To begin the discussion and keeping it simple a quick peek at Oxford Dictionaries says:
Conservative (in a political context) favoring free enterprise, private ownership, and socially traditional ideas.
Liberal relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise.
For deep dives one can read the Ten Conservative Principles by the Father of American Conservatism, Kirk Russel, though some say it is William F. Buckley. Or, Principles of Liberalism at online site Liberal Currents. There are tons of articles out there those are just two.
Also, contemporary thought says that if a conservative one is a Republican and if a liberal one is a Democrat.
Yet, what does it mean really in today’s context? I like both definitions and don’t see them conflicting. Maybe I am dense, yet I have been exploring over the past four years both concepts with the intent of changing from an Independent to one of the choices. I am still undecided, though like being undecided ha-ha Maybe oddly it’s kinda’ fun challenging my past beliefs seeking to form new ones or maintain them.
Here is an opportunity to convince me which way I should go for my consideration.
I give you credit for posting this thread. However, I will need to think hard and long before commenting. --- However, one question ---
Do you think or I should say really think this describes today's liberal? I can see it describing the liberal of the 60s. But the current rendition of a liberal...not so much.
"Liberal relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise"
As for the definition, what is "socially traditional", that concept must change with the times. Free enterprise and private property are tenets of Capitalism, which conservatives choose to support more in a laissez-faire fashion.
Interesting that you acknowledge that liberals tend to support the concept of Democracy, what do the conservatives support as the alternative?
Liberals live in a capitalist society within America, and while we support free enterprise, Capitalism with elements of socialism, which whether we acknowledge it or not, is the reality and as such this society could not function without it. Capitalism is fine but it is to be kept on a leash, and the differences between progressives and conservatives is the question as to how long the leash is to be.
Individual rights for conservatives depend on what those rights are, if it is the right to buy an AR-15 from Costco wrapped in a brown paper bag with no questions asked, that is freedom. But when it comes to equal access to the ballot or a woman right to control her reproductive life, now that is different. So, the idea of "individual rights" is relative.
Conservatives resist the idea of civil rights as part of the definition of being a conservative which means that some are more equal than others.
Liberal and conservative are not necessary fixed on party lines. I knew Republicans that were focused on fiscal conservatism,but were quite liberal from a social sense. There are a handful from my group who generally vote for Republicans but do so over single issue politics like abortion, homosexuality, etc, but are "liberal" in a fiscal sense.
If you are confused or have elements that could come from either side, you are better off remaining an independent.
Thanks for the advice Cred regard being an independent. Appreciated. I had to look up laissez-faire and see how the purist conservative would support that. As far as the comment on democracy that was from Oxford dictionaries, though I place a strong sentiment on a working democracy, which seems is threatened here in the US today to many. I agree to an extent.
You have given much food for consideration and I respect it!! I like that you acknowledged though one may have taken a side, they may at the same time have a mix of beliefs between liberal and conservative. That speaks for me today having both liberal and conservative views. I am just not resolute enough yet to pick up a banner and march with it.
I don't know if I am confused or ignorant ha-ha I am humbled by the knowledge of the regulars here especially content wise as you provided above and importantly with history. I am always looking things up that I read in these forums. Thanks to you and the others for providing important information inspiring this rookie to look further.
I am curious as to what you found regarding the conservative's interpretation of laissez-faire capitalism at its most raw?
Thanks for asking the compelling question.
I didn't really do a deep dive into laissez-faire other than basically it means no government interference at its core. The first thought that flashed into my brain is that means no taxation followed by regulations.
Then it was an hour or so of reflecting on the business world I was in the automotive service industry. One thought was I remember back in '72 working in a gas station we use to pour the antifreeze/coolant down the drain fed into the city sewer system. You can't do that today because of regulations.
That prompted my thought of a purist conservative would see that regulation as interference, yet I think a reasonable conservative would understand why and approve of it. Of course today the bottom line is the cost to dispose of it properly is passed on to the consumer as a hazardous waste fee seen on the invoice at least here in Calif. One might say, too, that is a public service announcement. So, it all works out in the end.
I disagree with your definitions.
Liberals of today do NOT promote individual rights. They promote "group" think. IF you disagree with them, they label you and will bestow violence and other types of attacks on you.
I suppose it would be easy to make the case that liberals of today don't
Conservatives are much more concerned with individual rights. Conservatives believe that when people join together based on their own self interest, amazing things can happen. Yes, strong individualism is a mark of true conservatism.
I suppose a case could be made that both liberals and conservatives of today don't follow the principles of their beliefs.
Thanks for the reply and giving food for thought. BTW . . . Those were definitions by Oxford Dictionaries, not me. Yet, that is what a high school student or anyone on the net would see if seeking to know what is a Liberal or Conservative. And, then it would be further inquiry including networking socially.
I am in agreement with the last thought about following beliefs or maybe we could say core values. Like I said in my OP I don't have any qualm with both definitions for values to follow personally. I don't see them conflicting at this time.
If I was to point to one that gives me questions it would be socially traditional ideas. What is that? To me those are transient. For example the idea of family being a heterosexual relationship with the man as the head of the household, having children and kicking them out when they are eighteen into the real world, and so forth.
Most of the regulars in these forums lived when co-habitating became a normal lifestyle and accepted. One could question that with the liberal vs. conservative perspective, yet personally I know friends of both persuasions that did so while some married later.
Yet, is that moreso a reflection on fading religious (Christian) values, which might mean moving from a conservative perspective to liberal. And, now, today the talk is the nuclear family contrast the extended family with the old adage of it take a village to raise a child. Is that last sentiment a liberal perspective?
After seeing the direction of your OP's responses, convincing you of a direction should be easy—forget the idea. Unless you have a personal need for a group affiliation stay away from them. It appears you aren't talking about a philosophy, which is what liberalism and conservatism are, you are talking about a political party label. And that is a restriction of either philosophy. Both, (all), demand that you adopt their "philosophy" to be a member. They require you to adopt an ideology, or, you're not really one of them. That sucks.
Stay away from political parties and affiliations, they are factions, and a lot of smart people have warned of their dangers. Stay Independent, (unaffiliated), and be your own man. You will still have the liberty of choice to change your mind, or not, based on what you believe, not what you are demanded to believe.
Plus, you still get to have an affiliation—with reasonable folks. We're a group too. ;-)
Wow!!! A much appreciated response and wise advice. I don't know that I was directly talking about a party label other than following the responses. At the crux was seeking philosophical perspectives as hinted with the deep dives references offered. I agree prescribed political ideologies (Belief system) may get in the way as beliefs themselves are a lifelong journey for discovering beginning as a child, accepting perhaps from respected mentors and such, forming through life experience and education, and maybe challenging introspectively as I confess I am today. Though it is not really to pick up one banner or the other, it is just a personal quest of inquiry of self while seeking to discover/learn/discern from a social network. So, I am thankful . . .
As an example of my pondering today while confess most of my life I 'thought' of myself as a conservative is my support of social security benefits and medicare especially, today, in my old guy days while did bank on it through my career. Those in essence are forms of socialism or at least masked as social welfare are they not? Frankly, not until my old guy days did I think of it in those terms or as challenging my conservative values thinking of it as just a given of the American dream we or at least I thought. So, do I check a box in the liberal column rather than the conservative for core beliefs? No reply necessary just sharing something I ponder.
Edit: After some time playing on the net thanks to you regard factions and realizing that was warned to by our Founders it lingered in my mind. Eventually I arrived upon the article below speaking to that, though I heed your caution with as much importance. So, now I have something to ponder while watching the hearing today.
The Founding Fathers Feared Political Factions Would Tear the Nation Apart
The Constitution's framers viewed political parties as a necessary evil.by History
https://www.history.com/news/founding-f … es-opinion
I was familiar with your link, History.com is a good source.
Dumping the political aspects and responding to the OP's philosophical "liberal v. conservative" intent is another piece of easy. Forget that too.
But, if you must find a peg . . . good luck. I never found one I would hang my hat on. I considered Classical Liberal for a while, but it seemed too pat—and I am a contrarian by nature—so I'm just a purple. Ranging from violet to magenta, just pick an issue.
Again, wise as I see it. I like being an independent today speaking moreso as a political banner, thus I presume am purple. When in a forum some years ago you exposed me to Classical Liberalism I was inspired from that to look into Liberty itself and is ongoing today. Thanks!!
I think the point of picking an issue perhaps is what it comes down to in some senses. I know people who are what they are because of a single issue and will not sway from it such as abortion or universal health care. That is all that matters. I just have not found that issue yet to invest myself into especially passionately. Thus, am happy being independent or purple.
Taking a 'single issue' stance is usually not the best choice. It can certainly be driving and defining influencer of choice, but it shouldn't be the arbiter.
Purple is a good place to be. Many see it as fence-sitting, I see it as smart and honest. No 'affiliation' influence and no sacrificial consequences for changing a stance. Or, not taking one.
You might be more comfortable sitting on the fence.
As a (much) younger man, I would have clearly identified with the left. However, time and experience have taught me that there is much value in conservative thought.
One of the biggest problems we have nowadays - not only in the United States - is an artificial division between the right and left. It's artificial because it has reached such a point (as we can see in these forums) that the one school doesn't understand where the other is coming from.
Such divisions as Republican / Democrat or Conservative/Labour are not helpful and certainly not constructive.
Thanks you may be right about sitting on the fence. Seems these days, though is only an impression perhaps, is it is an issue by issue thing. I have taken that approach while considering adding each column to decide for the last two national elections not arriving on a winner. So, did a write in for president.
I think many follow the path you shared moving from a liberal view to a conservative one as we journey through life. More is at stake with a different take on risk with reward considerations.
Hard to believe they don't understand where the other side is coming from. Abortion is a case in point - conservatives talk only about saving lives of people yet to be born, while liberals ignore it completely and talk about a woman's right to end those lives. Both sides understand the other - they just disagree on it and so refuse to acknowledge it at all.
Those definitions hold up. As a believer in Christian principles, liberal policies measure up more to the instructions we receive for how to treat others. People single out abortion as a litmus test for Christian voters and ignore all the others (which are much more plainly stated: care for the widow and orphan, feed the hungry, tend to the sick and poor) in the name of a greater good. That's not what I read in my Bible. Thank you for this thoughtful question.
Outside of the ability to vote in primary elections I don't see that there is much to be gained by declaring allegiance to either side, and in some states that vote is possible without that allegiance. In my state, for instance, anyone can vote in Democrat primaries but only Republicans can vote in Republican primaries.
That is the way it is here in Calif too with presidential primaries. Don't understand the reasoning to be honest, yet it is what it is. As far as declaring allegiance to a party I first voted as a proud Republican 1972 as an eighteen year old for Nixon and voted that ticket until 2012 more so as a sheeple not being really invested in politics especially emotionally. I made it official in 1984 joining the party and donating thus receiving my plastic membership card saying member since 1984. I still carry it in my wallet.
2012 I changed my party to "No Party Preference". Long story why, though it was a personal point of not desiring to be a Republican; e.g. Long story moreso to do with people in my circles. About that time being retired and seeking things to do to entertain my mind one day I said,
Why do I believe in God
What theology do I adhere to
Why am I a conservative
Why vote Republican
What are my values; i.e family, community including church, and etc.
I have been on an interesting journey since questiong self and, yes, I have come up with satisfactory answers for self while still have many questions. Being a novice writer I write about it, though don't publish. Keeps me from watching too much TV except for Let's Make a Deal and the Price is Right in the mornings. Won't miss those two.
Not sure what idiot at Oxford wrote those definitions, but we are to assume that both sides support free enteprise?
Liberal states (Cuba, Venezuela) support nationalizing industry, not free enteprise.
Individual rights? Oh, you mean like the right to bear arms?
Liberal: Relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights as long as they are approved by the government, civil liberties as long as it does not go against the current mainstream beliefs, democracy as long as the liberal party wins the elections, and government ownership of all things so that wealth can be evenly distributed by the government and no one will be rich or poor.
I’m not sure that there is a simple answer e.g. when I studied economics and economic history at college we were taught the different economic theories, such as ‘from the top down’ and ‘from the bottom up’. And the point is that both theories are valid; they work, but which one you favour is dependent on your politics (political view) e.g. Conservatives favour the ‘top down’ approach, while Socialists favour the ‘bottom up’ approach.
The ‘Top Down’ view (in simple terms) is that Government impose minimum tax your employer, leaving it up to them to pass on some of their extra profit to their employees in the form of wage rises.
The ‘Bottom UP’ view is that employers cannot be trusted to pass down anything other than the minimum that they can get away with as wages and that left to their own devices employers will just pocket the money themselves e.g. more generous pay out to their shareholders.
Therefore, under the ‘Bottom up’ economic theory; governments tax the employers more heavily and redistribute that wealth to the employees, on the principle that it will increase the employees disposable income e.g. the employees will go out and spend that extra money, which means the employer (manufacturers etc.) sell more goods and services (because of higher demand) and will this make bigger profits which will be used to employee more people to meet increased demand.
As regards your question, I can understand why you’ve only included Liberals and Conservatives; because that is the only politics you have in the USA. However, in Britain, we also have Socialism (which to most Americans is a step too far). The Oxford English definition of Socialism is:-
“a set of political and economic theories based on the belief that everyone has an equal right to a share of a country's wealth and that the government should own and control the main industries”
As you may know, I am a Socialist, and while I could support the Liberals I do find that for me personally, the Conservatives are too far right politically for me to be able to support.
Kudos for always giving me much to ponder with the compare/contrast of UK to US. Add my interest in Sweden and keeping up with Sweden's current events including politics and governing feeds my questioning of choosing between ideologies. For instance this week I began looking into the Libertarian party here in the US. Interesting and I like some of it at its core values. I will continue to explore.
BTW . . . I got the impression from your post a great emphasis is on the economic factors, though perhaps the crux of it is we all need money to get by and naturally all have a desire to accumulate it, e.g. wealth. That to me says there is a natural tendency to be independent or autonomous. Isn't that a conservative perspective. Maybe I got that wrong.
Yeah, I did focus on economics because that is always high on the agenda during election campaigns, and for any government in power.
Other topics high on the agenda during election campaigns will vary from country to country; for example, in the UK the NHS is always one of the general public ‘main issues’ during election campaigns; mainly because the Labour Party accuses the Conservatives in undermining the NHS by underfunding it and trying to privatise it through the back door – and in defence (so as not to lose votes) the Conservatives have to try to make out that the NHS is safe in their hands: Margaret Thatcher’s slogan during election campaigns back in the 1980s was “The NHS is Safe in Our Hands”!
In 2017 & 2019 UK General Elections the General Public the top five Main Issues were:-
In the 2017 General Election:-
• Brexit = 64%
• NHS = 45%
• Immigration = 35%
• Economy = 34%
• Education = 19%
In the 2019 General Election:
• Brexit = 68%
• NHS = 40%
• Crime = 28%
• Economy 25%
• Environment 25%
The NHS is always contentious in British politics (the Conservatives weak flank) because it is pure socialism and therefore distasteful to the conservative ethos, but over 80% of the British public, including Conservative voters, love the NHS.
I think I’ve digressed slightly; getting back on top, and turning to your last point: -
Yeah, we all need money to get by, and certainly many people have a natural desire to accumulate it (wealth); and yes that is a conservative perspective. However, in Britain, not everyone has a natural desire to accumulate wealth; as long as they have food on the table, shelter, basic amenities, enough income to pay their living expenses and to afford a few luxuries e.g. smart phone, car, TV etc., and to be comfortable, then they are quite content.
And yeah, most people have a natural tendency to be independent or autonomous in society (self-pride/self-respect etc.); albeit, to be financially independent or autonomous in Britain isn’t as strong a desire in Britain for many people as it is in the USA, in that Brits generally feel they have a reasonable level of security (a safety net against abject poverty) in the Social and Welfare State e.g. NHS (Free universal healthcare for all); free education for all until the age of 18; Social Housing with free rent for the poor (rent paid by local Government); and Social as well as Welfare support when needed etc., some benefits are means tested, and some are not.
The NHS for there as well as what I know for the same concept in Sweden intrigues me. Yet, we here in the US do have it to an extent seen with Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is administered at the federal level and Medicaid is at the state level. Here in California we call it Medi-Cal.
Medicare is for seniors based on age while Medicaid is based on income. And, for some there is Medi-Medi where you qualify for both. Yet, there is shall we say a no-man's land where if you make too much money you lose out of the opportunity for Medicaid. The contrast here with there is ;private medical insurance, which is paid for by someone. That could be an employer, the individual. or a combination. And, too, opportunity as a member of this or that like a church and etc. to get it affordably.
I have been in the position having to finance the medical care I needed, so have an open eye to what the UK and Sweden does. Maybe that is a liberal box I may check.Today,I immensely appreciate being on Medicare today in my old guy days especially being diabetic and other stuff too.
The NHS was founded in 1948 by the Labour Party following their landslide victory in the 1945 General Election. At first, not surprisingly, there was a lot of resistance from the doctors in that they wanted to keep their private practices, and not become ‘public servants’; but as a trickle of doctors started to sign up for the NHS the remaining doctors feared that if they didn’t sign up they would go out of business because everyone would be flocking to the ‘free’ healthcare – and therefore within months of the proposals resistance from the doctors for the NHS crumbled.
Obviously the Conservative Opposition Party, headed by Winston Churchill, deeply resisted the policy but without the support of the House of Lords they were powerless to stop Labour introducing the NHS.
The House of Lords (who could have blocked the proposals) at that time was predominately Conservative; but the Leader of the House of Lords (Lord Salisbury) reasoned with his fellow peers that as the ‘socialist’ policy was part of the Election Manifesto upon which Labour won their landslide victory that it would be undemocratic for unelected upper chamber (House of Lords) to block the ‘will of the people’ – hence the creation of the ‘Salisbury Convention’ which has now become part of the British Constitution.
The founding principle of the NHS is “Free Universal Healthcare for All at the Point of Use”; and with a few minor exceptions, everything is free, including the Ambulance service (which is part of the NHS).
The advantage of the Ambulance Service being part of the NHS is that when Ambulances are available the hospitals can use them as a free taxi service to fairy day patients to and from hospital; obviously this takes 2nd place to an emergency, so if you are waiting for an ambulance to take you home you might have to wait a few hours – but at least it’s free and it and it utilises a resource, rather than ambulances standing idle because its busy.
Not just Ambulance are free, but also, we don’t have any co-pay, so doctor’s appointment, and seeing Consultants are all free.
The only areas where there can be a modest cost are:-
• Parking at hospital, and
• Potentially prescriptions.
1. You have to pay for car parking at hospital, unless you are disabled (blue badge), in which case parking is then free.
2. The only people who have to pay for their prescriptions are people in full time employment, not on any welfare benefits and who don’t have any ‘long term’ illness e.g. if you are diabetic then all your prescriptions are free.
For those who have to pay prescriptions the charge is £9.35 ($11.48) per item to a maximum of £108.10 ($132.72) per year.
For example, when I was rushed to hospital in an Ambulance with kidney problems 18 months ago, during my three weeks in hospital, and in follow-up visits as a day-patient in the months after I ended up having:
• 3 x MRI scans
• 2 x ECG
• Chest x-ray
• Several Ultrasound scans, and
• Countless blood tests to test for everything imaginable
All the above was free including the ambulance, and all the medication I was put on for the next 12 months when I came out of hospital (while I was recovering) was all free.
And even all the food and drink, and incidentals (toothpaste, toothbrush and comb etc.) were all free. For the three weeks while I was in hospital I was allowed up to 7 free hot drinks a day e.g. coffee, hot chocolate etc., and sometimes I got the nurse to make me a hot cup of coffee made with 100% milk (all free).
My last hospital appointment (earlier this month) was quite amusing:-
All the tests came back showing me to be in full health, and therefore by rights the hospital constant should really discharge me; but upon looking at my medial history he did comment that I am one of those people who don’t generally go to the doctor (for minor complaints), so now that the NHS have me in their grip they are looking for any excuse to keep hold of me – and the only two areas where I’m not in perfect health is that my cholesterol is slightly high, and I’m a little overweight.
So now, for my next appointment in six months’ time, in need to lose a little weight and reduce my cholesterol slightly; if I can do that then he’ll be happy and if I can keep up the good progress then it’ll mean just another three appointments with him over the next 18 months before he finally discharges me.
So, perhaps you can see from the above why the NHS is so popular with the British people.
This short video sums the NHS quite well: https://youtu.be/bDdZCv5v2Rg
Thanks for the info and the personal experience of how beneficial it was for you. The bottom line is NHS is Free (period), though there may be some slight incidental out-of-pocket expenses. One thing that caught my interest was when it was instituted in 1945. Sweden's began 1935. I do ask is there private insurance in UK as an option? I know there is in Sweden.
Our Medicare and Medicaid began 1965. Yet, there is still a cost and it does not cover all the populace. Maybe 27% of populace is on Medicaid and 15% on Medicare, so the rest is private insurance or is an out-of-pocket expense.
Shooting from the hip I see it correlating in a way to WWII with its political, social, and economic challenges and changes. Since it was central to Europe rather than U.S. on those three both public and governing sentiments were open to something different hopefully for the better for the governed. One thing to note only 43 countries offer Free Universal Healthcare out of 195. So, the U.S. is not alone in not having it.
Yeah, it does seem to be linked to the aftermath of the 2nd wold world war. Winston Churchill (Conservative) was a war hero, thus the expectation was that he would win the post-war General Election in 1945; so it took the country by surprise when Labour (a socialist party) won a landslide victory – especially as it was the first time Labour had come to power: Prior to the war the two main political parties had always been Liberal and Conservative.
So I think you are right: After the 2nd world war, people wanted change.
Yes there is Private Medical Insurance in the UK as an option, but I’ve never known anyone who has it; our Prime Ministers use the NHS, as does the Queen and the Royal family e.g. Boris Johnson (current Conservative Prime Minister) had a minor routine operation, under general anaesthetic on the NHS on Monday this week. And although (last year) when he was ill the Duke of Edinburgh (the Queen’s husband) recuperated in a private hospital; his life saving medical treatment was done in an NHS hospital, and then when he was stabilised, he was transferred to a private hospital to recover.
Private Medical Insurance in the UK is expensive (by British standards), typical £1,800 ($2,200) per year, and gets more expensive the older you get; and it isn’t very comprehensive anyway; for example Private Medical Insurance in the UK does NOT cover:-
• Emergencies or Life Threating illness such as a road/car accident, heart attack etc.
• Organ transplants
• Pre-existing medical conditions
• Pregnancy and childbirth
• Cosmetic surgery to improve your appearance
• Injuries relating to dangerous sports or arising from war or war-like hostilities
• Chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDs-related illnesses, diabetes, epilepsy, hypertension (high blood pressure) and related illnesses.
Whereas the NHS covers all of the above, except for cosmetic surgery, unless it’s related to physical or mental health e.g. if you can persuade your NHS doctor and Consultant that the shape of your nose is making you mentally ill then the NHS might consider cosmetic surgery!
The other ‘Cons’ of Private Medical Insurance in the UK is that the NHS is a large well sourced organisation (1.6 million workers, including social care worker); so it is recognised that the care you get in the NHS is as good, and often better, than private treatment.
The only advantage of having Private Medical Insurance in the UK is that, if your condition is covered by Private Healthcare e.g. hip replacement; then you can jump the queue and get it done quicker than an NHS patient.
So not surprisingly, there are ONLY 45,000 people with Private Medical Insurance in the UK out of a population of over 67 million; just a mere drop in the ocean.
Maybe a tangent and not direct to your very informative reply. I think here in the U.S. to go to the NHS concept would be shall we say greater than a monumental task. There is what happens to the Insurance industry, the hospitals, the physicians/specialist, the research companies, the pharmacological industry, the . . . the . . . the
For instance there are:
Hospitals - 6,093
Physicians - 1,018,776
Pharmacies - 8,015 while some are chains
and, on and on . . .
While, about 20% of GDP is the health industry and a 4 trillion expenditure market
To me the only way, while only speculating, that it can be done is through how payment for goods/services is made thus everything else remaining privatized other than the military on board base facilities and the Veterans Administration medical facilities as is today.
That seems from what I understand has been in the past the direction legislatures have proposed. One is a single payer system similar to Medicare. Below is a link about it by Harvard (University) Health Publishing.
Single payer healthcare: Pluses, minuses, and what it means for you
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sin … 1606279835
Yep, absolutely, for the USA to go to the NHS concept would be not just a “greater than a monumental task”, but would also be nigh on impossible; as it was to give birth to the NHS from scratch (in just six months) in post war Britain in the late 1940s.
The story of the birth of the NHS demonstrates that sometimes the impossible is possible!
When Labour proposed creating the NHS in 1948, the proposed NHS was hated and resisted by the very people who would actually make it work, its gestation (with perhaps the exception of Brexit) was the most fiercely contested in British History; and its many enemies wanted to crush it before it was born.
The NHS: A Difficult Beginning - The Battle for its Life:-
• 3rd January 1948: Labour announced that in just six months’ time, on 5th July 1948 ‘free healthcare would be available to every British citizen.
• Creating the NHS from scratch within months was a race against time because from the outset it faced bitter opposition.
• The Conservative opposition Party (Winston Churchill) fought the NHS Bill at every stage in the House of Commons.
• Britain was bankrupt after the most expensive war in history; and the cost of creating the NHS from scratch was huge.
• The British news media were against the NHS, predicting disaster e.g. claiming that the public would exploit a ‘free for all’.
• The angriest and most passionate opponents of the proposed NHS were the very people needed to make it work, the dentists, doctors and surgeons. The Doctors claimed the NHS would rob them of their ‘independence and freedom’.
• The challenges: How in six months would the Government equip the hospitals; recruit the nurses and stock the pharmacies; let alone winning over the medical profession itself? At the time there were 35,000 doctors to win over.
• On 1st January 1948 the BMA (British Medical Association), who represented all doctors in Britain, declared war on Labour’s plan to create the NHS.
• 17th January 1948: BMA start a campaign against the NHS, and send out postal votes to all doctors.
• 9th February 1948: The Labour Government fight back – first time in its history, 4th Reading of a Parliamentary Bill, where Labour argues that Parliamentary Sovereignty Rules the Country, not the BMA.
• 18th February 1948: BMA’s vote against the NHS is counted and announced e.g. in London, Newcastle and Liverpool the NHS was rejected unanimously by the doctors; and in Brighton 350 doctors voted ‘No’ to the NHS with just 1 doctor voting ‘Yes’. In total, over 30,000 out of 35,000 doctors (over 85% of doctors) vote against joining the NHS. No doctors would mean ‘no NHS’.
• 1st March 1948: Opinion Poll showed 87% of the British Public was in support of the proposed NHS.
• 10th March 1948: Government made a deal with the Queen’s doctor (the most senior doctor in the country), who was head of the medical consultants (surgeons), to get the Consultants (Surgeons) on-board – the deal being that Consultants (surgeons) would be able to opt to split their time between working for the NHS and optionally working privately if they so wished to do so.
• 26th March 1948: The Queen’s doctor, standing for re-election of the Presidency of the Consultants (surgeons), campaigned for the Consultant’s to join the NHS on the deal he made with the Government. His opponent campaigned against the NHS. The result of the vote was 170 for the Queen’s doctor, and 165 for his opponent; thus bringing the Consultants (surgeons) on-board to support the NHS.
• 12th April 1948: BMA (doctors) dig their heels in and threaten strike action.
• The Government retaliates by running a publicity campaign encouraging the Public to sign-up (register) as NHS patients; and within five weeks 75% of the Pubic sign-up to become NHS patients.
• 4th May 1948: BMA run second ballot, this time 60% voting ‘no’ to the NHS, and 40% voting ‘yes’ to the NHS. After that, doctors became scared that if they didn’t join the NHS they would have no patients because everyone would flock to NHS doctors; so more and more doctors started to support the NHS
• 28th May 1948: The BMA did a U-turn and urged all remaining doctors to join the NHS; but the BMA then called on the Government to delay the launch of the NHS by six months, as the start date (just 5 weeks away) was impossible because nothing would be ready.
• 2nd June 1948: The Government refused to delay the launch of the NHS. In spite of the fact that at that time (following the war), most of the 3,000 hospitals were in a poor state of repair, including bomb damage from the blitz e.g. every single hospital in London had been bombed during the war. With just five week to go, it was not just a shortage of buildings and equipment, but there weren’t enough nurses needed to run the NHS.
• Thus, in the last five weeks before the NHS was due to go live, the Government launched a last minute campaign to recruit and train 30,000 new nurses (from the general public) to attend to 400,000 hospital beds.
• In the last month before the launch of the NHS the British Press stepped up their propaganda against the NHS e.g. claiming that it would be a disaster ‘free for all’ causing the whole system to fall apart!
• 5th July 1948: The NHS was born - without a hitch, and fully equipped and staffed. And the rest is history.
If you get the time, the documentary below gives an in-depth view into the birth of the NHS
The NHS: A Difficult Beginning - https://youtu.be/-ywP8wjfOx4
Thanks for sharing the link Tim; I've had a busy morning, so only just got round to reading it in full, and carefully - an interesting read, and very informative.
"Therefore, under the ‘Bottom up’ economic theory; governments tax the employers more heavily and redistribute that wealth to the employees..."
Except that, in my experience, that tax money does not go to the employees; it goes to those that don't work or work at minimal jobs rather than the employers so heavily taxed.
So...it is just another method of redistributing the wealth that the Great Middle Class produced to the poor.
In your experience, I don’t think you’ve ever had a Socialist Government in the USA; your governments tend to be more Laissez-faire.
Yeah, it is redistribution of wealth, which is the philosophy of socialism: And whereas in the USA, where people have never really experienced it, regardless to your social status and wealth most Americans do seem to find the idea of redistribution of wealth repugnant.
However, in Britain, even amongst the wealthy, and business owners, it is accepted and recognised as being beneficial; and in Britain, you do NOT see or hear businesses (the CBI) bitterly opposing Labour (when they are in power) that they’ve raised the higher rate of tax on businesses by 2% (as they always do when they are in power). The short clip below gives a flavour of the sort of banter that you get between Labour and Business owners (CBI):- https://youtu.be/AHrKqctBKVY
Yeah, some of the redistributed wealth does go to the unemployed and those who “work at minimal jobs”, as well as the employees; but in the ‘bottom-up’ economic theory it’s has the same effect e.g. the unemployed and low paid will have extra disposable income, which they will tend to spend (rather than save), thus stimulating demand in the economy, which stimulates economic growth, increase in employment, and more sales and profits for business; and thus an increase in tax revenue for the government because everyone is earning more, and businesses are making more profits.
I've talked to many socialists. In Europe, they seem to have a different interpretation of what it is compared to people in the United States. The people I've spoken with in South America have a perspective that is different from the US and UK.
I've been to the UK and I believe the system in place is perfect for them. They may argue about different aspects of it, but it is their system and that's not going to change.
The question would the European-style socialism work in other countries?
I don't know and that is always a hot topic of political debate when I've been in Europe. Interesting conversations are heard in English pubs.
Socialism would not work in the United States. It's the American culture of rugged individualism and independence that makes it impossible.
That's not going to change.
Yep, I agree with you; socialism works well in Europe, but many (I suspect most) Americans living in the USA would find socialism too radical for them – Albeit, Americans who settle in Europe and the UK do quickly adapt to the European way, such as this American guy talking about British Politics, after immigrating to the UK from America: https://youtu.be/-A8m7i3dkdM
I've been at citizenship swearing-in ceremonies when my relatives have become American citizens. There are always a few people from the UK there. Most people I've seen there are from India, Mexico and South America.
My image of the UK was forever changed when I was given a meal of beans on toast. At first, I thought my friend was making a joke, but it is a real meal there. I also experienced something called chips and curry as well as mucky drippings. Mushy peas weren't too bad.
There is also good food in the UK.
Yep, baked beans on toast is a popular English meal; one which we quite often have at home when we just want a simple and quick evening meal.
And of course everything else you mention are also popular English meals, plus of course the ‘fish & chips’.
American tries beans on toast for the first: https://youtu.be/JHYIShxWHTY
Other similar favourites in England of a similar ilk include the crisp sandwich (aka crisp butty) and chip butty (American for chips being fries).
Americans Try a Crisp Butty for the first time: https://youtu.be/UyzLHEw_68Q
Another Traditional English favourite is the ‘Full English Breakfast’ which these days is available in most cafés as an ‘ALL DAY - Full English Breakfast’, usually for about $7. And being a vegetarian (like me) isn’t a problem because virtually all cafés and restaurants offer vegetarian sausages as an optional substitute.
Well always have an English breakfast over the holidays e.g. Christmas, Easter etc., and whenever we’re on holiday.
A Full English Breakfast typically being fried eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and fried bread with baked beans; albeit optionally you can grill the bacon, sausage, tomatoes, and toast the bread if you wish.
How to Make Breakfast like a Brit: https://youtu.be/rmieAqTG1wI
The only thing not clarified in the above video is that ‘black pudding’ is only available and eaten in Northern England e.g. people in southern England find the idea of black pudding revolting because it contains a lot of pigs blood, just as the English find the haggis revolting, so you never see it on menus in England, Wales or Northern Ireland; but the haggis being a very popular dish in Scotland.
And of course, if you ever visit Devon or Cornwall, you’re missing out on a treat if you don’t treat yourself to one of their cream teas.
Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea: https://youtu.be/N1c33g-H2CA
Look no further than the conservative governing of Florida v. the liberal governing of Cali.
FL is thriving!
Citizens are leaving Cali & other liberal States and flocking to FL, no one is leaving Florida!
We aren't reprimanded or fined for utilizing our God-given common sense. When it comes to personal matters (such as vaccines) we aren't told how to think, what to think, what to do, we are trusted to do what is right for us and for our families. We aren't over-regulated, over-taxed or over -governed. We represent what this great Republic was designed to be, not what liberal/progressives want it to be. It is definitely of, by and for the people, here in the great Red State of Florida.
Can Californians say the same? No!
Not even close, no competition. The only way California improves, is when they come back to their senses and elect someone comparable to Ron DeSantis FL (R) Conservative.
Just for knowledge's sake I live in Calif basically since '69 with a time living in Wash state for a year and voted/supported for Arnold a little ways back between 2003 - 2011 when in office as well as Reagan when a lad in the early 70's. So, maybe it is a matter of ebb and flow as is national politics.
Not to be defending Calif, but the migration thing with Calif has more to do with generations and economics than politics, though perhaps that says something in itself. Most of those migrating away are going to Texas, yet, oddly just as many are coming from Texas to Calif. Though migration fo Calif is on downward trend today, it is a study in and of itself.
Yet, the point of Fl today being a conservative state vs. Calif being liberal is well taken as it relates to today. Yet, the Republicans in my view have only offered some shall we say crack pots for governor lately here in Calif IMO. Maybe I place to much emphasis on the integrity and authenticity of a candidate rather than the party line blanket. Yes, as the OP suggested I am between and betwixt ha-ha
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