Sunday, 11 June 2017

Right and Left

Another one on politics.

I grew up living in a flat over a shop - my parents ran their own business. The world in which I grew up was one of doing things for yourself, making money for yourself, and not relying on the state.

I have always found ways to make money - even as a child I would fix things for people for a fee, and even when I got jobs I would sell things on the side. A bit of a DelBoy in some ways. I sold landline phones. I sold mobile phones. I sold ISDN phone systems. I eventually gave up working for an employer, and went contracting, and eventually started A&A. Now I employ tens of people and reap the benefits of doing so, where I can. Even so, I feel a sense of social responsibility for ensuring my staff are well enough paid and happy before I pay off my mortgage.

I have always been keen on the free market and the idea of trying to make my own money, and if possible, keeping as much of that as I can. To a large extent I still am.

As a result I voted Conservative. It seemed to fit. The alternative was a much more socialist view, where we all work to a common community.

Now, I am not against the socialist principles, to an extent. There are many that need the support of the community, and I pay a lot of tax in various ways to that end. Ironically my own kids end up on the receiving end of socialist benefits in various ways, and so does my own Mother who is going in to care.

What has lost it for me voting for Conservatives is the other aspect of such a facist government. The monitoring and snooping on everyone, and the expulsion of those that do not fit (immigrants). This is not what I want. I am happy to have my privacy. I am happy to compete with anyone, not just the select few in the UK. I am happy that I make my own money to a large extent and pay some to social society. But I am not happy about the snooping and xenophobia. Why is that, and a police state, associated with being on the far right?

So I wonder, what political party supports a largely capitalist society but not a facist one, and still supports some socialist ideals to ensure the worst off in society have the help they need?

Is it too much to ask?

Who is that?

16 comments:

  1. I think we need electoral reform away from the 2 party system as it would avoid the left right left right governments we now have

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  2. In America the is a party called the Libertarians.

    They describe themselves as economically conservative and socially liberal

    They want small government although they do differ in your idea of some social care. They said the government shouldn't do it and that people would donate to charities in the same way as they do now for other causes. They basically want everything to my run by a free market, relying on the fact that most people are generally good

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  3. So fairly centrist in their politics, but liberal in their social views?

    Sounds startingly like the Lib Dems to me.

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  4. What you're describing RevK is what our American friends call Libertarian. It can be left or right, but generally is about limiting the size and scope of the state. A left Libertarian is about social rights and limiting the authoritarian power of the state. A right libertarian is about free market principles and limiting state oversight and regulation (although sometimes this does go way too far).

    Also, I've been meaning to ask, If you started AAISP, who are Andrews and Arnold?

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    1. I'd always assumed they were made up names to make good use of alphabetical lists of ISPs.

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  5. The capitalist free market ideal only works if all employers are caring of their staff as you are. Sadly there is a race to the bottom with prices, which pushes down wages to maintain profit, which results in a low standard of living.

    Housing costs being so high doesn't help with the high cost of living and the ever increasing inflation and above inflation increases in rent and house prices. A sudden drop in house prices would be bad for many people, however a cooling of the market is needed to bring the ratio of wages to house prices down. This should increase the disposable income and help the economy.

    With moves to automate so many things people will need to find new jobs. Which is where a basic income is useful. Basic income also helps for horrid employers as employees can simply quit and know that they can just about survive without worrying about bills until they get the next job. It then forces employers to be better.

    I reckon that the current schooling system knocks creativity and problem solving and a desire to do inventive money making schemes.

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  6. I think that the Government desire to snoop and the erosion of civil liberties crosses both sides of the house (thinking of Blunkett), but "New Labour" is not the Labour of the 1970s.

    Proportional Representation might allow the country to move away from the current two party system to something that actually represented the people instead of the current crop who all seem to "know whats best for us".

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  7. I think the same could be said for other countries. Canada's "conservative" party recently elected a young (38 years old) climate change denier, religious pro lifer, anti civil liberties sort. Although the previous Canadian PM (Harper) always advocated leaving things to the "free market" he rarely did in practice.

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  8. Consensus at work is we need
    a) a world movement towards true world government, not this federal mess that is currently popular
    b) A new party in the UK in support of (a) and general sane policy.

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  9. I recommend changing the one-dimensional left-right view to a two-dimensional view with a perpendicular axis for authoritarian/libertarian. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_compass.

    While I don't necessarily agree with all the points made by the political organisation behind this, I do agree with the insight behind their model: that authoritarianism is completely orthogonal to left/right. Both the Conservative and Labour parties are extremely authoritarian (judging by their actual actions when in power).

    Personally, I think the best answer to your question in the current British political environment is the LibDems, although I completely acknowledge that some do not consider voting for a small party to be a good use of a vote.

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    1. Voting for small parties has an effect, though possibly delayed. If it wasn't for UKIP, the Conservatives wouldn't have moved as far to the right nor decided to run a Brexit referendum.

      Similarly votes for the Greens help to increase the environmental credentials of the other parties, as they don't want to loose too many votes.

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  10. Go watch some Jordan Peterson. (Unrelated) Replacing all benefits and pensions with a (taxable) universal basic income for all adult citizens would deliver about £9k before tax as far as I can tell. Suddenly it's in everyone's personal interest to organise their lives, and to work on things they find worthwhile, quite possibly for very low wages. Finally, stop the sole source of money being the creation of debt by banks, to be repaid with interest (an impossibility for all without constantly increasing new debt or eventual ownership of all assets by banks).

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    1. There's a good few people watching the trials in the Netherlands and Finland with a great deal of interest.

      It won't catch on in England as the ultra right-wing press would crucify anyone who suggested it. Besides which there seems to be something inherent in English character which says "punish the poor" because that'll help them. Bizarre but that's my experience of England.

      Apart from a brief change post-WW2 nothing much has changed in that respect, with the UN recently condemning "gross abuses of human rights" in the way the last tory govt treated disabled people.

      Regardless of all that universal income is an interesting idea - if only for the fact that most "benefits" claimants in E&W are short-term and the claim usually costs (much) more to process than the payments.

      Given job losses from automation/AI are accelerating then if you want a society rather than a fence between rich and (very) poor its going to have to be considered soon.

      Either that or you go to a South Africa "solution" where a friend paid US$1700/month for armed security to patrol his (gated) neighbourhood in Jo'burg. That was in 2010, gods only know what it costs now! Oh and the security shoot (dead) an average of 14 people/year.

      There's a limit how much the rich (not super-rich) can insulate themselves from the problems they have exacerbated.

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  11. I agree with you on all your points about looking after yourself and not relying on the state, as well as contributing to social insurance to help others who are not in a position to look after themselves.

    I also think that a key role of government is to provide security to its people and the trade off for this is that at least some monitoring and snooping is required to enable the Government to provide this benefit.

    Personally, I do not have a problem with the government mass monitoring my usage of the Internet, if this is going to help them improve security and ultimately foil terrorist plots - The government's computerised scanners aren't going to find anything particularly interesting in my Internet traffic. My personal data is generally protected by end to end encryption, so the government can't see all these details anyway. The government has only limited resources for monitoring and snooping, so they have to focus on where it is most useful. That's very unlikely to be on me or indeed you!

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  12. The problem is Rupert. That all your freedoms depend on people who stood up in the past and opposed authority. You never know when they might become interested in you. They quite probably have my name on a list. i do nothing other than work for certain charities. They problem is that these oppose government policies quite vigorously. You may suddenly may become of interest because of something you DIDN:T do. Look at this poor man. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/man-falsely-accused-of-sexually-assault-on-actress-wants-apology-from-cps-over-bemusing-case-a6877036.html

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