slaves, used child labour, had shit working conditions with low pay, no breaks/holidays/pensions. The working class also could not vote, did not have much access to education, could be imprisoned and forced to work for accruing debt etc etc etc.

Socialism was a reaction to inequity that not even the most fact immune anarcho capitalist could describe such circumstances as "empowering" or "freedom"
Socialists and the wider left won MANY of these battles. They were not granted by benevolent capitalists/aristocrats. They were fought and paid for, often with blood.
Now we have gained those victories, it does not erase how the rights were gained or remove the danger posed to individual rights by those with power. Power is not something limited to the state.
Capitalism is not evil, it is not good. It is just an economic tool. One of surpassing utility not through a higher power or moral imperitive, but because SOME form of accountability it built into the system.
Accountability is what allows capitalism to function so well, but the form of accountability means that "success" for a private business may not always be in the public interest.

What socialists realised and most socialists believe today is that some things do not benefit from the profit motive. Some things do not benefit from "capitalism" or free markets.
In fact, even none socialists know this shit. Want to privatise the courts? The police? The fire service?
Things don't go well when that happens.
Socialists just draw a different line in the sand.

Healthcare, welfare, education, utilities, infrastructure, emergency services, military and the courts should be publicly operated. Accountable to the public.
How is this bad?
How is it totalitarian?
You might disagree, but disagree on merit, not on some strawman built from whole cloth.
Propose an alternative, justify it and do not pretend that the state is some evil perpetrated on innocent citizens.

Socialists aren't coming to take your income. They don't want to limit your personal freedom or make everyone earn the same. They simply propose that capitalism does not need to be the solution to every problem and maybe, just maybe, there are better alternatives.
Not every problem is a nail, so stop trying to solve every problem with the same hammer just because the hammer is pretty awesome.
Collectivist, cooperative or public run institutions already operate within the capitalist system just fine, they aren't inherently evil any more than a privately owned and run company is inherently evil.
It's all about how we make people with power, either wealth or legislative, accountable for the consequences of their actions.
You do not have to abandon capitalism to embrace some form of socialism, as any politically literate European can tell you. Socialism is alive and well in Europe, but the biggest influence on policy even in the "socialist dystopias" like Sweden and Denmark are still corporations.

Rant end.