Is Socialism really bad?


I keep hearing the slating of socialism around everywhere and well, its getting on my nerves. See the majority of the hate against socialism isn’t hate against socialism itself, its hate against dictators and tyrants who ran “socialist” countries and did bad things. The firing squads of the recently deceased Castro always seem to spring up in the discussion. However that’s not the socialism I’m familiar with at all.

I’m British, and my country, when I was younger, was a socialist country. In recent years of Tory rule its swayed somewhat away from socialism, however we still have some really core socialist ideas in action here. The biggest one being the ever under threat NHS. One of the crowning achievements of my country.

Socialism is a tool, much like capitalism, or science. Yes, all three of these things can be used in a way that is bad and has negative affects. However all three can also be used for greatness. I would argue Bill Gates and the Gates foundation are a great example of capitalism being used for greatness. As Bill uses the massive wealth he created to help other people – it would be amazing if capitalism, as a whole, could be trusted to do this. However history has proved it can’t. Capitalism, by in large, is generally used in a way that is purely about driving profits up with no regard to the effect on people. Things such as the Nestle baby-milk scandal, the Coca Cola water scandal and the world economy crash of 2008 spring to mind. All of which were problems created by capitalist ideology.

I’m not saying socialism doesn’t create problems too, though the point of socialism in a world so filled with such heavy capitalism is to reign in those problems above. I personally believe we can’t trust the rich and powerful to help your average disabled person. I don’t think we can trust the rich and powerful to fund legal proceedings for people who can’t afford them. I don’t personally believe that its okay for medical assistance to only be given to people who can pay for it. I don’t believe that if you lose your job and cant find another that you should just starve until you can. I don’t believe that not being able to work is a reason to give up on someone, we should always try to get people into work. All of this takes money, and its really hard to believe, given past evidence, that this will be done without government intervention.

Without socialism; employers would be able to unfairly dismiss you and you’d have no chance at appealing your case. You’d be out of work, so wouldn’t have an income, you wouldn’t be able to pay for legal proceedings, there wouldn’t be unions on which to rely on for help and support. If you fell ill and couldn’t afford the medication – even with a terminal illness such as cancer, or something as mostly benign as diabetes – you’d likely die. Not because you had to die, but because you couldn’t afford the price of life.

To me socialism isn’t a dirty word, its just… the government stepping in to help people where nobody else was. I’m fairly proud to call myself a socialist. Because what’s to be ashamed of?

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Is Socialism really bad?

  1. Hobbyist Contrarian says:

    I wouldn’t go around calling yourself a socialist: the term, when used as a label, is exclusionary of capitalism entirely. We’re trying to draw lines in water here, but Britain has never really been a socialist state and neither has any part of Europe. It’s debatable whether it’s ever been achieved anywhere.

    If you want to know what it would have looked like in this country have a read of Tony Benn and the stuff he was spouting during his militant period in the 1980s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. trashonthecurb says:

    When someone calls themselves a ‘socialist’, I assume they want a whole society under socialism, rather than some protectionist socialised aspects in a free market. But any socialism seems fairly impossible without the implicit threaten of government sanctioned violence. How else are you going to get people/people with money to give you that money for socialised projects without violence.

    Capitalism is thought to be morally righteous since when it’s working, it’s meant to only survive on agreements be two people for goods. No one comes in and takes your money and goods with violence unless you do something actually wrong. Whereas in socialism, the ‘wrong’ you do is having money and goods that other people do not have. It’s why people do the ‘taxation is theft’ chant.

    It always come down to ‘how much violence against people and unmoral seizure of their good and money is warranted’? I’m a believer in socialised system, but in the way that they are a necessary evil. And people should vote to keep that evil to a complete minimum.

    So what I’m trying to say is “See the majority of the hate against socialism isn’t hate against socialism itself, its hate against dictators and tyrants who ran “socialist” countries and did bad things”. Socialism can’t survive as an system without those bad things.

    But admittedly my understanding is missing some aspects, but it’s the core of the reason why I’ll never ever call myself a socialist, just a believer in the necessary evil of socialised programs like Medicare.

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    • cursede says:

      Oh I want people to give voluntarily. But they dont. So there has go be some sort of agreement for the privilege of doing business here. That you as a company or person will put some cash into the pot. That gives you free access to our market.

      I think capitalism is necessary for good socialism. We need extra money we need profit. You can’t really run a totally socialist country.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Socialism just means the state controls production and services like healthcare and so on, which in of itself is not necessarily a bad thing as long those in power are held accountable for any aggregious mistakes or malicious conduct.While you can’t always count on the rich and powerful to help those in need you could also say the same of government, which is why there has been so many problems with Communist dictatorships, for example.Though like you said, Socialism and Capitalism are tools which can be benifitial or harmful depending on the intent and ability of those in power.

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    • cursede says:

      I definitely agree. I’d argue the UK does socialism really well. We have capitalism driving profits and creating funds which we out into socialist ideas like our NHS.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Understood, it just seems like people give him a pass for basically standing up to the U.S while ignoreing the crimes cimmited by his regime.Regardless, it’s still an interesting article and the author made a good point about how people aren’t lining up to praise Pinochet for his “accomplishments”.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s really annoying when people bring up Cuba’s literacy rate, even if it was true the trade offs do not justify it.The life expectancy is more interesting but it’s only about six month longer compared to the U.S not to mention there are extraneous factors like the U.S counting stillborns when calculating life expectancy.That’s even assuming the numbers provided by the Cuban government can be believed.OK, I think I’ve gone on about Cuba enough for a few weeks.😂

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