Sanders' positive comments about Cuba's socialism prompted a look around.
I found plenty of anti-Bernie thoughts, but I kept looking until I found one that I thought was least biased
First, Cuba has a lot of problems, and not a few of them are caused by American sanctions. So, we are not an innocent bystander in this issue.
Second, I think pre-Castro Cuba was an example of corrupt oligarchy rule.
And third, I think Cuba is a fair real-world example of the fallacy of socialism.
So after several very biased anti-socialism, anti-Castro videos, I found this one from Al Jazeera—of all places, that is relatively current and balanced.
The video is worth the 25 minutes watch time. And, the consideration of the veracity of Sanders' education and healthcare 'silver lining' praises.
The only point you make, which I would dispute is your comment “I think Cuba is a fair real-world example of the fallacy of socialism.”
I know very little about Cuba, but from what little I know of it, and from reading Wikipedia, Cuba is, as Wikipedia describes: A “Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic”
In other words its ideology is very closely linked to the concepts of ‘Communism’ e.g. ‘Single Political Party’ with ‘Full State Control’, and no real democracy.
While in contrast the ideology of the main stream Socialist Parties across Europe is a strong belief in Democracy (Democratic Socialists).
The one fact that China is waking up to, and which all main stream Socialist Parities in Europe recognise, is that you cannot run a healthy economy on Socialist Policies alone; Socialism needs to work hand in hand with Capitalism.
The reverse is also true, extreme right-wing political parties that focuses on Capitalism, and minimises Socialist Policies, can be just as counter-productive.
"A “Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic”
Okay, ya got me. So we can't simplistically look at Cuba as an example of a Socialist government. Gottcha. Bullhockey.
And bullhockey to your 'clarification" of Socialism and Democratic Socialism.
My apologies for being so blunt nathanville, but my perception is that you are trying to split-hairs over details. Your comment reminds me of the argument that Socialism can't be declared a failed system because it has never been truly tried.
Do you think your corrective clarification of the definition of Cuba's government negates any of the concepts of the discussion? Do you think degrees of definition, (Democrats Socialism), alter the premise of the concept?
And why do you feel the need to offer a counter-defense of pointing to the fallacies of "extreme right-wing parties"? Isn't that just a whataboutism' argument?
Is this a topic that is close to your heart?
Yep, when corresponding with American’s (who merge Socialism in with Communism) it’s a topic that is close to my heart. But when conversing with British people it’s not so important because Brits have a better understanding of the distinction between Socialism and Communism, to a point where we don’t even have to say ‘Democratic Socialist’, saying Socialist will suffice, as to distinguish from Communism.
Nope, it’s not splitting hairs, right-wing politics comes in many forms, just as left-wing politics does.
One form of right-wing politics is Nationalism. Not all right-wing political parties are Nationalists, and not all Nationalists are right-wing e.g. Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru and the SNP (Scottish National Party) are all left-wing (Socialist) Nationalist parties.
Another form of right-wing politics is Capitalism. Most forms of right-wing political parties put ‘Capitalism’ at the heart of their politics (political policy); and most Democratic Socialist Parties also incorporate ‘capitalism’ into their policies; whereas Communism doesn’t.
The reason I felt the need to offer a counter-defence of pointing to the fallacies of "extreme right-wing parties" isn't that just a ‘whataboutism' argument. It’s the fact that Americans only have two political parties, and therefore everything seems so ‘black & white’ to Americans e.g. Capitalism vs Socialism; but in Europe politics is ‘All Shades of Grey’.
With reference to your 4th paragraph, I do think that Cuba is not a fair real-world example of the fallacy of socialism because Cuba is a ‘Single Party’, ‘State Control’, Undemocratic Country; more akin to Communism, and nothing like Democratic Socialism.
With reference to your 3rd paragraph, I don’t know who’s made the argument that ‘Socialism can’t be declared a failed system because it has never been truly tried’; it’s a lame argument, and one that I’ve never heard before.
For the past century, ‘Socialism’ has been well and truly tried in various forms throughout the world.
Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism are all forms of Socialisms (Communism) that have been well tried and tested and, in my view, failed.
In contrast, there are plenty of various forms of Democratic Socialist Parties throughout Europe who are in main stream politics and thriving.
The goal of democratic socialism is to achieve socialist goals of equality while opposing socialist ideologies. Democratic socialism is opposed to the Soviet economic model, command economies and authoritarian governance.
Britain is a prime example of where Socialism can and does work. Although currently we have a Conservative Government in power, because of the rise to power of the Labour Party in their landslide victory in 1945 Socialism is deeply embedded into British Society and Industry e.g. the British ‘Welfare State’, and British Industry being heavily regulated (unlike the Laissez-faire approach in the USA).
The Biggest success story of Socialism in Britain is the NHS (National Health Service); created in 1948. It’s State Owned, State Funded and State Run; so that Health is FREE for ALL at the ‘Point of Use’.
The Conservative Party hates the NHS because it’s pure Socialism, and back in the 1980’s Margaret Thatcher went as far as trying to dismantle it to introduce an American style Health Service; but she failed. Since then every Conservative Government in power have tried to ‘Privatise’ the NHS through the ‘backdoor’, with limited success; but their efforts have been marginal because the NHS is popular with the voting public, conservative voters as much as any other voter; so to make sweeping changes that undermines the NHS would be political suicide.
The NHS has been described as ‘The Nearest Thing the British Have to a Religion’.
The National Health Service explained: https://youtu.be/bDdZCv5v2Rg
To partially atone for my previous discourteous bluntness I thought I should note a point of agreement:
"The goal of democratic socialism is to achieve socialist goals of equality while opposing socialist ideologies."
To a degree anyway. ;-)
My criticisms of Democratic Socialism, Sanders' Democratic Socialism, haven't been because they were Socialist ideas, but because they were too extreme to be realistic in our society. You see your society differently, so our perspectives disagree.
Yep, that I can understand: In corresponding with other Americans on Social Media I get the clear message that to many Americans the Democrats are far too left wing; especially those on the left of the Democratic party, such as Bernie Sanders.
Whereas in contrast the Liberal Democrats in Britain (and their European counterparts), who are comparable to the Democrats in the USA, in British/European politics are centralist parties; and therefore in Britain/Europe are considered quite moderate.
The image below of the political makeup of the EU Parliament (from 2018) clearly puts it into perspective:
For clarity the political groups on the image below are shown as a political rainbow e.g. the more left-wing a political group is the further left it is shown on the chart, and the more right-wing a political group is the further to the right that it is shown on the chart.
* The Democrats in the USA would align with the 'Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe' (a centralist party which had 68 seats at the time), and
* The Republicans in the USA would align with the 'European Conservatives and Reformists' (a right-wing party which had 73 seats at the time). Although under Trump the current Republican Party might be more closely aligned to the 'Freedom and Direct Democracy' political group in Europe e.g. Nationalists.
FYI: The Labour Party in Britain aligns with the 'Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats' (188 seats back in 2018).
I understand your point. Yours and other Brit's posts have allowed me to understand a bit about your politics.
It still surprises me that our Liberal Left would be viewed as Centrists in your politics.
I have noted that I think the U.S. would greatly benefit from an expansion of political parties—even to the point of requiring a European-type of a coalition government, but it is still a struggle to understand how such far-left parties can be so acceptable to UK citizens.
Well, maybe not really such a struggle, I do understand how different our cultural outlooks are. My perception is that Europeans are much more accepting of the perspective that their government's job is to take care of them, whereas my American perspective is that our government's job is to allow us to take care of ourselves.
Yep; you summed it up in your last paragraph. Europeans do expect their governments to provide Social Welfare, Health care, Education etc., and to Regulate Industry e.g. to maintain minimum health & safety standards on goods and food, legal minimum wage and comprehensive employment protection rights etc.
Whereas, in America, as I’ve been told by Americans time and time again, Americans prefer to take care of themselves, and much rather have a Laissez-faire government.
In the light of the above comment, the reason such far-left wing political parties are so acceptable by citizens across Europe and in the UK is because, unlike the Conservative Parties, such left-wing parties do truly deliver ‘Social Reform’. The NHS is the flagship example, but Education is another of many examples.
Because of the Labour Party, Education in the UK was ‘Free for All’ regardless to age until the Conservatives introduced University fees in England & Wales in the mid-1990s; so now Education is only free for all up to the age of 18. But the Scottish Government (a Socialist Government) didn’t approve the change for Scottish Law, so to this day University is still free for all in Scotland; albeit with the friction between Scotland and England, under Scottish Law, university Education in Scotland is free to all UK & European citizens (regardless to age), except for the English.
The reason your Liberal Left is viewed as Centralist in British/European politics is simply because in the USA the Democrats is considered left-wing as they are the most extreme left-wing politics that America has. Whereas, in Britain and across Europe there are a plethora of thriving political parties far more left wing than the Democrats.
The work ethics in Britain is radically different to American work ethics because Socialism is deeply imbedded into British Society; and this is reflected in the differing attitudes of British Industry, compared to their American counterparts: As the video below demonstrates e.g. under British Law, UK employees have a ‘Legal’ Right to Request Flexible working from their employer.
Creating a flexible working culture at John Lewis Partnership and Ford UK: https://youtu.be/2Qs0EL6JWD0
In this context (video above); for the last five years before I retired, I worked from home 3 days a week, and only went into the office 2 days a week.
In the US we have massive media campaigns, and such, which goad people into believing what is right for the employer is ALWAYS what is right for the worker. This is part of why the balance is off in the US as a good portion of the workers fight for the rights of the the ruling class. It's like the greatest trick ever pulled.
I think (maybe) the UK is getting a taste of this with Brexit.
Of course it goes both ways; we have massive campaigns goading people into believing that an employer can give them whatever they want without regard to profitability or even survivability. There is an unlimited pit of money in every business, just waiting to be tapped by employees.
It does appear that both of these attitudes are softening; that there is more cooperation and real discussion between employers and employees today than there has been in the past. Nevertheless, both sides of the equation are still present, and still used to benefit the top of the food chain, whether stockholders or union bosses.
A little confused, though, with the idea that workers fight for the rights of the ruling class (I presume "ruling class" means simply those with more wealth). Can you give some examples of those "rights" for a better understanding?
There's about five Hubs in your question Wilderness. You could start by just looking at the concept of the Constructive Dismissal presented by Nathanville. If you'd ever been caught up in the justice system, you'd have another example screaming at you.
I have been caught up in the justice system, or at least watched as people I care about were. It is broken, IMO, but I have no real suggestions as to how to fix it.
I have also been caught in Constructive Dismissal, where I left a job of 20 years because the new boss and I didn't get along and he had the power to make life miserable.
But I'm not positive if either one is supposed to be an example of a "right" that the wealthy have but the poor don't. Both have the right to hire a great lawyer - it's the same "right" that both have to eat lobster and caviar while living on their yacht. It's almost like saying that every person in the world has the "right" to have what everyone else does regardless of ability to pay for it - something that is popular with socialism but also drives the standard of living towards the bottom rather than the top.
We are moving always further towards this goal; that everything around us is a "right" and should be given to all. A goal that unfortunately always results in no one having much of anything.
So you are okay with money buying freedom? The poor don't even have the right to a legitimate defense in a court of law?
Edit: I do understand your argument about everything being a "right." However, I think some Americans take this notion to the point of absurdity.
First, the poor DO have a right, and DOES receive a legitimate defense in court. It just doesn't get the best defense possible by the most highly qualified and able people.
Should we then pay every lawyer from federal coffers, drawing names from a hat to see which one will defend and which shall prosecute in every court case? Should that include civil cases between antagonists? I don't see that as a viable option, yet have no other suggestion.
The point about rights was that we see claims that almost anything desired is a "right", presumably guaranteed by our constitution. Whether clean water, a cell phone, a roof over our head, health care...whatever it is we want but don't want to pay for is suddenly a "right", to be paid for by someone else. And the list grows, apparently without end.
Yep, the UK is getting a taste of that with Brexit. It’s going to be a wakeup call for lots of gullible people when the Transition period ends on the 31st December 2020, and Britain is truly on its own; especially when the Government is doing very little to prepare for the impact.
Double Whammy of Brexit Food Shortages:- https://youtu.be/JWFm-UVRk5U
What you describe is what I learnt in economics when I was studying for my exams in college to get my qualification in ‘Business Administration’ (equivalent to two ‘A’ Levels in the UK). The two basic models being ‘Top Down’ vs ‘Bottom Up’.
The ‘Top Down’ Theory (favoured by Businesses and right-wing Capitalist Governments) being look after the employer and they will look after the employee e.g. wealth ‘trickles down’.
The ‘Bottom Up’ Theory (favoured by Trade Unions and left-wing Socialist Governments) being that employers will not trickle down the wealth fairly, they will keep most of it for themselves and give the minimum wage they can get away with. Therefore, there should be an element of redistribution of wealth from an economic aspect, because the greater the income to the lower classes the greater their ‘disposable income’; and therefore the more money they will spend on buying the goods and services which the businesses need to sell in order to create the wealth in the first place e.g. ‘economic growth’.
Do you have ‘Constructive Dismissal’ in the USA?
Constructive Dismissal is where an employee resigns because they feel that their employer has forced them out by making their job intolerable e.g. discrimination, bullying etc. In the UK, ‘Constructive Dismissal’ is illegal, and an employee who resigns because they feel that they have been ‘constructively dismissed’ can sue their employer for compensation through the services of ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service). ACAS is an Independent Government Department, and their ‘Services’ are FREE to both employer and employee.
ACAS (Carrying out investigations in the workplace): https://youtu.be/PTm8ezjFTdg
What does ACAS do in a workplace dispute? https://youtu.be/e0_I8fZ-yvE
Yes. Trickle down economics, I almost used the exact term. Here, that terminology is most closer associated with Reagan and maybe HW Bush.
Wow. We have nothing approaching Constructive Dismissal or ACAS in the US. In fact, many states, such as the one I live, or fire at will states. Meaning a company can fire someone for any reasons it chooses. That employee can possibly draw Unemployment Insurance for a period, but companies do find ways around that at times also.
Many of these same states have laws that made labor unions very difficult to operate. The call these "Right to Work" laws because who can't go along with a name like that?
Here's the gist of the law:
"The law found at Indiana Code 22-6-6, is the state's policy statement that it has opted out of some provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. The Indiana Right-to-Work law provides that no employer, labor organization or any person may require an individual to become or remain a member of a labor organization, or pay dues, fees or assessments (or charitable donation substitutes) as a condition of employment, new or continued.
The law includes a private right of action that can be brought by the individual in civil court, and it provides for an administrative remedy by the Indiana Department of Labor. Finally, the act criminalizes violations of the act, and gives prosecutors discretion to charge people or organizations criminally for violations."
There are still some auto industry unions in the state where I live, but they were demonized almost out of existence about a decade ago. I think they are making a come back in popularity now though as people begin to understand the type of treatment you get when you simply count on trickle down and the charitable nature of employers.
The job I currently have is clearly trying to chase people out so that they can avoid unemployment and hire people in at lower salaries. The company already sent two departments overseas, one being IT, since Trump took office. I am training AI to take my job now. It's getting there. I'm not feeling much of the America First that Trump is preaching.
Wow, that all sounds very ‘autocratic’ to a Brit like me.
Yes, I’ve heard numerous times that employers’ in America can ‘hire & fire’ people at will; and it’s a culture that is commonly portrayed in many American films.
In contrast, under the employment protection laws in the UK, if you’ve worked for your employer for more than 2 years then they cannot sack you easily; it used to be just 12 months, but the Conservative Government changed it to 2 years in 2012.
One thing that might surprise Americans is the Parental Leave Laws in the UK:-
Under UK law:-
• The mother has a legal right to take up to 12 months ‘Maternal Leave’ (of which 37 weeks is with pay), and
• The father is legally entitled to two weeks ‘Paternal Leave’ (paid leave).
Interestingly, in 2015 the Conservative Government amended the law to include ‘Parental Leave’ e.g. where at the mother’s discursion, the father can have up to 50 weeks of her maternity leave (37 weeks of it with pay); thus for example, enabling the father to look after the baby if the mother wishes to return to work shortly after the birth.
I appreciate you taking the time to look for a fair video take on Cuba. I agree with your first and second points. One can imagine the strain if the US was cut off from top foreign investor countries, such as the UK or Japan.
As for the third point, things gets much more complicated. I'm not aware of any candidate pushing for 100% socialism in the U.S. (or 100% capitalism for that matter). So, comparisons to Cuba on the immense number of variables to consider would be a major undertaking.
I'd just like to add that Sanders' comments on Cuba are not so different in essence from Obama's (which are easily found on YouTube and elsewhere online).
I watched the video and found it interesting and worthwhile. There seemed to be a lot about housing issues but not homelessness. So, I took a look online and found this article on homelessness in Cuba, which also seems to be fair and look at the issue from various aspects https://fresnoalliance.com/homeless-in-cuba-not-likely/
Also, I was interested to see what videos came up on Youtube searching for Aljazeera and US homelessness and US poverty. There are quite a few which are also fair, informative, and worthy of consideration.
God Damn! God Damn! God Damn!
Hubpages has to fix this problem. I can't believe I am the only one that loses comments on preview!
It is getting so bad that I have to copy every comment before clicking the preview button. What the hell!
Sorry Eastward. I had just finished a long response to your comment and lost it on preview. And now I am too pissed to try to recreate it.
In short, since I found the Al Jazeera video credible, I could not accept your link's evaluation as credible.
I have seen the Obama/Sanders Cuba comments comparisons, and when context is considered I do not believe it is an equitable comparison. It is a baloney attempt to legitimize Bernie's comments.
I apologize for the short-shrift of my comment, my first effort was much more encompassing. But I am just steaming over this too-frequently occurring loss of effort. It must have something to do with Hubpages log-in timing codes. They can fix it. Other sites don't give me the same grief.
They've got you fired up now, GA (don't blame you). I've been having a lot of technical problems with HubPages as well, losing comments, having difficulty responding due to lack of the "jump to last post" feature. I hope they are on these and get them fixed soon.
As for the link from the emeritus professor of sociology and American studies, I didn't really see them as opposing each other as much as they are different facets of a related issue (saying most people are in substandard housing isn't the same as saying there is little homelessness).
We'll have to disagree on Obama's comments vs. Sanders. I just don't see how Obama saying "I said this to President Castro in Cuba. Look you've made great progress in educating young people. Every child in Cuba gets a basic education. That's a huge improvement from where it was. Medical care...the life expectancy of Cubans is equivalent to the United States despite it being a very poor country because they have access to health care. That's a huge achievement. They should be congratulated" is so radically different from Bernie praising Cuba's literacy program. I think attempts to berate Sanders without berating Obama on this topic are "baloney".
And I'll close with the Sanders' quote from the CBS after debate interview:
“Authoritarianism of any stripe is bad, but that is different than saying that governments occasionally do things that are good”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelsand … 0ca7183482
I don't get the same problem as you describe. Although I always draft my replies in Microsoft Word first, and then copy and paste it to HubPages when ready.
I am pretty sure my problems are related to the "logged in" timing codes of HP.
I am generally always logged in to HP in a browser tab, even when not active on the site. It appears that HP's code semi-logs you out after a period of inactivity. It will still let you read and browse, but the instant you try any input it jumps you to the login page—which means you lose anything you have composed because it wasn't saved before jumping to the login screen. That should be fixable—allowing you to just back arrow to a previous page after logging back in.
However, I don't have any understanding of why a random keystroke or preview button click will also randomly cause all input to be lost.
Oh well, I just have to remember to save before inputting. I am too lazy to go your Word route.
Here is all you need to know... truth over fiction:
April-October 1980 a six-month drama in which more than 125,000 Cubans fled their country and overwhelmed the shores of the U.S.
1994 Cuban rafter crisis was the emigration of more than 35,000 Cubans to the United States via makeshift rafts.
When was the last time hundreds of thousands of Americans were fleeing on rafts to other destinations?
No point in further discussions on the merits of how great the Cuban system is compared to America.
But hey, Bernie is the guy who argued bread lines were a good thing.
If you want to see total disaster strike the American economy, and all our systems of support, let Bernie win. It will be grand.
GA, even the Nazis and Mussolini's fascists were given credit for making the trains run on time.
Castro's Cuba while not a desirable model did have some advantages.
American oligarchy was responsible for the creation of Castro. I am glad that you could acknowledge that.
Nobody is talking about nationalizing major means of production and all of that. Why is it that any time we try to move things away from being advantageous for the oligarch just a smidgen, we get the calls of Soviet style socialism from the Right? But, of course, I forget, you are satisfied with the system as it currently operates. Many of us do not share that sentiment. I shouldn't be shocked as Bloomberg is willing part with a chunk of change rather than lose any strategic economic advantage over the rest of us.
Was the New Deal and 1965's Medicare Socialism? If you were viable then in your current mindset, you would have probably said 'yes'.
America is a far cry from command economies much like the economies of the former Soviet Union or mainline China. The fears are unfounded and are stoked by the oligarchs in resistance to losing any advantage regardless of the source.
I will take a look at your video when I can steal a minute.
Oh gawwddd Cred. Making the trains run on time? Do you really want to offer that as a supportive statement?
If as Eastward would say, I went for the juggler, there is at least one instance I can think of when "making the trains run on time" in your examples wasn't such a good thing.
Instead, I will mention that typically 'making the train run on time', (as a symbolic measure), is very small potatoes when considered against the societal cost of accomplishing that feat.
Could the trains be running on time because there is no one that can afford to take them? Or because there is no place to go on them?
But I do agree with you that America is far from a "Command Economy," and I want to keep it that way. Which is why I am anti-Sanders.
"And third, I think Cuba is a fair real-world example of the fallacy of socialism."
Any "ism" is only as good as those who run it. All of the economic systems are good in theory, it is only the human nature of greed and corruption that throws them off. If the US wants any ism to work, we have to worn on our national morality. Who are we rewarding and looking up to..the bullies, the ones who are born into wealth and con their way to a reality game show, the ones who are related to the ones who were successful, or the ones who can work well with others and get things done?
"Who are we rewarding and looking up to..the bullies, the ones who are born into wealth and con their way to a reality game show . . ."
It could also be rewarding and looking up to; the ambitious, the talented, the innovators, the risk-takers . . .
Of course, there are plenty in your group that are also rewarded and looked up to, but, as you mentioned, human nature of those looking and rewarding will decide which group they admire or denigrate.
It could be. I'm just seeing us, as a nation, turning away from awarding the right things. Nepotism and criminal enterprise seem to be the game of the day. Though I'm sure some of the right people are still being plucked out by our system.
We are absolutely dealing with nepotism and criminal enterprise.
Hunter and Joe Biden are an excellent example. The Bush family, the Clintons, all examples of nepotism and criminal enterprise.
But again, one has to understand the true scope of the problems, from China's Trillions of dollars of influence to International Banking corporations and Oil conglomerations.
The scope of the problem goes well beyond Nation States. Of the top 100 richest entities in the world, more than 60% are corporations, not Nations.
This is an excellent short video that gives detail to the scope of the issues, and why voting for politicians (no matter what the are promising) is a futile endeavor... sadly its not going to get better voting Trump out of office, not for Americans anyways, he's the most pro-American pro-worker President we have had in decades.
Hmm..I did make a point to investigate France's parental leave laws and I think the UK's is even more generous, so that is surprising. We are great at complaining about taxes but not so good about demanding we get good value for a tax dollars. It's crazy, coming from the US, to think that a conservative party could support any mandatory paid leave. Yet, many Americans are convinced we have moved hard left very quickly, as we've seen from discussions here. We only have a handful of states with ANY type of mandatory paid parental leave. Federally there is the 12 weeks of mandatory FMLA, which is unpaid.
One rare thing I may agree with Trump on is that Europe needs to take more responsibility for the military costs of the UN and such. (But, then he consistently calls for massive military funding increases. ) I haven't done enough research to say for sure exactly the extent to which this is true, but I do know too much of our tax dollars go to defense. I think waste is a big part of that too though.
These things are not so simple, but politicians like simple...it's good for voters.
Yep, Trump is right to a point on Europe not pulling its weight on NATO Defence. The Agreement is that NATO Members contribute 2% of their GDP to Defence. The UK and a number of other European Nations who are members of NATO do spend 2% on Defence; but there are a few European countries that don’t.
Notwithstanding that, now that the UK has left the EU, the formation of an EU Army becomes a real prospect. The EU has been in favour of an EU Army for the past 10 years; but has always been blocked from forming one by UK’s veto.
Yes, the Conservative Government in Britain supporting paid mandatory ‘Parental’ leave does go against their grain; but in the UK they are ‘between a rock and a hard place’. The problem for the Conservatives in the UK is that such ‘Social’ Policies are popular with the ‘voting’ public, including Conservative Voters; so to make wholesale changes to such policies would be ‘political suicide’; the best they can do is to just tweak the laws they don’t like.
And other problems the Conservatives have in the UK include the ‘Salisbury Convention’ and ‘demographic’ share of their vote e.g. the Conservatives are very dependent on the elderly for votes as most young people tend to vote for Liberal or Socialist Parties.
With respect to the last point; to keep the ‘grey vote’ the Conservatives have committed themselves to the ‘triple lock’ on State Pensions e.g. in the UK State Pension is annually increased by whichever is the highest of:-
• Rate of Inflation
• Wage Rises
So even if inflation and wage rises are low in a particular year, pensioners can be assured of receiving at least 2.5% Pension Rise.
The Salisbury Convention makes it difficult for any British Government to make promises in an election campaign and then pursue a different political agenda once they are in power.
The Salisbury Convention stems back to a Constitutional Crisis in 1948 when ‘the people’ elected a ‘Socialist’ Government in a landslide victory (in 1945), and the House of Lords (the Upper ‘non-elected’ Chamber) was at the time overwhelmingly Conservative.
The problem back in 1948 is that the Labour Government wanted to introduce a raft of radical ‘Socialist’ policies that the Conservatives vehemently opposed. To resolve the looming Constitutional Crisis, Lord Salisbury (Leader of the House of Lords, and a Conservative) argued to his fellow peers that it would be undemocratic for an unelected Chamber (House of Lords) to oppose the ‘will of the people’; because the people did democratically vote for a Socialist Government.
Lord Salisbury’s fellow peers in the House of Lords conceded to his reasoning and agreed that they would not oppose Labour’s Legislation (the will of the people).
Ever since then, it’s been the policy of the House of Lords to follow the Salisbury Convention and not block any Legislation by the elected Government; provided that the legislation was in the Government’s ‘Election Manifesto’. However, any Policy that a Government tries to push through Parliament, which was not in their ‘Election Manifesto’ is fair game e.g. the House of Lords can block it if they so wish.
Hmm..An EU Army could be very good for the US if the Trump debacle doesn't turn that army against us! Unlikely I know but...
Your comment is eye-opening as the differences between how the UK and the US public thinks. Here we have conservative politicians running on privatizing our retirement system, which is basically doing away with it.
The House of Lords is something that would never go over well in the US. However, does it actually result in policies that are better for the people? I've no idea. It does sound as though the Salisbury Convention is a good thing. Perhaps we need something similar when it comes to Presidential vetos that go against the will of the House.
I think part of the difference maybe the old problem of the ‘Fear of the Unknown’ e.g. the American Public haven’t had a ‘Socialist’ Government in power, so they tend to think of it as ‘Communism’, and fear it. Whereas we’ve had ‘Socialist’ Polices in the UK since 1945 e.g. the NHS, Welfare State etc., so the British Public (including Conservative voters) have got to appreciate it, and depend on it.
Yes, the House of Lords does actually result in policies that are better for the people. The big advantage of the House of Lords is that the Peers are not elected and are appointed for life; so they don’t have to worry about appeasing any political party, and they don’t have to worry about being re-elected. Therefore the Peers in the House of Lords can take a non-partisan, long term view.
Although, under the Salisbury Convention, the House of Lords cannot block a Bill passed by the House of Commons, if it was in the Government’s Election Manifesto; the House of Lords can add Amendments to the Bill, which the House of Commons then has to accept or reject. It is through these Amendments (if approved by the House of Commons) that sometimes unpleasant Legislation is toned down, to the benefit of the People.
There has only ever been one occasion since 1948 that the House of Lords have ignored the Salisbury Convention; and that was in 2012 when, during the 2010 General Election the Conservative Party slipped into their Election Manifesto a Policy to cut the Welfare State by £12 billion (which in British terms would have been a big cut in the Welfare State).
However, come 2012 when the Conservative Government got around to making the cuts in accordance with their Election Manifesto, there was a massive public outcry, partly because many voters who voted Conservative, and would be adversely affected by the cuts, didn’t bother reading the Election Manifesto at the time and didn’t appreciate what they were voting for.
Consequently the House of Lords heard the outcry from the public and decided to ‘dig their heals in’ and block the Bill. After several months of not being able to get the Bill pass the House of Lords, David Cameron (Conservative Prime Minster) took the decision that in order to avoid a ‘Constitutional Crises’ he would just scrap his plans for massive cuts in the Welfare State.
Not all Peers are appointed for life; the House of Lords includes 26 Anglican Bishops and 92 Hereditary Peers. In Total there are 792 Peers in the House of Lords, of which the current Political makeup is:-
• 245 = Conservatives Peers
• 241 = Independents Peers
• 179 = Labour Peers
• 91 = Liberal Democrats Peers
• 4 = DUP Peers
• 2 = Green Party Peers
• 2 = Ulster Unionist Party Peers
• 1 = Plaid Cymru Peer
• 1 = Lord Speaker (Leader of the House of Lords)
There are currently 814 Hereditary Peers, such as Lord Bath (a Liberal); of which only 92 are entitled to sit in the House of Lords e.g. a restriction imposed by the Labour Government back in 1999 as follows:-
• 42 Conservative hereditary peers
• 43 Independent hereditary peers
• 3 Liberal Democrat hereditary peers
• 2 Labour hereditary peers
Lord Bath Hereditary Peer (a Liberal) Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath: https://youtu.be/BgrLhMS40I8
Cuba - diverse, vibrant and complex - is undergoing immense change. But what does it mean to be Cuban in this time of change?
https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/my … 44014.html
I tried to take the quiz, but it didn't work very well.
Being European, Cuba is a place that I know very little about, other than what I see on TV and in the Media. So I found the six videos enlightening. It’s like Russia, China and the Middle East etc., as an outsider we all too often tend to be feed the more negative side of such places by the News Media and Social Media, but once you meet people from these places, and get a chance to chat to them ‘face to face’; it is refreshing, and enlightening, to learn about such places from their perspective.
Most European and Scandinavian countries have a form of Capitalism for its economy and socialism for its social programs.
Definition of socialism
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
by ga anderson 23 months ago
I saw Marx mentioned in a thread and then by chance stumbled across this site: misesvsmarx.aier.org - The March of History Of course, I admit it appealed to me because it leans my way, but it does have some good basic information if you are interested in the Marx/Socialism issue but don't want to...
by TruthDebater 11 years ago
Does Capitalism create equal opportunity for all or just for the elite? The same with socialism, does it create equal opportunity for all or only those affiliated with government? Is both capitalism and socialism simply illusions making false claims of equal opportunity while those in power and...
by ga anderson 12 months ago
Peterstreep posted a thought about today's capitalism being different, (and the implication was that it is more dangerous), than the capitalism of the early 20th Century. Here is what he said:On the basics, I disagree, I think it is the same game, just with different players and boundaries. But in...
by Kathryn L Hill 3 years ago
"Sixty-one percent of Democrats take a positive view of socialism—and so do 25 percent of Republicans.Contrast the millennials' opinions with those of their parents. A survey last year found that only 26 percent of baby boomers would prefer to live in a socialist country. Among young people,...
by Arthur Russ 14 months ago
As a European, the one thing I find most confusing about American Politics is that the Republicans are ‘Red’ and Democrats ‘Blue’; the complete opposite to most of the rest of the world.It does not matter how hard I try I can never get use to a ‘Right-wing’ political party using the colour of...
by JOC 2 years ago
This article tended to resonate with how the left and the right view the issue.https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/opin … union.html
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