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in your opinion, is the uk losing it's democracy

and turning into a communist regime or marxist country, a dictatorship? some i talked to think it is, especially because of this online safety bill.
I thought it was just Americans who didn't know what Marxism or Communism meant.......

Now go have a beer and scowl at interracial couples.
@BritishFailedAesthetic can’t believe the way the earth is going
ArishMell · 70-79, M
Marxist? With a Conservative Party government and an Opposition not ever so far Left of Centre?

Some Americans seem to think we are for having a National Health Service and State pension, but Communist? Marxist? Pull the other one.

While the Online Safety Bill has nothing to do with party-politics and everything to do with trying to protect people from exploitation on-line.
I'd much sooner believe its democratic institutions are being eroded than believe Marxism is an emerging threat. Despite some recent noise by a lot of millenials, Marxism isn't going anywhere
I love it that the far right has convinced the idiots of the world that wanting to live in a community where everybody gets an equal share is somehow evil.
1. What's a "communist country"?

2. Communism is anti-authoritarian by definition, so how can a communist society be a dictatorship (unless you mean a dictatorship of the proletariat)?
ArishMell · 70-79, M
@Emosaur Perhaps I should have explained myself better. I was thinking of one-party tyrannies, not democracies that espouse "socialist" ideals such as proper education, health and welfare systems

At one time I might have agreed with privatising State organisations and the public utilities; but I now see this as having been a huge mistake, at least in Britain even if it worked in other countries.

The main charge when publicly-owned was of poor management but much of that was down to governments, of all parties, trying to run them and taking too much of the operating profits as tax (where profits applied, as obviously they do not or should not, in certain areas).

The biggest problem now is not so much how well they are run, though they need governmental oversight bodies to try to keep them in check and deliver as they should; but that all too often the profits and even the entire ownerships vanish overseas to any old spivs going - from Wall Street to Hong Kong (so to the PFR), from Indonesia to Middle Eastern governments of dubious character.

Some to entire nations. For example, if I catch a train from my town in Southern England to the North, the first part, to Bristol, is courtesy of Edinburgh-based First Group, the continuation by Deutsche Bahn, Germany's state-owned railway company. British households buying their electricity from EDF are propping up the nation of France.


The weakness I see in that definition of "the proletariat" owning and running everything is that of creating a new "Bourgeoisie", among those actually managing it all. You'd still need a government of some sort above them, too; and would that be itself another level of new "Bourgeoisie"?

President Allende's ways may well have worked but he may have been unusual in that. Presumably the USA had interfered for its own reasons, not to help the Chileans. Such systems as you list can and have worked in the UK, Scandinavia, etc, too; helped by these being long-established, stable and fairly wealthy nations of people not afraid to tell their governments off for any mistakes or clumsiness, but also not given to revolting at the drop of a beret.

Elsewhere though, so many have tried and failed, sometimes because the reforms are felt to be insufficient and too slow, sometimes because factions merely want their own power and to Hell with the citizenry.

The difficulty with those countries that like to call themselves "socialist republics" or "communist", are they are run by bureaucratic bourgeoises who want both socialist ideals, and usually manage to provide those, and absolute power.

The notion that you can have both a democratic, multi-party society with private and State-run industries and functioning State systems of caring for its members' primary needs, baffles them. I don't know what Marx or Engels would have made of that notion though.
@ArishMell [quote]I was thinking of one-party tyrannies[/quote]

I know, that's why I explained how they're not socialist.

[quote]Germany's state-owned railway company.[/quote]

DB is actually a great example of state capitalism in which the state owns a profit-driven industry, which is actually how the Soviet Union's industry was managed. Libertarian socialists like me reject this type of economic management in favour of collective- rather than state ownership.

[quote]You'd still need a government of some sort above them, too; and would that be itself another level of new "Bourgeoisie"?[/quote]

A government doesn't necessitate a state. If the democracy is made direct and participatory the society's hierarchies are flattened so the government isn't necessarily above the rest of the population. If anything, the common people would actually be above the government even, so it would be like the Zapatistas' motto: "Here the people rule and the government obeys".

[quote]Presumably the USA had interfered for its own reasons, not to help the Chileans.[/quote]

The US government was scared to let socialism prove itself better than capitalism.

[quote]they are run by bureaucratic bourgeoises who want both socialist ideals, and usually manage to provide those, and absolute power.[/quote]

I honestly don't believe that, I consider those countries to be fascist and hiding behind a communist aesthetic, especially China and North Korea. Vietnam is at least honest by calling their economic system a socialism-oriented market economy, implying they haven't achieved socialism, which they indeed haven't.

[quote]I don't know what Marx or Engels would have made of that notion though.[/quote]

I think they would strongly disapprove of both Marxism-Leninism and neoliberal capitalism, the former due to its authoritarianism and bureaucracy, the latter because it shows the worst capitalism is capable of.
They would probably like Salvador Allende, Thomas Sankara, Rojava and MAREZ though as all of them promote(d) both socialism and democracy.
ArishMell · 70-79, M
@Emosaur I see. Thank you.

Using the labels in their common way rather than strict definition, I don't think there's much to choose between regimes called "communist" and those called "fascist", even if the economies are run in different ways.

I suppose Labour's concept of socialist methods in mid-20C Britain was that of State-run services but where these could and should make a trading profit (the railways, water, etc.), that is at a sensible level, and divided between internal investment and the Treasury for the benefit of the country as a whole. The beneficiaries would include those services that cannot make a profit because they are not "trading": roads, defence, the Police, health, education, and the like.

I don't know if that was close to the Chilean model, but unfortunately the publicly-owned industries and services became bedevilled by too much interference, money-taking and poor oversight by both Labour and Conservative governments, making them difficult to operate and then taking all the public blame for being "inefficient".

I think any country that tried to operate without some sort of overall government would soon not operate at all. Political idealism does not account for human weakness, and the country would still need some form of general moderation and control. It also needs to interact with other countries, some friends, some potentially hostile, and that can only be done with a reasonably strong government helped by good diplomatic and security services.

I define the 'State' as the geographical entity, its population and cultures. The Government then, as the body that administers the State, and rightly that should be for the State not itself.

So I agree the Government should serve the State, not vice-versa; and democracies such as those of Western Europe, Australia, Canada, etc do strive to work that way even though wobbling between largely-socialist and largely-capitalist economies according to whichever "side" wins their General Elections.

None are perfect though, no human system ever can be; and in an ever more complicated, unstable and fractious word faced with very serious common problems, maintaining that ideal will become ever harder.

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