06 September 2008

Socialism Dead? - Result of Poll (belatedly!).

I am not a big fan of putting polls on my blog (as little can usually be read into them) but I think my latest one was worthwhile. Judging by the comments I normally receive to posts on this blog - it would seem the majority of this blogs readers are to the right, but this latest poll suggests otherwise.

The question posed was the following:-
"Which of these more closely describes your political philosophy?

"I believe that human beings are essentially limited and security-seeking creatures, drawn to the known, the familiar, the tried and tested. Human rationality is unreliable, and moral corruption is implicit in each human individual.


"I regard humans as essentially social creatures, their capacities being shaped more by nurture than nature. Their propensity for cooperation, sociability and rationality means that the prospects for human development and personal growth are considerable"
The result was 60:40 (16:11) in favour of the second philosophy, which is a textbook definition of Socialism, the first being a textbook definition of Conservatism (from Andrew Heywood's Political Philosophies).

Leaving aside the remarkable fact that anyone could bring themselves to vote for Conservatism - such an unremittingly negative view of humanity when laid out in such black and white terms (it seems even some of the right wing readers of this blog could not stomach the textbook definition of Conservatism), it shows that socialism is still alive and well. That is socialist philosophy not social democratic philosophy! Makes you think.


  1. I missed the poll but I would have voted for the first definition.

  2. Well Neil, I would certainly align myself to the second statement. But I wouldn't count it as 'socialism' so much but as simply as statement of the evolutionary advantage that made mankind a very successful animal. Our bodies are not strong and are easily damaged. We have thrived because of our abilities to communicate and to cooperate and because of the social groups we form.

    I do find it ironic though that you of all people should reject the first statement, as it seems to be the thinking that informs the Labour authoritarianism that you are so supportive of!

  3. I voted for the first definition, which definitely fits better with my political views (moderate right-libertarianism).

    Your remarks on the result don't really make sense. It's not as though people are "voting for" the first definition when they vote against socialism - they vote against socialism because they believe it is not a good idea.

    If you think that "moral corruption is implicit in each human individual", then you necessarily believe that socialism is an impossible target, and are likely to vote for something more realistic i.e. conservatism or liberalism.

  4. Neil,

    Apologies for being a bit late. At first I passed over this post, but then I thought of a link that might be relevant & you might take an interest in:


    Anyone else is also welcome to go there.

    It interested me enormously, & I keep going to these people's sites for updates, but never get much :(

  5. http://tinyurl.com/55ryxr ,even.