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Am I A Socialist?


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#1 tomandlu

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:18 PM

I've always been happy to label myself as a socialist, but I'm never entirely sure how accurate the label is.

In favour of the label:

  • I'm in favour of a progressive tax system
  • I'm in favour of the welfare state, the principal of the NHS and free education at all levels
  • I'm in favour of many aspects of employment law designed to protect the interests of the employees
  • I'm in favour of basic infrastructure (roads, power, water, etc.) being provided and maintained by the state*

Against:

  • I believe that it is the responsibility of government to do what it must do, not what it can do
  • I believe that welfare benefits should never be seen as an acceptable option to working
  • I believe that governments should regard reducing tax on earned income and productive businesses as a moral duty
  • I believe that governments should seek to be as unobtrusive as possible
  • I believe that if a law cannot be clearly and unambiguously justified, then it shouldn't exist

The 'For' list seems to me vaguely socialist (at least by my definition), but the 'Against' list would to some extent would get me branded as a partial libertarian. Am I just confused and trying to believe in things that essentially contradict each other, or does the rather one dimensional nature of political branding inevitably create this confusion where none need exist?

* on the basis that duplication is wasteful, but a private monopoly would end up being extortionate
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#2 erat_forte

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:29 PM

I've always been happy to label myself as a socialist, but I'm never entirely sure how accurate the label is.

In favour of the label:

  • I'm in favour of a progressive tax system
  • I'm in favour of the welfare state, the principal of the NHS and free education at all levels
  • I'm in favour of many aspects of employment law designed to protect the interests of the employees
  • I'm in favour of basic infrastructure (roads, power, water, etc.) being provided and maintained by the state*

Against:

  • I believe that it is the responsibility of government to do what it must do, not what it can do
  • I believe that welfare benefits should never be seen as an acceptable option to working
  • I believe that governments should regard reducing tax on earned income and productive businesses as a moral duty
  • I believe that governments should seek to be as unobtrusive as possible
  • I believe that if a law cannot be clearly and unambiguously justified, then it shouldn't exist

The 'For' list seems to me vaguely socialist (at least by my definition), but the 'Against' list would to some extent would get me branded as a partial libertarian. Am I just confused and trying to believe in things that essentially contradict each other, or does the rather one dimensional nature of political branding inevitably create this confusion where none need exist?

* on the basis that duplication is wasteful, but a private monopoly would end up being extortionate


Seems socially liberal, and economically liberal too. As a contrast to many state socialists who are socially liberal but economically controlling. Or the American style libertarians who are economically liberal but socially controlling.
CAESAR AD ERAT FORTE BRVTVS ADSUM IAM CAESAR SIC INTRA LIBUS BRVTVS SIC INTRAM

#3 TheCountOfNowhere

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:36 PM

Do you own ten houses, have a desire to live off everyone else and drink the blood of the young ?

#4 scepticus

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:55 PM

No, you're a hopeless idealist.

#5 lurker07

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:57 PM

No, you're a hopeless idealist.

Me too.
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#6 TwoWolves

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:58 PM

You should read Marx, you will see you are not a Socialist at all.

#7 MrPin

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:00 PM

No, you're a hopeless idealist.


Nothing wrong with idealism! It's at the heart of political manifestos, except Labour who dropped Clause IV in 1994.

WE are all both socialist and capitalists at the same time. We like to earn money to buy stuff, and hope that the Government will be fair to those less fortunate, and maybe even ourselves occasionally.

I certainly hope I am less "wrong" than that Ms Harrison, who seems to have fleeced a lot of the taxpayers' (our) money, running fake job getting schemes! :o
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#8 CapitalistPiglet

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:04 PM

"The problem with Socialism is that sooner or later it runs out of other people's money" - Margaret Thatcher

I see nothing in your supportive arguments that would lead to this, so no, you are not a socialist.

#9 MrPin

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:10 PM

"The problem with Socialism is that sooner or later it runs out of other people's money" - Margaret Thatcher

I see nothing in your supportive arguments that would lead to this, so no, you are not a socialist.


It's not just a Socialist problem! I'm really glad I sold my Bradford and Bingley shares (when I found them in a drawer), and bought a Fender Telecaster guitar, cos those shares would be worthless now! :D
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#10 happy_renting

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:16 PM

[*]I'm in favour of many aspects of employment law designed to protect the interests of the employees

[*]I believe that welfare benefits should never be seen as an acceptable option to working

Not contradictory, if the interests of employees include fair pay that is higher than non-working benefits.

I think that a lot of the problem is not that benefits are too high, but pay is too low for most unskilled workers. It's the people at the very top that rake in the real wealth.

Edited by happy_renting, 24 February 2012 - 06:16 PM.


#11 Si1

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:25 PM

a little bit of socialism is a good thing, but not too much!

#12 TheCountOfNowhere

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:28 PM

a little bit of socialism is a good thing, but not too much!

They are a bit like weeds, you let a couple in and suddenly they take over.

Before you know it all the good/useful plants have been over-grown and your garden is a mess.

#13 Si1

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:29 PM

They are a bit like weeds, you let a couple in and suddenly they take over.

Before you know it all the good/useful plants have been over-grown and your garden is a mess.


weeds are just unwanted plants, some of them, when tended and utilised properly, can make a good addition to a garden

#14 tomandlu

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:45 PM

No, you're a hopeless idealist.


Well, at least the 'hopeless' implies a certain level of realism. Hopeful idealists are much worse.

"The problem with Socialism is that sooner or later it runs out of other people's money" - Margaret Thatcher

I see nothing in your supportive arguments that would lead to this, so no, you are not a socialist.


"The problem with Capitalism is that sooner or later, other people run out of money" - me

One of my arguments against pure free-market capitalism is that it is inherently dynastic, offering the least advantage to those who need it most. To put it another way, my problem with free-market capitalism is that it's not free-market capitalism. My problem with socialism in this country is that it seems to possess neither a calculator nor a sense of humility.
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#15 concerned_money

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:25 PM

Seems socially liberal, and economically liberal too. As a contrast to many state socialists who are socially liberal but economically controlling. Or the American style libertarians who are economically liberal but socially controlling.


hello ?

My link

"It is generally used to describe political philosophies which emphasize freedom, individual liberty, and voluntary association."

doesn't sound socially controlling to me




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