Barry and I, in teh past, have had disagreements about whether a socialist society ought to allow a small amount of private property. I say it should, even though this might detract from total equality, because it gives more room for individualists who prefer not to work with otehrs, or for jobs whose very nature necessitates long-term work as individuals or small teams (peasants, scientists, etcetera.)
So I'm willing to tolerate maybe 10 to 20 percent private ownership.i do agree with Barry,,t hough, that anything particularly necessary or important ought to be under public control.In particular, I think that we should do away with private hospitals and the private practice of law.
The argument for state health care is well known, and many countries from Norway to the Seychelles have adopted, with substantially better results in terms of health care for everyone than we have in this country. I think that law should be nationalized for similar reasons. Consider this: one of teh founding principles of teh american constitution was that justice is blind, and that all men are equal before the law. The modern 'justice' system makes a mockery of this, as the OJ Simpson trial so aptly indicated. What kind of society is it where your wealth ahs a direct impact on the likeli=hood of your getting a better lawyer, and therefore on your likelihood of escaping punishment? It's not a just one, that's for sure. How can 'all men be equal before the law' when wealth ahs a direct inf;uence on your probable legal fate?
So I think law should be nationalized, and all lawyers hired by the state. The state already endorses the principle of REGULATING lawyers, after all, with the bar exam and what not. This wpould give everyone, rich or poor, access to exactly the same pool of lawyers, and would mean that Bill Gates and an indigent guy have the same chance of getting William Kunstler or a callow novice just out of law school.
Wouldn't this take away the freedom of the wealthy to get teh best lawyer they can afford? Yes, because the wealthy would no longer be able to bid for the best lawyers; they would have to be satisfied with whatever lawyer chose to take their case. But it reduces freedom for teh wealthy at the same time that it increases freedom for teh rest of us, who can now have a chance at getting the best lawyers in the counrty in spite of our means or lack thereof. Sometimes freedom for some can only be obtained at the price of freedom for otehrs, this is a well-known axiom.
What about schools? should they be all placed under the hand of teh state? I don't think so, for the following reason. Education, unlike health care and law, is at some level a partially subjective, ideological enterprise; everyone be they a tecaher or a parent who educates a child imparts to them a view of teh world. Now even if society restricts freedom of action, oit can never restrict freedom of speech or thought. Therefore, people have a right to attempt to inculcte children with the values they believe. And often it's hard to say which type of education is better. Is a Catholic schhol 'better' than a Quaker school? Who's to say? That isn'yt teh state's job. Therefore, any attempt to nationalize ALL educuaction is, I think, a violation of personal rights. This is why i support school vouchers, probably my only concession to the conservatives (although personally, i don't see it as a conservative stance at all- I see it as an egalitarian one- all schools should be accessible to pwople regardless of wealth.)