Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Socialism is stupid

Quote of the Day from The Daily Brute.
The point is very, very, very simple. Governments can no more run schools and hospitals than they can run supermarkets. You have to be very, very, very stupid to believe otherwise.

Imagine if food retailing had been nationalised after the war. We would all still be rationed to a couple of potatoes and a powered egg a week. Which in effect is precisely what has happened with hospitals and schools – except that the potato and the egg cost about 10 times what they are worth. And are disgusting.

The Brute is discussing the stupidity of socialism. As a matter of fact, this is something I can feel as I have been having the most frustrating argument over at Friday Cities. The standard socialist argument goes something like this.
DK: look, government does things really badly, so it should do as little as possible.

Socialist: Yeah, but at least we don't have to worry about whether our insurance will cover our medical care. I am glad we have the NHS rather than that American system.

DK: But can't you see that there are, in fact, better systems that are neither US-type nor NHS-type? Like Switzerland or France. I mean, market competition goes generally make things more efficient...

Socialist: You can't just take individual countries like that and say that they are better. You may want to screw everyone else but I would much rather live in a country with a social contract and I am happy with that...

DK: But that's a fallacy. It's great that you are so happy to be so generous with other people's money, but I have never signed any contract with the government and I certainly wasn't given the chance to do so freely. The state wastes money hand over fist and...

Socialist: Yeah. The free market works really well, doesn't it? Yeah, because the Victorian Workhouses were great places to be.

DK: I am not advocating rebuilding the fucking workhouses: listen to what I'm actually saying rather than what you think I'm saying, would you?

Look, can you not see that there might be a better, more efficient—in terms of both money and outcome—way of doing things than simply allowing government monopolies?

Socialist: You are just a rich boy who has never encountered hardship and...

DK: Erm, actually...

Socialist: STOP PATRONISING ME! You just want to keep hold of your money and stuff everyone else. I believe in a safety net, and there is nothing that you can say to change my mind.

DK: Yes, I believe in a safety net, but I believe that it should be just that. It should not be an incentive not to work. But, fundamentally, the state does things badly: can't you see that I am arguing for a system that learns the lessons from both the US and NHS models, for instance? I am arguing for a better way of...

Socialist: You just want to go back to Victorian workhouses and a US-style medical system...

DK: Oh, for fuck's sake.

What a waste of fucking time. I believe in a safety net; I believe in a medical system; I believe in an education system; but I also believe that we could implement all three much, much better than we do at present.

These people are unwilling to contemplate the idea that anything could possibly be better than what we currently have in this country, despite evidence to the contrary.

These unimaginative fuckers—those are so happy to generously throw everyone else's money around to fulfill the objectives of their own personal morality—are precisely what is wrong with this country.

UPDATE: In the comments, Roger says this...
Socialists want the option of having you pay for their choice.

This in turn, reminded me of my post on why socialists are worse than racists.
A racist is a stupid, ignorant bigot but at least he cannot, and will not, try to force me to believe what he believes and force me to pay for the implementations of his beliefs. Socialists do.

As I have opined before, at length, socialism naturally lends itself to totalitarianism.

The point is that socialism relies on force, it's entire structure is predicated on forcing people to give up their possessions to support those whom they would not willingly support otherwise. What socialists do is to extort and steal from people in order to sustain and pay for the socialists' own beliefs. This is why socialism has led to so many nightmarish regimes and, incidentally, why socialism is far worse than racism.

I still stand by that.


Anonymous said...

Steyn nicely skewers the US Healthcare nightmare myth nicely here

Face it, time spent talking to Socialists is wasted time

Keatonmask said...

That is the most honest and accurate portrayal of ground level socialist/anti-socialist debate that I have heard.

How do you hold on to your temper in those situations? I simply cannot.

The sad thing is, often it appears to be envy rather than stupidity that breeds reds.

Blognor Regis said...

Weren't workhouses built because assorted poor laws compelled parishes to provide relief to those hard up. Where's does dipstick assume the market bit came in there?

Anonymous said...

Dipstick neither knows nor cares, just like Brown et al, since truth and historical accuracy are totally irrelevant if they conflict with socialist dogma.
How you can still bear to stand on the same soil as them beats me.

Ex-Pat Alfie

Roger Thornhill said...

Socialists want the option of having you pay for their choice.

If socialists want to live in a collective, let them form their own. Nobody else is stopping them, but they know for sure what is stopping them - each other, for if they did form it and made contributions voluntary, the pot would be empty and thus expose their hypocrisies.

word verification: VERIKINOV

Ed said...

Saddest thing is that a huge majority of people in this country believe the socialists.

Falco said...

I tend to try to think the best of people, (quite hard for a total cynic), but socialism is beyond me. The only support socialism gets is from those who simply wish to take from others.

It's been pissing me of because I keep thinking I must be missing something. The answer seems to be that I'm not and socialists really are all a bunch of cunts or have no idea what they are talking about.

Edwin Hesselthwite said...

Hmm.. Mr kitchen.. I've recently been studying discussion fallacies, and since you are far more educated than I, I must assume that you are aiming to teach.

Thus I complement you on the most thorough demonstration of the "Straw Man" fallacy I have ever seen.

I can learn much here.

Neil Harding said...

DK: I call myself a socialist yet I agree that the Swiss and French systems are (overall) more efficient than the NHS. There is a lot we can learn from them.

Will YOU agree that we would have a better health system if we spent the SAME as the French and Swiss instead of starving our healthcare of funds?

Diogenes said...

'Starving our healthcare of funds'


Maybe we should spend 105% of out GDP on the NHS.

Have you ever been to a Swiss hospital?

Mmmmm... Heidi nurse.

*slaps self back to present*

If the NHS is a motorway service station: the Swiss system is The Fat Duck at Bray.

After you have thrown your money in the roadside fruities the prices are similar too.

The Remittance Man said...


I'm not getting personal here, but you seem to be falling into a common trap; one that catches many politicians: it's not the amount of money being spent that matters(according to the government this is now approaching the eu average). The problem is the manner in which it is spent.

The country (read: the taxpayers) is not shortchanging the doctors, nurses and patients; the NHS's own bloated and inefficient bureaucracy is doing that.

So to answer your question (although it was not directed at me): No. Simply spending the same per capita on health care as the Swiss or the French will not guarantee a similar standard of service. Hell! Spending double the amount the Swiss and French do probably wouldn't bring us up to their level. Why? Because the system itself is fundamentally flawed. To get ourselves up to the level of the Swiss, the French, the Germans, whoever requires that the entire NHS is torn down and replaced with something better.

Pascal said...

The thing is that you can spend as much as you want, it will never be enough.

That is because the system is flawed to start with.

Oh, and don't think that the French system is perfect. It is not, it is costing a lot and its deficit is humongous.

the a&e charge nurse said...

I have no idea what socialism is, but I doubt if Brown is a socialist.

Most contemporary politicians are hypreinflated managers driven by pragmatism [if any sort of "ism" at all] and the inate instinct to cling to power.

I'm rather fond of John Gray [Straw Dogs] he comments "markets are moved by contagion and hysteria. New communications technologies magnify suggestibilty. Mesmer and Charcot are better guides to the new economy than Hayek or Keynes" [p171].

Surely this mindset is exemplified by the Northern Rock debacle ?

By the way what is a safety net ?

Do you mean a subset of people who can't pay for something, either because they are poor and need expensive medical treatment [for example], or because they are disabled [Downs, Cerebral Palsey, etc], or because they are children, or because they are asylum seekers, perhaps ?

Who decides who gets on the list ?
Who decides how much they are entitled to ?
Isn't this socialism ?

the a&e charge nurse said...

pascal - you seem to have changed your view on the French health system..... any particular reason ?
I thought you were one its proponents ?

Shug Niggurath said...

You can't win an argument with someone whose debating skills pretty much run to accusing you of their own prejudices.

Budgie said...

DK, you are correct and logical about the NHS. But you are using the wrong arguments.
Imagine you would be drowning if you were not clutching a lifebelt. A rescuer in a boat says let go of the belt and cling onto the gunwale. You don't trust the rescuer and you can't let him see that.
People are clinging onto the NHS lifebelt for dear life. People think the politicians will con them in any changeover. So people say - no change. This is not belief in socialism.
With trust in politicos so low, I don't see a way round this.

Neil Harding said...

RM, The French and Swiss systems are undoubtedly more efficient than the NHS (which I have already agreed with above). But also part of the reason they are better is because they spend more per capita than us. Yes, lets make our healthcare more efficient but we also need to spend more. This is where you rightwingers betray your real motives. You are not really interested in a better system, and you certainly are not interested in a fair system, all you are interested in is cutting taxes for the most wealthy members of society who don't rely on the NHS.

Budgie said...

Good idea 1: when you are losing an argument call your opponent a right winger. Always works, especially with the BBC.
Good idea 2: define "fair" as only in agreement with yourself.
In the French assembly, where the terms originated, those on the right supported the state. So socialists who want everything state-run are actually right wingers; libertarians, being sceptical of the state, are on the left.
Now can NH actually make a valid point about the NHS?

Ian said...

Aargh how did this interesting discussion get sidetracked into talking about the bloody health service again?

Anonymous said...

Don't you realize that you are doing exactly what you claim to hate about "all socialists"?
You yourself are trying to "force me to believe what YOU believe." How can you not be when you are making such vast claims about "ALL socialists."
Maybe you will convince more than the already converted once you rely on solid, logical persuasion instead of mindless babble.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"You yourself are trying to "force me to believe what YOU believe.""

No, I'm not, you fucking moron. Go and look up the definition of "force"...