Saturday, 8 August 2015

False Dichotomy of Socialism and Capitalism

The emergence of Jeremy Corbyn as a (the?) leading contender to become chief lunatic of the Labour party has sparked much hoo-ha from all sides. Last night I listened as an ultra-Tory (probably called "Tristram" or maybe "Hugo"? I neither know nor care) on Radio 4's Any Questions? tried to say that Corbyn represented the ideology that LOST the cold war and was exclusively responsible for all the privations, corruption and slaughters of the 20th century.

Of course, he was wrong. But that's not why I'm writing.

I'm writing because of the apparent misunderstanding; this country is held together by socialist institutions like free education, free roads, free healthcare, free police, free fire brigades, free army and free political representation. People can live in this country without ever having to trouble themselves with working within free-market capitalism. This is not a 'pure' free-market economy by any stretch.

Socialism did not "Lose": it was inbibed by the many-headed beast of common sense, who built monuments in honour of its folly. Free-market capitalism has no place in the process of politics or policing (this is known as "corruption"), nor in what concerns public safety, e.g. fire and healthcare (this would be known as "inhumanity") nor in the keeping of a standing army (this is known as "stupidity") nor in the realm of public education (this is "corrupt, inhuman, stupidity").

Where socislism falls down is in the regulation and mainenence of goods, i.e. the market place. The free market should have well regulated rein in the sphere of markets, but not be unleashed on social goods as if, say, 70 years of the NHS hasn't been a vast improvement on what came before, when healthcare was for those that could afford it.

Free-markets are fine concerning goods, and are arguably better at amenities and aspects of transport, but a decent, humane, intelligent society must let social goods be taken care of through socialist methodologies, where the many help the one to the detriment of none.

The debate is not "Socialism against capitalism" but rather; what is a social good and what is a market good? Where does one end and the other begin? Should amenities like broadband and gas be seen as social goods and therefore provided by the state to all for free? Or should they be left to the market to provide, and therefore people's access survive, fold or thrive due to market realities?

Both capitalism and socialism are proven governing philosophies in their own spheres, all there is to argue about is what exactly those spheres are?