January 31, 2006

Last bastion of Socialism

I don't like Socialism. Much like every other collectivist ideology (such as fascism or religious fanaticism) it is immoral. It kills, mains, causes pain and suffering detracting massively from the total sum of happiness. What Socialism has actually done (and it's collectivist religous forbears) should be remembered rather than the nice things that it's proponents claimed it was trying (but always failing) to achieve. The Adam Smith Institute has a nice image for what Socialism actually did achieve.
Imagine a row of 100 people, nearly 40 deep, being bulldozed over a cliff. Almost 4,000 people killed. The communist regimes did that to their own people every day of every year throughout the 72 years of their sway.
And what did these tens of millions of deaths acheive, a few (million) broken eggs to make an omlette? No, a few (million) broken eggs to make nothing what so ever. Centralised planning does not work on the scale of a state or anything approaching that scale. The basic formulae of jealousy that sums up Socialism "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" leaves no incentive to work up to your ability, other than the salt mines, since it will just all get taken away from you leaving you with only what the State thinks is enough to satisfy your needs. Capitalism works, Socialism doesn't.

So it should come as no surprise that the last bastion of Socialism in the UK is in difficulties. It is cutting services, while it's bloated corpse creaks under the strain of the fetid gasses of putrification trying to escape. One day like the Socialist states behind the Iron Curtain the NHS will collapse. But like the collapse of the Socialist states there will be large mess to clean up.
If we try to calculate how many people in Britain depend on the NHS, with its 1.3 million employees and all their families, GPs and their staff included, plus suppliers and outsourced services, we may well be talking of up to seven million people. In relation to the whole population this comes to roughly 12% – close to the ratio between the population of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and that of Western Germany.

Well, to melt away the Cold War bureaucracy of the NHS and absorb the whole workforce under efficient management into the rest of Britain may be as big a task as German Unification turned out to be.
Fixing the mess that is the National Health Service is going to take time and money, but the longer it is put off the more difficult it will be. Better to bury it now and replace with a French style social (note the small s) insurance system than spend yet more money trying to heal an institution that is already dead.


Blogger MatGB said...

Good to see all those capitol 'S'es. Very important those capitols, us market socialists get annoyed if we get tarred by the totalitarian brush ;-)

11:31 pm  
Blogger chris said...

I try to remember. There are even some socialised things that I'm in favour of, education and health. Not that they have to be the single state controlled monoliths that exist at the moment to be socialised.

4:40 pm  

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