The high expectations of non-socialists

February 2024 Forums General discussion The high expectations of non-socialists

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #86039
    Sympo
    Participant

    Sometimes when I've discussed Socialism with people they sometimes find flaws in Socialism. They will then list these flaws as the reason why we shouldn't establish Socialism.

     

    For example, one person asked me about housing. 

    He asked "Should all houses be equally big? Should a house that is bigger or smaller than most houses be destroyed?"

    I said "I don't think so."

    He then said "Well don't you think it's unfair that some people get better houses than others?"

    I replied "Well, if there's a big difference in the quality of houses, perhaps you would get to live there for six months, then someone else gets to live there for six months etc."

    He then said "That's ridiculous, do you expect people to move every six months?"

     

    And I guess the idea is a bit silly. My current answer is "I guess we'll have to deal with some people living in better houses/locations than others. I'd certainly choose that over a society in which the rich get the best houses and where some people don't get to live in a house at all."

     

    Another person I talked with asked me about travelling. "Should everyone be able to go on a plane to another continent whenever they want? Think about the pollution!" My thoughts were that perhaps people should have a limited amount of air tickets per year. Which people don't have now, but then again they're often limited by their economic situation as air tickets cost money under Capitalism.

     

    Has anyone else had this type of discussion with people? It often feels as if they're saying "If Socialism won't be a flawless utopia, why should I be in favour of it?" It is as if they think that Capitalism is near-perfect.

    #132206
    Rusty Pigfumbler
    Participant
    Sympo wrote:
     Another person I talked with asked me about travelling. "Should everyone be able to go on a plane to another continent whenever they want? Think about the pollution!" My thoughts were that perhaps people should have a limited amount of air tickets per year. Which people don't have now, but then again they're often limited by their economic situation as air tickets cost money under Capitalism. 

    Not only that, everyone will be free to have a go at driving the 'plane! If any traveller objects it would be put to a vote, as democracy will be everything in socialism. The passengers in the minority will just have to lump it. Or take a parachute.

    #132207
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Sympo wrote:
    Has anyone else had this type of discussion with people? It often feels as if they're saying "If Socialism won't be a flawless utopia, why should I be in favour of it?" It is as if they think that Capitalism is near-perfect.

    All the time. My clincher is, "you can not have capitalism without its twin concomitants of war, by deed or proxy and poverty, relative or absolute". The 'problems' so-called, cited against socialism are trivial and insignificant in comparison with our solutions and in any case, will be addressed in a short time, as we make use of our socially equal, collective control over our new world.

    #132208
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Rusty Pigfumbler wrote:
     Not only that, everyone will be free to have a go at driving the 'plane! If any traveller objects it would be put to a vote, as democracy will be everything in socialism. The passengers in the minority will just have to lump it. Or take a parachute.

    You really should quit the satire, in the service of socialism and address a genuine questioner's dilemna.You could mislead him/her by this.

    #132209
    Sympo
    Participant
    Matt wrote:
    All the time.The 'problems' so-called, cited against socialism are trivial and insignificant

    I don't think I've read any Socialist Standard article that talks about how Socialism doesn't have to be perfect in order for it to be something that we should strive for.This is just a thought, but maybe it would be good to have an article that talks about this issue?Not that all critics are going to read it (The responses on Twitter are really awful, it's like people don't even go to Wikipedia before they start calling the SPGB pro-Soviet)

    #132210
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Sympo wrote:
    I don't think I've read any Socialist Standard article that talks about how Socialism doesn't have to be perfect in order for it to be something that we should strive for.This is just a thought, but maybe it would be good to have an article that talks about this issue?Not that all critics are going to read it (The responses on Twitter are really awful, it's like people don't even go to Wikipedia before they start calling the SPGB pro-Soviet)

     I have read a few with some caveats to the effect, we are not aiming for a perfect world, but a revolutionry transformation of this one.  A comrade, Pieter Lawrence deals with somes of the effects of uneven development in this article.http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/socialism-and-uneven-world-development.htmlIf you haven't read this pamphlet then you might find it instructive.http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/printpdf/3733Ask your questioners ,"How would you deal with problems as they arise."Let's see if they can fit themselves into a reply which evisages themselves as actual active participants in the process of finding solutions, as opposed to slavish recipients of capitalsm's non-solutions, which will inevitably reproduce the original problems anew, if in an altered form.They need to get off their knees mentally and engage in actual active consideration. Any problems within socialism will be surmountable. The ball will be in their court to provide solutions.  The means will be at hand to do so.After all, it will be our world, all of us, to shape. 

    #132211
    rodshaw
    Participant

    I have had similar reactions – life is just too complicated, and there are too many points of view and ways of life, for us all to live in a single world-wide system. Disregarding a) that's what we do now under capitalism and b) most of life's complications are a result, not a cause, of class-divided, money-based society.Who would live in the local stately home or the grander houses? I think this kind of criticism can partly be addressed by saying that it would be up to the local community – via the socialist equivalent of the local council or whatever – to decide collectively, with everyone of course having a say.I think people living in grander houses would be generally left to live there unless demand was so great that they needed to be broken down into smaller units. Maybe the current 'owners' of large piles and their former staff would be willing to continue to manage them just for the love of it. Maybe it would be decided to convert them into apartments. Or maybe people who wanted could take turns at living in them or looking after them. Or maybe it would be decided to dismaltle them and build something more appropriate.It's not as if anyone would be turned out onto the street.And yes, it's worth turning the question round to see what they think should happen – get their imagination going.

    #132212
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    rodshaw wrote:
    I have had similar reactions – life is just too complicated, and there are too many points of view and ways of life, for us all to live in a single world-wide system. Disregarding a) that's what we do now under capitalism and b) most of life's complications are a result, not a cause, of class-divided, money-based society.Who would live in the local stately home or the grander houses? I think this kind of criticism can partly be addressed by saying that it would be up to the local community – via the socialist equivalent of the local council or whatever – to decide collectively, with everyone of course having a say.I think people living in grander houses would be generally left to live there unless demand was so great that they needed to be broken down into smaller units. Maybe the current 'owners' of large piles and their former staff would be willing to continue to manage them just for the love of it. Maybe it would be decided to convert them into apartments. Or maybe people who wanted could take turns at living in them or looking after them. Or maybe it would be decided to dismaltle them and build something more appropriate.It's not as if anyone would be turned out onto the street.And yes, it's worth turning the question round to see what they think should happen – get their imagination going.

    With all the very desireable accomodation in the city offices of insurance companies, solicitors, accountancy firms, banks, stock exchanges, etc. etc. who would want to live in a stately home miles from the bloody pub (A pub with free beer, by the way)

    #132213
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    It seems appropriate to call a pub by its original name…public house…a house open to all…a home away from home, so to speak.

    #132214
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    It seems appropriate to call a pub by its original name…public house…a house open to all…a home away from home, so to speak.

    One of the most ridiculous “high expectations” comments I ever had to deal with was actually about pubs and came from a member of the Militant Tendency, actually a leading light in their movement and one of their full time organisers.I was in a pub (there’s a surprise) after a meeting put on by the Labour Party Young Socialists, where I had put forward the Socialist case for free access, and was approached by the said full timer who attempted to counter the case for free access (ironic that a so called Marxist and leading part of the vanguard should try to do so, but there you go). He said “so if there’s no money, and everyone’s going to work for free, whose going to serve behind the bar, while we all get drunk”. The obvious reply was “we’ll put the beer pumps on this side and we can help ourselves”He’s now a playwright, suppose his training with Militant prepared him for writing preposterous fiction and ridiculous romantic fantasies.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.