Socialist ideas in the UK


    Social Democracy


    Social democracy aims at achieving so called social justice which is elimination of inequality and poverty by fair redistribution of goods. This can be reached by government interventions.
    Public services: health care, education, social care, subsidies, benefits for unemployed, benefits for children, for single parents, etc. are accessible to everyone. To fund them there is high taxation and interventionism in the economy which stands in contradiction to capitalistic free economy and hinders its development.
    Obviously, some income redistribution is necessary for financial social safety net, however success should be attributed to hard work, not distribution system from the government. Because of thriving social democracy in the European Union people demand more and more benefits rather than demanding to keep more of what they earn. Overprotective governments prevent people from development. Hard working, resourceful people who earn money are forced to support not only those in real need but also a growing group of idle, inactive, and indolent citizens. According to Dennis Prager, an American conservatist, author, and public speaker, in a welfare state taking care of yourself is no longer a virtue because the government will take care of you. Teaching people to work hard and take care of themselves as well as the others and making them understand that they should earn what they receive is fair and produces less selfishness. Socialism and welfare state destroys the aspiration of being independent. Capitalism teaches people to work more whereas socialism teaches people to demand more. (https://www.prageru.com/courses/political-science/socialism-makes-people-selfish)
    In a welfare state people demand more and more unaware of the fact that the welfare state takes their own money. Numerous officials become assets managers and the cost of administration of those assets gets higher than the value of a help given. To put it simple if a government “gives” you £100 it means it had to take from the society £150. Margaret Thatcher, the leader of the conservative party and British stateswomen in the years 1979 – 1990 stated at the party conference in October 1983 “Let us never forget fundamental truth: the state has no source of money. (…) There is no such thing as public money. There is only taxpayers’ money”.
    Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia claims that free market is not only economically but also morally superior. If I want something from you, I must do something for you. There is no coercion. Money is my certificate of performance. When government interferes and redistributes assets, people receiving benefits do not serve the others but still have a claim. In 2009 Chrysler and GM concerns failed and should go bankrupt but the government interfered by taking the power (money) away from people and rewarding the companies that couldn’t compete successfully in the market. This worked very well for politicians, unions but not for the tax payers. Economy should not be controlled by the government.
    (https://www.prageru.com/videos/capitalism-moral)

    In so called social justice – freedom must be sacrificed to in order to redistribute income. There is ever increasing role of the state to control life. People are told what they are allowed to buy and at what time (e.g. Limits on alcohol, medicines). There are things imposed on people like obligatory health insurance, drivers’ insurance, compulsory vaccinations, wearing seatbelts. Obviously, there are aspects of life that must be controlled, therefore it is absolutely right to have a legislation concerning domestic violence, restrictions on smoking and drinking in public places, criminal behaviour. Social democracy helped in the liberation of women, allowed access to education, secured safety and wellbeing of disabled people and of lonely old people incapable of living on their own.

    Dangers for Family in Social Democracy

    The traditional model of family is a nuclear family with mother, father and their child or children. From 1960, though, such model of family is in decline. One parent families, reconstituted (with a step parent), and families without children are growing in numbers. The number of people living in nucleus families fell from 52% in 1961 to about 35% in the present time.
    According to office of national statistics (https://www.ons.gov.uk/) in 2016 there were about 5 million married or civil partner families with dependent children, slightly below 8 million families without dependent children, and 2 mm loan parent families with dependent children. The reasons for the decline in the number of nucleus families are complex. Apart from the development of social democracy, there are significant cultural and sociological changes. There are more possibilities for women in the field of education and job opportunities. For many women career tends to be more important than family and upbringing children. For those who do have children there is very well developed system of child care institutions like nurseries, early education. Additionally, there is birth control program with easy access to contraception. Divorce Reform Act (1969) made it easy to divorce and leave unsuccessful marriage, hence increasing number of lonely parents or reconstituted families. Deindustrialisation resulted in creation of more jobs available for women. Still in 1960s it was enough for a man to be a bread winner whereas his wife was devoted to organise family life and bring up children. The rising cost of life but also higher expectations due to cultural changes spread rapidly by mass media made vast majority of women work.
    Nuclear family ideally serves the needs of capitalism because capitalism thrives when people take care of themselves. Two parents with children is the ideal model for the family to be self-sufficient. In socialism or social democracy, the government takes over the role of family
    Healthy traditional family is the core of society, people living in single parent family, or families without children are more vulnerable and require support. Older people who do not have children do not have support and care, than it has to be provided by the government. Government takes more and more assets from the society redistributing them to serve the needs of vulnerable. During this process approximately 50% of resources is eaten by administration and corruption.
    According to Stanislaw Michalkiewicz, Polish lawyer, academic teacher, politician and writer, social democratic welfare state caused demographic crisis where an individual’s safety guaranteed by his family was apparently taken over by the state. Family became unnecessary, offspring became just a burden. Michalkiewicz says that welfare state in order to provide care needs an army of officials who need to be paid. Money is taken from society who need to earn the living for themselves and also their “protectors”. (based on http://www.naszdziennik.pl/polska-kraj/9519,toksyczna-nadopiekunczosc-panstwa.html).
    In the past elder people stayed within the family. They could provide excellent support and help for grandchildren. In this way it was also beneficial for the parents who did not need to worry about their children and part of the upbringing was supported by grandparent. For the grandparents staying in the family meant being useful. They could help in housekeeping, prepare excellent dinners, maintain social life. Even if they were already unable to work, they stayed advisors, mentors. Living within the family and staying active reduced and delayed or even eliminated at all symptoms of dementia. Nowadays we witness a crisis of family life. It is heart-breaking when you can hear some elder people, who live in care homes, asking: Why am I here? Where is my home? Where is my daughter / son? Why don’t they take me out of here? Those people no longer have sense of their life. On the other hand, in the UK some children as young as 7 are sent to boarding schools. Parents give up their upbringing and reduce family life, relations, commitment, love. Let me conclude by citing the words I heard from one elder lady: Nowadays people sent their children to boarding schools and parents to care homes, then they can just party.
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