A view of socialism

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There are occasions when a comment is made on this post that I think needs to be more widely shared. A person who posts under the name Geearkay made such a comment yesterday. In response to a suggestion that socialism is a threat he or she said this, which I felt worth making the basis for broader discussion:

As for the Socialism aspect, I think you may be confusing Socialism with the perceived definition of Communism, i.e. everyone receiving the same reward no matter what they do. That’s utter nonsense, of course… not only is it unfair and undesirable, it’s unworkable.

What I mean by socialism — and this goes to the heart of my decision to stay in public service when I could double my income in the private sector — is that I believe that life should be fair and compassionate to all. Nothing more or less than that. There is enough food, there could be enough housing, there are resources enough in this world to make sure that everybody has enough to eat, a warm and comfortable place to sleep, a change of clothes and access to Strictly Come Dancing (other forms of entertainment are available — but you get my meaning). So…

I believe all children, regardless of race, religion, culture or socio-economic background should have the same chances in life. The same options of education, the same level of healthcare provision and the same love, nurturing and help through into young adulthood. No child should be cold or hungry or homeless. Once everyone has had the same start in life, then let your competition in the Great Game of Adulthood begin.

I believe that all adults, regardless of how they fill their days, are deserving of respect. There is no reasons for society to look down upon or look up to any single person or group of people. We will do that individually — we all harbour our prejudices and favours — but society (which oftentimes will be synonymous with “The State”, reflected through “The Media”) should regard all citizens with the same level of respect — and that level should be set high. As adults, some will do better in The Great Game than others, whether that means making more money or advancing in their chosen field or being parents or whatever it is that they choose to do. That’s just the way of things. However well or otherwise an adult does (by whatever metric is most appropriate), should always run second to the respect that society at large shows them. And at no point need anyone be hungry or cold or homeless.

And finally, we should honour our elders and let them live out their days in as much peace and happiness as they wish. Our elderly have done their bit for the species and deserve their piece of the pie. Call me selfish cos I dearly hope to be old one day… but I wish the same for you, so I suppose it’s OK.

So, I am intensely relaxed about the amount people can earn whilst working, yet I remain a committed socialist. I don’t think a part-time shoe-shine boy should earn as much as a Consultant Oncologist… and neither would the shoeshine boy, if he was honest. It’s all part of The Great Game. But whether you win or lose at the game, there should always be respect, compassion and a basic standard of living below which none should fall.

That’s my view of Socialism. Please tell me what’s so offensive about it?

The floor is yours.....

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