It’s easy to see the faults in other people’s political ideas. There has been a big uptick in simplistic philosophies lately. Trumpers believe in putting their state first, regardless of the international implications. Libertarians discount the benefits of the state’s activities. Brexiters think that getting rid of the influence of Brussels will make us freer. It isn’t hard to see the shortcomings of these viewpoints. They can be summed up in a few sentences and obviously are nowhere near adequate to the complexities, trade offs and downright cussedness of the real world.
But it occured to me that my own political philosophy is pretty basic. It boils down to a couple of relatively simple points. Is it just as simplistic in its own way, even though I find it quite appealing?
Let me summarise it –
- We need a decent level of public service, provided directly by the state and funded by taxation. I don’t know what that level is, but the level in Germany seems to work well and we spend about two thirds of what they spend. This what a lot of people call socialism.
- A more equal society is happier. Progressive taxation is an effective way of achieving that. This is also often called socialism.
- Free markets in goods and services are generally in the public interest, and are very robust and can provide us both with stuff we need, stuff we want and produce enough to surplus to fund the public services we also want. I am very pro the free market. This might well be what is thought of as capitalism.
Basically I like both socialism and capitalism a lot and think they both work well together. On the political spectrum I’m roughly on the right of the Labour Party, but I like the left of the Labour Party too. I am also pretty positive about the Greens and the Liberal Democrats. I was reasonably positive about some Tories too, but Boris chucked them out. I haven’t worked out the details of how to put these ideas into practice, but I don’t think it would be too difficult to do so.
So, genuine question, what is wrong with this?