Socialism isn’t as bad an idea as most socialists make it out to be, argues Conor Campbell.
Since Ed Miliband has taken over as leader of the Labour Party the critics have suggested that he will take the party to the ‘left’ confining the party to opposition for the next 10/15 years. Sadly I agree that if the party does move to the left once again people will chose to not vote for Labour.
I would like to describe myself as a Socialist; actually it may be better to say I am a follower of Socialist thinking. Maybe it is because I have no large wages or savings that can be taxed or maybe because I don’t read the Sun or the Daily Mail. Who knows, however just because I believe in Socialism, does not mean that I believe it would work effectively in Britain, or any single country. I was recently asked by a friend who was studying at MA level that because I had worked for Labour that ‘I must think Communism is the way forward?’ This statement sums up many of the views encountered by Labour activists down working in Southern England. Due to the Cold War, it has become common ground to tarnish any policies that seem left wing as evil and ultimately as a move towards a Communist and Marxist society.
Socialism is fundamentally about equality. The socialist belief is that all common means of production should be state owned and run not for profit, but for the needs of the public who owns them. It would mean no matter how rich or poor we would all be ensured of the basic fundamentals such as heating, water, gas, electricity and so forth. You may feel that the currently we have those essentials, but how many students have had to sit in their own home wearing 3 or 4 hooded sweatshirts because they were trying to save money on the heating? That should never be the case, ever.
Socialism does not work in one country because it is about creating equality, not competition. A simple example would be a socialist government trying in intervene in the ways of the Premiership. If the government decided that no ticket should cost more than £10 than the wages of the footballers would have to be slashed greatly. Would John Terry stay in the premiership for £10,000 a week when Real Madrid is offering him £150,000 a week? I doubt it, and it works in all lines of employment. A Socialist economy, surrounded by Capitalist counties will lose it brightest and best to the highest bidders. So in order for socialism to work it needs to take place on a universal scale.
Despite my belief in Socialism’s ability to work on a worldwide scale, I am not expecting Utopia to pop up anytime soon. Thomas Moore’s dream will have to wait. Although just because I am aware of the realistic possibilities of socialism, doesn’t mean I except that socialism is bad or ‘evil’. Moving a party to the Left does not have to be some kind of death wish, and Trade Unions are not something that needs to be squashed! Nor should they have their powers reduced. Conservatives and right wing individuals are looking to reduce TU powers; they seemingly are against the idea of a large gathering of people wielding power over those who employ them. However they see no fault in individuals holding an astonishing amount of power over things such as the media and those who work beneath them.
Socialism is like an individual who wants everybody to act and be treated as equals, while being too naive to realise that in an unethical society true equality will never be achieved. On the other had Capitalism seems to be aware that forcing equality on today’s society will never work. Although sadly instead of attempting to even things out, it opts to reward those who use the unethical traits of society best.