Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Some random thoughts on politics
I have been troubled by flashbacks of some the comments of some of the critics of my Your Thurrock blogs regarding being a left-wing commentator and, as a result, have been inundated with random thoughts about my political views. The only way I’m ever going to get rid of these thoughts is to send them out into the world in some way so below are some of the thoughts that have occurred to me.
I despise all partisan politics and prefer to look at the basis of political thought.
I realise that a lot of my blogs on political matters are to some degree or other left leaning but that is more to do with the fact that I see myself as having a social conscience and that I’m interested in social justice rather than being a left-winger.
I have a worldview that is actually incompatible with left-wing politics because left-wing politicians are (supposed) to have a view of the human race as basically social and would, given the chance, act in the best interests of society as a whole and I see the human race in the right-wing view of needing to have a firm hand in being governed because humans are basically selfish bastards.
When I was reading up on the various political ideologies, I was drawn to some of the ideas put forward by Karl Marx regarding Socialism and the ultimate goal of that ideology. I saw how incompatible New Labour was with the ideals of Socialism and that even having a Socialist party at all is incompatible with Marx’s vision.
The ideals that Marx envisioned was of a transitory government based on Socialist principles that valued the worker’s rights and common ownership of business that would eventually give way to a Communist State which he described as a stateless State. Government would literally fall away in a Communist State as, by the end of the Socialist era, everyone would be working in the best interests of society as a whole and politicians would no longer be needed.
The negative view of a Communist State comes from the bastardised version of Communism that was evident in the former USSR and states based on that model.
Communism of the Russian variety was inherently flawed because the leaders failed to follow through on Marx’s vision and this was due to the fact that the leaders didn’t overcome the inherent selfishness buried deep in the human consciousness.
The idea of mechanisation in industry was supposed to provide workers with the ability of producing the amount of work needed to satisfy their basic requirements for life, based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in a shorter time – a worker might have had to work 12 hours a day to produce enough of a final product by hand to cover their basic living needs but could produce enough final product to cover those same needs in 6-8 hours using machines. It was supposed to be a time-saving revolution in industry that would allow workers to do the work necessary to cover their needs and allow them time to pursue ‘higher’ activities allowing them to become more accomplished and rounded human beings. Mechanisation would also allow employers to cover their needs and the cost of the associated overheads of running a business whilst allowing them to also pursue more self-actualising activities. Unfortunately, employers gave into the inherent selfishness and greed of the human condition, seeing the possibility of gaining more money for themselves than they actually needed by continuing to insist on paying workers the same wage for the same hours whilst actually over-producing whatever product they were in business to make.
The idea of a Communist State is seen as bad for competition in the marketplace because there is less choice in the products available and as a society in which everyone has to have the same amount of wealth; neither idea is actually true. Choice in the range of products can still be achieved with different manufacturers producing their own versions with their own innovations and consumers can choose whichever one suits their particular needs – a vibrant market achieved and one that could still be compatible with the ideals behind the mechanisation of industry. Prices could be fixed at exactly the same rate for all products of a similar type or there could be a variation in prices, either position could work. As for people having the same amount of wealth, this is ridiculous as a worker can elect to work for more hours than they need to cover their basic needs to give themselves a higher income if they wish and if their employer is willing to agree to it; in fact their employer would probably be happy to allow it.
With a fully Communist State based on Marx’s original principles, people would have more time to pursue activities that would enrich society as a whole whilst still having their basic needs met. The society would work in the interests of the whole of society rather than selfish individual needs and it would be a society that could work without the need for politics and politicians.
Of course, with all that said, I still believe that, even though a society such as that described above would be a good thing for the human race, it is a vision that could never come true because selfishness and greed are too ingrained in the human psyche to ever be overcome in the interests of all.
Despite my interest in the idea of a selfless society and the left-wing path that could take us there, I have a large amount of right-wing views which are incompatible with a left-wing view; in some respects, I can be God-damned intolerant – the very genetic signature of a right-winger. That being the case, I decide to live as a political observer commenting on what I believe is right and criticising what I feel to be wrong. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a less selfish society?