Monday, November 14, 2011
"What Have We Learned from the Failure of British Socialism?": The Downfall of Classical Socialism
I'm clearly not an expert on British History, which won't stop me from commenting on it. But by the mid to late 1970s, when Margaret Thatcher became Leader of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom and the Leader of the Opposition. The economy there under the Democratic Socialist Government of the Labour Party. Began to stagnate or even decline they went through a bad recession just like America did in 1974-75, maybe even worse. And there was feeling in both Britain and in America that taxes were too high. And that government was too big and doing too much. In America especially in California by 1978, there was an Anti Tax Revolt led by Howard Jarvis and his group. That also had a national following, that led to California cutting its Property Tax, more Conservative Republicans getting elected to Congress in 1978. Like Newt Gingrich from Georgia to the House, Bob Walker from Pennsylvania to the House, Al Simpson from Wyoming to the Senate and many others. House Republicans picked up about twenty seats and Senate Republicans pick up three seats in the 1978 Mid Term Elections. Fiscal Conservatives who were Anti High Taxes and Anti Welfare State and in the Spring of 1979. The Conservative Party in Britain led by Maggie Thatcher won the General Elections there. With a similar message and of course elected Maggie Thatcher as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. And of course in 1980, Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party in America win back the White House and the Senate with a similar Anti High Tax and Anti Welfare State message.
There was this Anti Socialist message in the late 1970s going on in both Britain and in America and people who were living in a Free Society. Wanted the liberty to live their own lives including Economic Liberty, to own their own business and own property. And that government was taking and doing too much. And a bad economy can do this especially if a Socialist Government is in charged and in the 1980s we see the Conservative Party come to power in Canada. Led by Brian Mullrooney again with a similar message built around Individual Liberty. And this message was so powerful at least in Britain and in America, that the Conservative Party ran the British Government for eighteen years. From 1979-97 until a more moderate Labour Party that was still socialist but more Democratic Socialist. Led by Tony Blair came to power recognizing the need for Limited Government and Economic Liberty and Private Property. But that government should still be there to provide Social Services. That they can't trust the Private Sector to perform, like Healthcare Health Insurance, pension, education, transportation etc. The Labour Party thanks to ironically Maggie Thatcher and Tony Blair, went from being a Classical Socialist Party. To a Democratic Socialist Party.
In a sense Maggie Thatcher was good not only for Britain at least economically because the economy turned around with the Conservative Party. With Privatization and Deregulation but it was also good for the Labour Party, it forced them while in opposition. To recognize the failures of Classical Socialism and if they wanted to get back in power. They were going to have to moderate and become more of a Democratic Socialist Party or a Democratic Party. Or get used to being an Opposition Party indefinitely until brits decide to kick out the Conservative Party.