Monday, March 24, 2008

Type 3: "Socialist"

. Monday, March 24, 2008

The socialist may be the clear preference over "type 1" and "type 2" dictators, but we are still a long way from the ideal governing mindset. Socialism lies on its own spectrum and extends from the deranged sociopath who shares his bed with the revolutionary, to the more traditional trade union types of old Labour and their modern reincarnations.

stalrMindset: "I am basically a sociopathic elitist and have resentment and contempt for most people, which is why I support a party/dogma that treats them all like the stupid greedy children they are. If I can avoid common donkeywork and feather my own nest by organising/engineering the lives of these hopeless cattle my philosophical goals are met. If I can portray my base instincts and anti-social agendas as moral superiority and be exalted as a commoner's demigod, my intellectual needs are met."

Resulting Government: Democratic Socialist to Social Democrat

Marxist Intellectuals: Lenin and Trotsky, Rosa Luxembourg, Che Guevara, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and other 'Left Bank' intellectuals...there are actually way too many to list. Hayek was aware of the enormous power of intellectuals to shape public opinion and warned us that “it is merely a question of time until the views held by the intellectuals become the governing force of politics”, which is as valid today as it was when he wrote it.

Practitioners: Industrial Revolution Luddites, 19th C. socialists like Jean Jaurès, William Morris, Keir Hardie, King O'Malley and Samuel Gompers; 20th C. you get Clement Attlee (National Health Service and nationalisation of major industries), Ben Chifley (failed attempt to nationalise Australian banks in 1947), Tommy Douglas (father of Canadian medicare), Pierre Trudeau (National Energy Program and father of multiculturalism, the very first in the world), Britain's Ernest Bevin, Harold Wilson and Neil Kinnock; Canada's Ed Broadbent (New Democratic Party), Paul Hellyer (Action Party) and Svend Robinson; Australia's Gough Whitlam...

Churchill Quote: "A socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance."

Manifestations: Statism, collectivism, paternalism, Fabianism, trade unionism, bossism, anti-capitalism, economic nationalism, trade protectionism, egalitarianism, class warfarism, student radicalism, feminism, aetheism, pacifism, anti-imperialism, anti-nuclearism, anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, anti-monarchism, anti-globalism, state and animal welfarism, cultural protectionism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, post-democratic Europeanism, bureaucratic supranationalism/internationalism, modern NGOism, radical humanrightism,...can I stop now? Let's just call it social activism and the reflexive need to regulate every conceivable human activity.

Contemporary: Brazil's Lula da Silva, Venezuela's Hugo Chávez (positively sociopathic), Bolivia's Evo Morales, Spain's Zapatero, Cuba's Raúl Castro, Britain's George Galloway, Claire Short and Tony Benn, Canada's Gilles Duceppe, Jack Layton and David Suzuki, America's Naom Chomsky, perhaps some notables in Australia which I'm unaware...lower down the totem pole, you still see modern day Trotskyites and Che Guevara worshippers, as well as deranged leftists who call our soldiers terrorists for fighting the Taliban, along with the odd nut who rails against the fact that God is mentioned in the Constitution.

Not Included: Red Tories, New Deal Democrats and modern New Labourites are not to be tarnished as classic socialists. To label Great Depression fighters like Ramsay MacDonald, F.D.R. and MacKenzie-King with the socialist tag rings false to me, even though they gave rise to the beginnings of the modern welfare state. Britain's New Labour has pretty much reinvented itself apart from hangers-on like George Galloway and Claire Short. Helen Clark of New Zealand Labour has also mellowed from her more feminist, anti-monarchist younger days. It would furthermore strain credibility to label Kevin Rudd of Australian Labor [sic] a socialist in any meaningful way. In my opinion, they have all advanced to type 4.

Comments: I was going to say that we have come a long way since the overall belief in the benefits of social engineering and of economic planning and, at the same time, the disbelief in free markets were at their heights. I was going to happily conclude that socialism has finally been so popularly discredited, we can celebrate and move on. But as I was jotting down the various manifestations and proliferating 'isms', it struck me just how adept it is to adapting and finding new substitutes for statist action. We should never underestimate the seductive power of "type 3" adherents to influence the debate, even if they have been forever banished from government across the Anglosphere. God forbid, "world government" might still be in our future.


Matthew S-G said...

I think it bears pointing out that whole you classify "socialism" as democratic socialism and social democracy, you have excluded all the West's major social democrats. It also bears note that while social democracy grew out of democratic socialism, in its modern incarnation it is more a form a center-left democratic theory than a branch of socialism.

Beaverbrook said...

I agree. There are very few orthodox socialists left in the Anglosphere, though they seem to be still quite prevalent elsewhere. Social democrats do cross over to type 4 nowadays, but one must draw a line somewhere. Needless to say, there is a very large spectrum of thought here, and the mindset above is more reflective of an antisocial disorder you find in radical youths than in social democrats who practice a kind of compassionate politics.

David Byers said...

I agree with much of what you say here Beaverbrook, however I would add that conservative people must not loose sight of compassion and helping the “underdog” because of the misuse of the issue by the socialist.

The whole idea of a welfare state developed under monarchies not socialist republics, by this I mean the idea that a King was the father of his people with there wellbeing at heart. The big difference between that and the socialist view is the contempt socialist hold their fellow man (or would fellow person be more to their taste?)

Kipling said...

"In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Lord Best said...

"I agree with much of what you say here Beaverbrook, however I would add that conservative people must not loose sight of compassion and helping the “underdog” because of the misuse of the issue by the socialist. "
Hear hear.

The Trusty Tory said...

Would you really consider Stalin a socialist? That being said, here in Canada there seems to be the usual hangers-on of this dead ideology. Notably within the NDP.

I'll stick with my Tories, thank you.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

Slightly off topic...but is the term "Red Tory" unique to Canada, or is that term also used to refer to left-wing/statist Tories in the UK as well?

Beaverbrook said...

In the UK they refer to it as Tory Socialism. It was the Fabian Tories like Sir Arthur Balfour and I believe Bernard Shaw and the folks that established the London School of Economics.

dirty european socialist said...

Socialism is neede to save the poor from death. We would have more faimes and deaths if we stopped subsidising health and food production.
The queen has 17 billion quid. Does that make you proud.

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