Brits are forgetting the evils of big government at their peril

uk

Big government is back in fashion, at least according to the findings of the latest British Social Attitudes survey, which revealed that 48% of Brits support the policy of “tax more, spend more”, referring of course to Keynesian-style economic policy. Considering the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, this is a very worrying trend. We are already wallowing under the weight of a government that is already too big, and yet we may be on the path of potentially electing a totalitarian to power in five years’ time, partly due to not just the incompetence of Theresa May’s campaign, but also because public attitudes are shifting in favour of government intervention.

To be fair, the free market case hasn’t been doing very well, and I blame the apathy of economic conservatives in Britain, particularly those within the Tory party. They thought that 1989 really was the end of history, and that they had won the argument against socialism so definitively that they didn’t need to argue for free market liberalism anymore. How terribly naive they were, for the war of ideas is never-ending. When Tony Blair won the general election in 1997, this heralded the slow return of big government, and of paternalistic socialism, but instead of arguing against it, the Tories began slipping back into their one-nation ways, to the point where we now have a party whose leader may as well be the leader of Blue Labour.

Of course I can’t entirely blame people for supporting big government. Since the great recession they’ve been taught the lie that free market capitalism is the root of all their problems by socialists who have been waiting impatiently for precisely such a time to occur. I also think it’s the byproduct of inevitable apathy. We had the pleasure of living in a free market society for long enough that we had forgotten what it means to live under big government. We also have a generation that was born after Margaret Thatcher came to power, and thereby having never grown up under post-war consensus policy, meaning they have never experienced what big government looks like, or at least they’ve lived such comfortable lives that they’ve never had to deal with it.

It has once been said that the death of liberty does not happen from outside, but rather it dies slowly, poisoned by apathy and indifference. Though this may sound hyperbolic I assure you that we may well be on that path if something isn’t done. When a government gets too big, it inevitably craves for more power, and that’s when you start seeing your civil liberties stripped away one by one, and they can count on the public not to fight for their liberties because they will be too apathetic to bother, or worse, actively support it because they may feel that it’s “fair and just”.

The sad reality is that there is nothing just about big government. When they raise taxes to make the rich “pay their fair share”, they reduce tax revenue because less people will be able to pay said taxes. Also, half the money raised from corporate tax (which leftists want to raise) is taken out of workers’ wages, so when you raise corporate tax just because it feels good, you’re actually doing good. But hey, you trust big government to look after so what’s the problem? Speaking of that, people also trust the government to provide free health care, but the NHS (which I will talk about in more detail some other time) is currently facing a rapidly increasing financial black hole, and is plagued by poor service and long waiting times. Without privatisation, the NHS is sure collapse, but we can’t even bring up the idea because the NHS has become a sacred cow in British politics. Just goes to show how much we love big government socialism in this country.

I hope that we Brits seriously consider the ramifications of big government. We should be working towards making government smaller if we want to see any positive change in society, because big government is the problem. Today’s economic and social woes can be directly tied to excessive interference from the state in our lives. When it creates more costly regulations aimed at large corporations, it always hurts small business owners the most. When they ban certain drugs for ancillary moralistic reasons, it forces those substances into the black market, which then grows and enriches criminal entities who take advantage of drug-users. Whenever they pass new crime and surveillance laws with the stated intent of protecting the innocent from terrorism, it instead creates fear in the hearts of law-abiding citizens, who in the end will be the biggest victims of such laws.

Big government isn’t your friend. It should be our sworn enemy, and yet a surprising number of Brits are in favour of big government spending, to the point that 40% of them would vote for a Marxist. If big government is back in fashion, then we will have dark times ahead of us, doomed to repeat history because our memory is short.

Reasons not to vote Labour #4 – Haven’t we been here before?

james callaghan

Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters love to think that he’s out to bring real change for Britain, for the betterment of the working class. These people are obviously unfamiliar with British political history, as Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left socialism, or at least aspects of it, have been tried before. We tried big government socialism after World War II, and we called it the “post-war consensus”. The idea was that all British governments after the war agreed on the idea that they were responsible for maintaining the welfare state through state intervention in the economy.

Between 1945 and 1979, post-war governments implemented a regime of high taxes, high spending, and an all-encompassing program of nationalisation, in which everything you can imagine was brought into government ownership. Both Labour and the Conservatives made the same contributions to the creation of the post-war socialist dream, in which the state was supposed to manage everything, and everyone would live in state housing, drive state cars, and work in state industries, and your children would be educated by the state. The state, in theory, would also look after its loyal subjects. That was the idea behind the NHS, one of the last decaying relics of the post-war consensus still around to this day.

The post-war consensus literally was socialism in practice. The problem, of course, was that they never changed direction even as the economic situation deteriorated. During the 1970’s economic growth had become so lethargic that the government’s tax and spend policies had become unsustainable. Adding to the problems facing Britain in the 1970’s was Corbyn’s beloved trade unions constantly agitating the government whenever it introduced policies that threatened their economic bottom line.

In the early 70’s, when Edward Heath was in power, Britain was suffering from high inflation (put simply, everything became more expensive because our currency lost value), and the government attempted to solve this by imposing a public sector pay cap. However the miner’s unions objected, and thus persuaded miners to do no more than the basic requirement of their jobs, causing fuel supplies to drop. The government responded by imposing a 3-day work week for anyone who used electricity, who were only allowed to use electricity for three consecutive days. So yes, if you’re wondering how there was a point in time where you had days without electricity, it was unions’ fault. Keep in mind that much of Corbyn’s manifesto consists of demands from unions, who were instrumental in getting him elected as leader of the Labour Party.

Later on, Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan introduced a policy called “The Social Contract”, in which government ministers and union leaders would meet and discuss policy with each other, and eventually decide on the best course of action. Of course, this gave union leaders more power and influence, and they now felt that they practically ran the country, and set about enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else.

After the Labour government decided to cut government spending, which was necessary as by the mid-1970’s even the left-wing Callaghan himself admitted that they could no longer spend money they didn’t have, the Transport and General Worker’s Union abandoned the social contract, and after the government tried to limit pay increases to 5%, Ford workers from the TGWU went on strike. Ford capitulated, and eventually gave them a 17% pay increase. After that, the unions quickly realised that they could easily make money by calling random strikes for “better pay”, which caused the Winter of Discontent. As a result, we had trash piling up on the streets during the coldest winter in 16 years.

Because of the Labour government’s incompetence, the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher easily won the 1979 election, and once swept into power, Thatcher quickly went to work bringing about the end of the post-war consensus. This meant rolling back the welfare state, privatising failing industries that were previously nationalised, and weakening the power of trade unions, and it worked. Within the next decade the economy bounced back from the brink, and because Thatcher’s ideas worked, the post-war socialist lost the argument, and thus their precious dream of state-owned Britain was dead, kept alive only by the machinations of the European Union.

So when people say that Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies would take us back to the 1970’s, that’s because his socialist ideas, or rather some of them, had already been tried before, with disastrous consequences. If we elect Corbyn, he will most likely take us back to the days of Old Labour, and leave office after we’ve accumulated more debt than we could possibly imagine. Given what we know of his economic policies, I find it baffling that there’s still a third of the population that actually wants to vote Labour on Thursday’s election, also keeping in mind that if we vote Labour, not only will we get Corbyn and his functionally retarded economic policies, but we’ll also elect his cabinet of assorted Marxists and socialists, all of whom are demonstrably incompetent ideologues.

I think over the past few days I’ve made my case, and I this will be the last time before the election in which I write about Labour. Even though I might not vote for the Tories, I still hope that the Tories can still win in a landslide, or at least attain a large enough majority that Labour ends up with less than 200 MP’s, triggering a leadership contest within the Labour Party in which Corbyn is either kicked out of the party, or stays on, forcing the moderates who can’t stand Corbyn to split off and form their own party. It would be the death of Labour, and given what they’ve done in the past, I’d be glad to see them go.

Reasons not to vote Labour #2 – The Labour manifesto

labour manifesto 2017

In the last part of this series, which I released yesterday, I talked about the utter toxicity of Jeremy Corbyn and his cabinet of fools. Today, I plan to talk about his manifesto, which was leaked a week before it was supposed to be launched. I had planned to talk about all the other party’s manifestos ahead of the election, but due to how little time I have left, that might not be possible. A few weeks ago I talked about the Liberal Democrats, and how their manifesto literally contradicts their party’s name. But at least Labour’s manifesto is upfront about its quest for a socialist Britain.

The most glaringly obvious pledge is that Labour wants to renationalise the rail and energy industries. For those who don’t know, nationalisation basically means the government is bringing an industry under its control, meaning that these industries will be part of the public sector, and therefore funded by the taxpayer. Labour are also promising to cap railway fares and deliver free Wi-Fi. For the newly nationalised energy industry, they want to control the grid and energy distribution, and create at least one state-owned energy company for every region of the UK, and cap average household dual fuel bills to £1,000 a year.

While some might ask why this is a bad thing, remember that there was a time when everything was nationalised (I mentioned this when I wrote about the one-nation Tories), including rail and energy. Given how far-left Jeremy Corbyn and his allies are, what’s stopping Labour from eventually nationalising more of Britain’s industries, taking us back to the time when Britain was the sick man of Europe, even as Europe is now the sick man of the world. But that’s not all.

Labour also wants to lower the voting age to 16, which will likely have the effect of introducing more indoctrinated, barely matured voters who will likely vote Labour because they pander directly to their interests. This is the only reason I could think of for wanting younger voters, who will generally be more ill-informed than older voters. And before I get accused of generalising, I’ve actually tried talking to 16-year-olds about politics, and when you’re 16, you know nothing about politics. Speaking of young people, Labour also want to abolish tuition fees and reintroduce any maintenance grants that were scrapped under the Tories. Again, this is a naked attempt to pander to young people, but it’s a dreadful idea not just because it means more government spending. When university is free, you get the wrong sort of students flooding into campuses, whether its drunken chavs who just want to go into university “for the sesh”, or people who just want to blow their money doing a worthless gender studies course, which I wager is precisely what Labour is hoping for, as more gender studies students means more Marxists who will become lifelong Labour voters.

Labour wants to scrap the bedroom tax, which is all well and good because nobody liked it. That said, this pledge is bundled in with plans to build 100,000 council homes. Ever seen what a council flat looks like? If you haven’t, you’re lucky. There was once a time in which high-rise council flats were envisioned as the future of British housing, but in reality, they’re the kind of homes that the poorest among us live in if they live anywhere at all. That Labour probably wants more of these is simply a show of how retrograde the party is.

Labour wants to create a Ministry of Labour, supposedly to deliver an investment in worker’s rights, but it’s really a front to hand power back to the unions. For a bit of context, under James Callaghan (who, I’ll admit, came to power after the Ministry of Labour was dissolved in 1970), the unions practically ran everything, and they figured out that they could get whatever they wanted by calling random strikes in order to make more money. The resulting disruption led to the Winter of Discontent in 1978. When Margaret Thatcher came along, she broke the power of the unions by stripping away the power of union leaders. Eventually the power of unions had fallen to nothing, but now Corbyn wants to bring back the unions’ stranglehold over the country and its workers. On defence, Labour’s manifesto says that the party wants to renew the Trident nuclear defence program, but Corbyn himself, as a unilateralist, has repeatedly dodged the question of whether or not to retaliate in a nuclear strike on several occasions.

What Labour manifesto would be complete without raising taxes. They want to raise corporate tax up from 17% to 26%, which will have the knock-on effect of making prices higher for consumers. They want to raise income tax for everyone earning £80k or more, and grant extra powers to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (the UK’s tax collection department) to chase down individuals and corporations who try to avoid paying taxes, which I’m sure they will after Labour raises the corporation tax. If you want businesses to pull out of the UK, this is how you do it. If you want to stop people from avoiding tax, why not lower the corporate tax (lower taxes for everyone while we’re at it), and adopt a flat tax so everyone pays the same rate? Of course Corbyn won’t, because that’s not the Marxist way isn’t it?

All of Labour’s plans can be summed up as wild and unrealistic, and they are set to cost the British public £93 billion (roughly £4,000 from each British household). The problem is that way Labour wants to raise money for its spending spree will only raise £63 billion, leaving a £30 billion deficit. In summation, Labour’s plan for Britain is to borrow, borrow and borrow some more until we crash land onto mountains of debt yet again.

I left out Corbyn’s position on Brexit because that’s the subject of Part 3 of this series, so stay tuned for the next part, “A Toothless Brexit, if We Even Have One”.

Blue Labour is not a new phenomenon

postwarcons

The modern Tories are often criticised by some in the right because they aren’t truly right-wing. In fact, it can be said that the modern Tory party has become more socialist than conservative. Nowhere is this criticism more pronounced than when applied to Theresa May, the sitting Tory Prime Minister who opened her premiership with an emphasis on social justice. On economic policy, she’s pretty much a left-leaning Tory cut from the same cloth as most of the party, and many have noted that she has pilfered her platform from what used to be Ed Miliband’s Labour manifesto.

Some have taken to calling this Blue Labour, and in this regard, I agree, though I think this is one of those times where it’s important to learn some history. While Theresa May’s leftward lurching manifesto is pretty much the right-wing version of a typical Labour manifesto, it’s important that the Blue Labour attitude that today’s Tory party embodies has been around for a very long time. In fact, the official name for this brand of right-wing socialism is “one-nation Toryism”. This has been the policy of every post-war Tory PM except Margaret Thatcher, and this is because it stems from the paternalistic worldview that many Tories hold in regards to society.

The Tories have always been the party of the owning class, but contrary to what most people may believe, the old Tories never believed in capitalism. This is evidenced by Harold Macmillian (who would later become PM in 1957), when he insisted that Toryism as an ideology “has always been a form of paternal socialism. Similarly, another future PM named Anthony Eden made the Tory’s opposition to capitalism clear at the 1947 Conservative Party Conference:

“We are not a party of unbridled, brutal capitalism and never have been. We are not the children of the laissez-faire school. We opposed them decade after decade.”

The reason they despised capitalism was because it went against their own view of how society should be ordered. In their worldview, your standing in life was something you were simply born into. You were rich because your parents were rich, you were poor because your parents were poor, and your children would more than likely go down the same route as you will. Capitalism challenged that idea. In capitalism it doesn’t matter how you were born, because you earn success through your own merits, and fall because of your own failings.

To the poor, capitalism presents a path out of poverty, and the old elites resented that. They resented the idea that anyone could become as rich as them, but they were most fearful of the idea that they could lose their wealth and status. Capitalism was a threat to the economic privilege of the wealthy Tories of the olden days, and thus they favoured socialism, a system that, in practice, protects that privilege under the guise of looking after the poor.

The old Tories thought that it was their job, nay, their duty to run the country, and because of their desire to limit the free markets, they ended up agreeing with Labour’s policy of nationalisation, high taxation, high regulation, and a generous welfare state. This was called the “post-war consensus”, which is basically a system of Keynesian socialism with no more than a glimmer of free markets. In the era of the consensus, everything was nationalised, and the welfare state grew until it eventually became unsustainable. Although this consensus began under a Labour government, it was the Tories that truly ushered in the era of consensus-style socialism then ran through to the 1970’s. That was one-nation Toryism in action.

Of course, while the post-war consensus was supposed to give us prosperity after the war, it ended up paralysing the economy by overburdening the state, which by the 1970’s was running out of money because it was paying to keep all the industries going, and the taxpayers were getting less and less able to foot the bill. The consensus was defeated when Margaret Thatcher took power and brought a swift end to nationalisation, putting her at odds with the traditional one-nation Tories. In the end, the EU-loving Tories ousted her from party leadership, and returned to their old ways, and now one-nation Toryism, perhaps the last remnant of consensus-era politics, is the policy of the modern Tory party, as exemplified in the current manifesto.

This Blue Labour philosophy is so entrenched in British conservatism that there really is no right wing in mainstream British politics, and no, UKIP is too weak to count. This part of how the left has come to dominate the narrative in British society, because there is no true right to oppose it, and there hasn’t been since Thatcher lost power. Now it seems like we’re headed for a long reign of protectionism, economic regulations, but at least nationalisation is not on their agenda anymore, all while our civil liberties continue the slow path of erosion. This is Blue Labour in action, but because the alternative is blatant Marxism, it seems this is the only way. Just when we thought they were gone, the days of “There is no alternative” are more alive than ever.

My beef with TV licensing (and the BBC)

tv licensing

So I heard that the BBC are rolling out new changes to the TV licensing laws, which effectively mean that, starting from September 1st, you will have to get a TV license in order to download or even watch BBC programs via iPlayer. What it means it that, if you want to watch TV shows on BBC iPlayer on any broadcasting device at all (including tablets by the way), you have to pay the extortionate TV licensing fee (which as of 2010 is frozen at £145.50 per year).

For starters, it means that I have to basically stop watching anything from the BBC (which I can totally do because I don’t even like the BBC, for reasons we’re about to get into) because that rule extends to university students like myself. However, the main thing about this new law is that it shows how desperate the BBC has gotten. When I first heard of this, I thought it was basically an obvious attempt to target university students (as if we don’t have enough expenses to pay as it is) just to keep the god-awful BBC Three alive.

To clear things up, BBC Three died a natural death. Viewership began declining as young people moved towards tablets and online on-demand content, and so the BBC couldn’t afford to keep the channel anymore, as would inevitably happen over a period of time. They kept it running as an online channel, but while its rating aren’t catastrophically bad, I don’t see a lot of people clamouring to watch it. I personally don’t feel that people living in halls should have to pay an arm and a leg every year just to keep a dreggy, ancillary channel alive in a era where it is no longer relevant, and clearly can’t survive in a free market.

In fact, I’ve always despised the TV licensing fees. For those of my readers who live outside Britain, the TV licensing fee is an annual fee that we in Britain are forced to pay if we have a TV, and because the BBC is owned, operated and controlled by the government, that fee is basically how the BBC is funded (this is why BBC channels and radio stations don’t need ad revenue, and therefore have no ads). To me, this sounds like a blatantly socialist concept, as it is counter to the idea that a TV station should survive or collapse on its own in the free market. I also find it very bizarre that the majority of Brits actually defend the institution that forces you to pay extortionate amounts of money just to stay alive, so here are a few reasons why I think we should abolish the TV licensing fee.

1. The concept of a public TV station is outdated

As I mentioned earlier, the BBC has slowly become an irrelevant institution. In the old days, people were basically stuck to the live channels as they were the only source of TV programs, sport and news updates, and whatever they had what was you got. Flash forward to 2016 – now people can get their news from an array of online sources, including social media websites, and thanks to the invention of tablets and streaming services like Netflix, you can stream any TV programme you want without the need of a TV.

In today’s world, the TV is becoming a relic of the 20th century, and by consequence, so is the BBC, and they know that. Why else would you have thousands of British households cancelling their TV licensees? In a world where you can catch up on BBC’s programmes through the iPlayer service, why even would you bother paying the license for something you don’t need? With that in mind, we come to the only reason the new law is being rolled out – the BBC is losing money.

The BBC has apparently lost £238 million because people have decided that, with tablets, there’s no need to pay an expensive TV license fee. Of course, the regressive government institution that it is, they want to close that loophole because they’re afraid of becoming irrelevant, and thus unprofitable. The new law is simply a way for the BBC to try and make money by forcing people to pay for iPlayer, a service that, by all rights, should be available for free. All the new law will end up doing is driving people over to the alternative streaming services, which are significantly cheaper if not available for free, further crippling the BBC.

2. Why should I pay for bad TV?

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but most of the shows on BBC’s channels are mediocre at best. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule (such as “The A Word”, which is due for a new season), but most of the BBC’s programming consists of much of the same kind of claptrap you find on its competitors (Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5), all of which can exist without the licensing fee.

The only good thing I can say is that BBC’s shows have better production values than their competitors (the nature documentaries look and sound fantastic), and I have no doubt that BBC programmes might have been much better in the past, but I don’t feel it to be the case now. I’m aware that there are quite a few popular and highly-regarded shows on the BBC, like Doctor Who and Sherlock, but I feel that if people really like them enough, then they will survive without the need of a licensing fee. I don’t really care what people watch. If they like it, it’s their prerogative, but I shouldn’t have to pay for them. I don’t see why people should be prosecuted just because they don’t want to have to pay to keep Flog It on the air.

I’m also aware of the fact that the licensing fee also funds BBC Radio. To me that means it sustains one of my most hated institutions – BBC Radio 1. If I were to pay the licensing fee, I’d be paying to sustain the vapid cesspool of decadence and garbage that I always thought of Radio 1 as back in high school. The other radio stations, however, I have a mixed opinion of.

3. Why should I pay for propaganda?

In the old days, most people got their news from the BBC, and when I was young, it was generally assumed that BBC News is completely unbiased, but that’s complete balderdash. Because the BBC is essentially owned by the government, BBC News is the state news network, meaning that it will invariably be promoting some sort of agenda.

Many right-wing newspapers accuse the BBC of having a blatant left-wing bias, and they’re absolutely right. I noticed this during the Brexit vote, and the BBC showed an obvious bias in favour of the Remain camp (but then, most of the establishment media was in the same boat). They’ve also been known to spin anything involving Donald Trump (I don’t support him, but I dislike the intellectual dishonesty displayed by the media right now). Recently, Donald Trump said that supporters of the Second Amendment could hinder Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He said this while making a point about how gun rights may be endangered if Hillary got to appoint her own judges of the Supreme Court (which, if she’s president, she will). However, the mainstream media, including the BBC, reported it as if Trump was calling for Hillary’s assassination.

The BBC is also very much entrenched in the ideology of political correctness, which makes sense coming from a pro-government channel. The BBC have made various documentaries that serve to promote an ideological agenda, and the best example I could think of is on BBC Three, who made a documentary entitled Porn: What’s the Harm. What was it? It was basically a piece that promotes the lie that porn causes sexual violence, child abuse, and rampant underage sexual activity, with no proof at all. This came in around the time when David Cameron’s government came under fire for attempting to implement a controversial porn filter (which was also going to block a number of non-pornographic sites), and since the BBC does the bidding of the government, the BBC, through it’s teen-oriented channel, was focused on trying to convince young people that porn is evil. They even brought in a former child actor to promote the lie. They also love to tout the merits of cultural diversity, while simultaneously chiding American Christians because they believe in angels (as they did in at least one BBC Three documentary).

4. If the BBC can’t survive on its own, what’s the point of keeping it alive?

Being a filthy capitalist libertarian pig dog, I believe in the virtues of the free market. Hence, I’m diametrically opposed to the idea of the citizenry being forced to pay for something against their will. That is why I oppose state-funded media and arts, because it comes at the expense of the taxpayer.

As I mentioned earlier, the BBC is clearly struggling to survive in an era where we can live without it. If it weren’t for the fact that we’re forced to pay the license fee, the BBC would probably be dead, or at least it wouldn’t have the money to keep producing so much content, or it might have shrunk to just a few TV channels and possibly one radio station.

Besides, I remember watching the BBC often because nothing else. Whenever I could choose something better, I would never watch the BBC. Of course, what bothers me even more is the concept of a TV license enforcement division, with officers that can search your home if they have a warrant. I haven’t heard of any other country in the world that has them around. And of course, the enemy of the BBC, which controls 70% of news output on TV and radio, is competition. If it was freed from government control, it would be forced to succeed or fail by its own merits, like all the other channels, but apparently the government doesn’t want that.

 

5. What are the arguments in favour of it?

Since the BBC is entrenched into the fabric of British society, it generally goes unquestioned despite the horrendous extortion Brits have to put up with. Naturally, a number of arguments in favour of the licensing fee (and the BBC) have come up, so I’d like to address the main arguments before I tune out.

  • The BBC does wonderful work and we must protect it – From what? The BBC is a corporation. It doesn’t or shouldn’t need government protection. And further more, what wonderful work? If you mean TV programming, then that’s completely subjective. For instance, I can’t stand Strictly Come Dancing. I find it a vapid exercise in brain-melting distraction. That’s why I’ve stayed away from it ever since I was 14. If you mean the news, then, as I’ve already said earlier, the BBC’s news service is essentially politically correct propaganda that omits any details that are inconvenient to their narrative.
  • The BBC does not have to sell advertising – I agree that ads are extremely annoying, with their universally crappy jingles and barely passable actors, but I don’t think that the licensing fee is the best solution. Besides, you can now streaming videos online with minimal ads, and on Netflix, you can stream TV programmes with no ads at all, which means the point about having no ads is a moot one.
  • The BBC delivers a variety of content – So does the Internet, which provides the greatest possible amount of variety known to man, catering to every niche you can imagine, and the best part is that you can pick and choose what you want to watch or listen to online, and it usually doesn’t you a dime (even the internet bill in my house isn’t as expensive as the TV licensing fee).
  • The BBC charter defines quality content – Again, that’s entirely subjective. Of course, the BBC can boast higher production values than their competitors, but remember, that money comes from leeching the public dry. Also, you can find great content that the BBC doesn’t have online, for free. You don’t have to go to the BBC at all for high quality content. Hell, if you were rich, you could afford access to content that is even better than the BBC if you knew where to look.
  • The BBC is an essential public service – Let me be clear on this final argument. Television is not an essential public service, and neither is the BBC. To those who say the BBC’s remit is to inform and educate as well as entertain, education should be the responsibility of either schools or your parents, not a state-owned propaganda outlet such as the BBC. As for entertainment, you can literally get entertainment anywhere other than the BBC, and for information in relation to news, you can get your news anywhere else online. Barely anyone watches broadcast news anymore since you can get it all online now. BBC News even has its own website, and with iPlayer around (which they’re going to charge you for through the license fee), you don’t even have to watch the channels proper.

Through all of this, I my principal argument is that the TV licensing fee should be abolished. All it does in the long run is preserve an outdated institution at the expensive of the taxpayer, which I find to be a frivolous excess. As for the BBC, I think it should be privatised, which of course would force it to compete in a free market, freeing the citizenry of an arbitrary expense. Yes, this will probably mean ads, but if I were watching TV, I would rather sit through terrible ads than be forced to pay for a channel I don’t want to use. Besides, I’m very certain that privatising the BBC will have no effect on the quality of the BBC’s programming. I’m sure the BBC can still capably produce programming to its viewers’ liking without forcing the rest of us to pay for it.

Why Michael Moore is full of shit

michael moore

I remember when I used to like Michael Moore, back when I was a dumb left-wing teenager who didn’t know anything about politics, but somehow felt that I was right. By now I’ve matured considerably, and I now know much more about politics than I used to, and I’ve come to realise that Michael Moore is essentially a left-wing bullshit artist, preaching socialism from his mansion in California. Furthermore, I have come to generally hate progressive ideology in general, thanks to all the social justice warriors and left-wing propagandists in major online outlets. So when I hear that Michael Moore has basically compared Brexits voters to Donald Trump, and referring to Britain as “a toxic place”, not only did that frustrate me to no end, but it also showed just how out of touch he is with ordinary people.

In a recent interview with professional Marxist Owen Jones for The Guardian, Michael Moore shows his ignorance by comparing Brexit to the idea of Britain “being in the Premier League” and “wanting to stay in the minors”. What the hell is he talking about? I’ve already written a lengthy disquition on what Brexit is about. If Michael Moore or anyone else wants to know about Brexit, I strongly suggest reading it. Anyway, he tries to argue that we in Britain are copying the rhetoric of Donald Trump, under the delusion that we’re only concerned with immigration. Immigration is a big issue with a number of Brexit voters, but we aren’t all racists slobs. Conversely, not all Donald Trump supporters are racists, but Michael Moore and Owen Jones are so out of touch with reality that they think it’s all “make Britain great again”, as if the sole tactic of the leftists in the Remain camp is to infantilise the opposition. The idea that we’re trying to mimic Trump is not only wrong, but it shows a flagrant lack of understanding on the part of socialists.

Moore is such a pessimist when it comes to the prospect of any Republican becoming president of the US that he believes the worst case scenario, especially when it comes to Trump. I know that Trump isn’t exactly the best candidate, but I highly doubt that he’s a fascist. If anything, I don’t think Michael Moore has looked into Trump that much. He then goes on to claim that fascism is the combination of state power, the power of markets and capital, racism and fear of the outsider. If he knew anything about fascism, he would know that capitalism cannot survive under fascism. Let’s not forget that, historically, fascist states such as Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy instituted planned economies, a key trait of communism and socialism (which Michael Moore seems to love so much).

Moore also claims that Trump has a “fear of women”, and that it will bring him down. I’ve kept up with the news on Trump, and can’t find any evidence of him being a misogynist. Also, Trump has been accused of much worse, and that hasn’t stopped his campaign at all. In fact, Trump’s campaign has been grown to the point where he is the Republican nominee whether socialists like Moore like it or not. Having “pissed off the majority gender” (another claim Moore can’t prove) doesn’t change anything. Owen and Moore later claim that Trump’s candidacy is a “last hoorah” for Reaganomics, as if we still live in a world government by Reaganomics. What Moore won’t tell you is that Reaganomics is characterised by a reduction of taxes and unrestricted free market activity. He also won’t mention that the Bush and Obama administrations saw an expansion of government control, and an increase in corporate collusion with the state. We don’t live in the era of Reaganomics, but rather an era of corporatism.

Michael Moore honestly feels that the working class is suspicious of liberals (translation: left-wing progressive), and at least he’s telling the truth in this one instance. He’s right in saying that the left has failed the working class, but it’s not just that. By Moore’s own admission, Obama was an ineffectual disappointment, but the main reason that Americans are turning on the progressive left is because the left doesn’t trust ordinary people to vote for them. In fact, many establishment leftists treat ordinary working class Americans like uneducated slobs in need of their political enlightenment, all while the leftists have become so out of touch with reality that they’re primary focus is trying to change society to fit their warped view of reality. Above all else, that’s why so many Americans hate leftists now, and the social justice warriors only make it worse. Then again, Moore is the same man who comforts himself with the idea that Donald Trump “sounds like the last dying dinosaur”.

Changing the topic to Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore then goes on to assert that the phenomenon that was Sanders’ campaign happened because the younger generation of voters haven’t been fed the Cold War narrative that “socialism is evil”. Never mind the fact that Bernie Sanders is now a failed presidential candidate. There is zero chance of Bernie Sanders getting nominated, and yet Moore still holds out hope for the deranged socialist, going so far to claim that he’s “pushed Hillary to the left” (giving no explanation as to how). Even if Moore isn’t advocating for Bernie Sanders, he still buys into the typical regressive left argument that a woman or a person of colour should run the show, without giving any reason why, and ignoring the fact that America already has a black president and women in Congress, as well as female CEO’s in some of America’s biggest companies. That in itself makes Michael Moore sound like a wailing dinosaur trapped in a retrograde ideology that calls for the obfuscation of facts. Oh, and if Mr. Moore is reading this, a generation of college students who flirt with socialism without knowing a thing about it doesn’t make a sufficient revolution. What it does make is a new wave of special snowflakes who seek to overthrow the “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” from within their cozy little safe spaces where their misinformed ideas can’t be challenged.

Finally, Moore and Owen go on to pontificate about (and presumably intellectually masturbate to) Owen Jones’ idol Jeremy Corbyn, the hypocrite who complains about the EU demolishing worker’s rights while campaigning for Vote Remain. Moore honestly believes Corbyn’s leadership to be an atonement for the sins of the Labour Party under Tony Blair. In reality, Jeremy Corbyn has been trying and failing to lead a hopelessly divided party that regularly undermines him on several issues. In fact, it is speculated that after the EU referendum, Corbyn’s leadership could be challenged, so we may no longer have a socialist running the Labour Party. He also holds Tony Blair more responsible for the Iraq War, a war started by George W. Bush. He goes on to claim that the war happened because Bush had the cover of “liberals” like Tony Blair (even though Blairite policies, which call for expanding government powers and greater European integration, are anything but liberal). At that point, I was pretty much done with this nonsense. The stupidity level on this interview was simply mind-boggling.

If you thought Michael Moore was full of shit before, that’s nothing compared to the level of self-righteous sewage that he spews today. Then again, what more can I expect from a typical Hollywood leftist who’s so full of himself that it’s actually fitting that he agreed to be interviewed by a man who is equally self-righteous and full of himself. In a way, Michael Moore has succeeded in representing what progressives have become, and why we call them the regressive left, because people like Michael Moore are so trapped in their delusions that it’s all they know, and that’s precisely the reason why conservatives like Milo Yiannopoulos and Steven Crowder are becoming more popular than ever, while Michael Moore continues to become little more than a relic of the Bush administration.

Why socialism is a bad idea

venezuela

Fancy giving socialism a try? You won’t when you find that all the supermarkets are empty.

It seems today that it has become all too fashionable to “resist capitalism”, as a generation of young people on their iPhones take to social media to complain about the “evils” of capitalism. Ever since the Great Recession, capitalism has been used as an easy scapegoat for all the ills facing Western society, thus breeding a whole new brand of nonsense preached by charlatans and believed by anyone who doesn’t know a thing about capitalism. Plenty of Bernie Sanders supporters would have you believe that capitalism is the problem, but do they even know what they’re talking about?

Let’s clear a few things up first. Capitalism is an economic system in which trade and industry are not controlled by the state, hence why capitalist countries tend to have minimal restrictions over the free market. Under capitalism, you have a competitive environment wherein business strive to succeed and please their customers, and those who don’t will fail. That is how the free market is supposed to work, and countries with free markets tend to be more prosperous than those who don’t. In that sense, capitalism is the greatest force to relieve suffering and poverty, because in a capitalist society, the goal in life is to work hard in order to earn a higher standard of living, and we have seen higher standards of living in countries that have embraced capitalism.

Many point to corporate greed as a symptom of capitalism, but that’s complete nonsense. They are confusing capitalism with corporatism, a system where large corporations collude with the state. Corporatism is generally characterized by regulations that specifically benefit large corporations, who can afford to comply with government regulations. Meanwhile, small businesses can’t afford to comply to the same regulations, and are thus driven out of business. In other words, corporatism ensures that big corporations can’t fail because the government protects them from failure, which shouldn’t happen under free market capitalism. If we hate the way big corporations abuse their position in society, then we should be opposing corporatism, not capitalism.

Instead, the Twitterati have aligned themselves with socialism, believing it to be a fairer and more equitable system than capitalism, except that’s nonsense too. In socialism, the government owns and controls industries, and distributes money from the rich to the poor. However, in a socialist society, you could just as easily avoid working expecting money to come to you from the state, or be scared away from success because the government would bleed money from you to give to the people who just don’t want to work. In other words, socialism leeches from hard-working people and gives it to the lazy. To quote Winston Churchill, the inherent virtue in socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

Socialism is also a bad idea because of what happens when countries adopt it. Because socialism creates a climate that weakens the incentive for success, wealthy job creators who would be of value to society end up fleeing from socialist countries to countries that embrace capitalism. I wouldn’t blame them. You couldn’t really have all the nice things we enjoy here in Britain without capitalism. Countries that have adopted socialism, meanwhile, have been suffering economically. If you want an example of why socialism doesn’t work, look no further than Venezuela, which has recently been making news because of how much its economy is collapsing.

Despite having the largest proven oil reserves in the world, Venezuela is currently suffering a food shortage that has gotten so desperate that long queues in the local supermarkets, now almost completely bereft of food, are normal, and it now costs $150 (or 1492.46 Venezuelan bolivar) to get a dozen eggs. Venezuela’s socialist government is now incapable providing basic supplies to its people, and the Venezuelan economy has also deteriorated so badly that major companies are no longer doing business there, and Latin America’s largest airline company, LATAM, has said that they’re suspending all flights to Venezuela.

Another example of the failure of socialism can be found in Greece (though it’s government is usually defined as Marxist), where the Greek government apparently spent themselves into bankruptcy, and tried to fix it with austerity measures (some of it forced by the European Union). In socialist Greece, the government freely gave fat pension checks and welfare benefits from the cradle to the grave, while businesses operating in Greece are heavily taxed, sometimes to death. The consequences of Greece’s Keynesian socialism have been self-evident for a long while. Greece is sitting on billions in unpayable debt that they apparently expected Germany, the EU, the IMF to pay for it. However you look it, socialism failed.

Before the Cuban Revolution and the rise of communism, Cuba was once considered one of the most advanced countries in Latin America, perhaps even the world. After Cuba embraced economic socialism with communist ideology, it became an impoverished totalitarian state, from which millions of Cubans have fled in fear of reprisals from Castro’s repressive government (the fact that Cuba was subject to sanctions from the US also contributed to Cuba’s decline). To be fair, it’s not nearly as bad as the situation in the totally communist North Korea, where most of the population is starving while the people in power enjoy all the food and luxuries they want.

Anti-capitalists like Bernie Sanders and Michael Moore point to Scandinavia as a socialist paradise, with Sanders suggesting that the US adopt a Scandinavian economic model. However, they have the facts all wrong. While citizens of the Scandinavian countries pay very high income taxes, America actually taxes the rich at higher rates than they might be in Norway. It’s also important to remember that Sweden isn’t actually a socialist country. Sweden used to have a “tax-and-spend” model, but the Swedish government apparently recognized that this was stunting economic growth, and instituted capitalist reforms. Only by embracing capitalism did Sweden become one of the most prosperous countries in the world. After that, Sweden experienced high GDP growth and falling unemployment rates.

Of course, capitalism isn’t perfect, and neither is socialism. Due to a number of factors, we still have poverty in capitalist countries, but the wealth created by a capitalism economy allows the welfare state to provide money for the less fortunate in the first place. Without capitalism, you wouldn’t even have the welfare state that socialists want to expand. Capitalism may not be perfect, at least we don’t live in countries like Venezuela. By rejecting capitalism and advocating socialism, the anti-capitalists are pushing for a system that ensures that the people living under it are mired in miserable poverty.

Bernie Sanders supporters might not want you to hear this, but it’s true. Every country that has tried socialism has stagnated economically, and every socialist country that adopted capitalism has since thrived, because contrary to what the average leftist hipster will tell you, socialism doesn’t work. Socialism never worked, and even Bernie Sanders in incapable of rationalizing how he expects his socialist policies to work. The reality is that socialist policies can only be implemented through coercion, and that’s why nearly all socialist countries are dictatorships. As President, Bernie Sanders would probably have to coerce the state into implementing his wildly idealistic policies, but if you do the research, you’ll find that Sanders wouldn’t have enough money to make his socialist vision viable.

So in summary, socialism is a bad idea because it unfairly punishes the successful and stalls economic growth. Capitalism, meanwhile, has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system, and yet in this generation we have a number of young people who know nothing about socialism proclaiming from their iPhones that capitalism is somehow evil. If they lived in a socialist country, they would probably be eating their words by now.