Socialism in Bangladesh

Posted in left, politics by jrahman on July 4, 2012

Defined as “nationalisation of the means of production and central planning of production”, socialism has failed conclusively and has no political future anywhere.  If the 20th century economic history didn’t make that clear, the failure of such a platform to gather pace even after the ongoing global recession should do so.  However, defined as “redistribution of wealth  or economic power”, socialism could have a political future in Bangladesh. 

Redistributive politics usually needs a homogenous population.  A diverse population means anti-redistributive factions can play off the poor against each other.  If not sure what that means, look at the voting records of poor, redneck Americans, and then look at the relatively homogenous Scandinavian countries.  Bangladesh is, of course, one of the most homogenous countries in the world. 

In addition to homogeneity, for their to be redistribution, there has to be sufficient inequality to begin with.  The rich has to be sufficiently wealthy for the state to tax.  Bangladesh isn’t particularly unequal.  Is there a constituency for soaking the rich?

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  1. Shafiq said, on July 11, 2012 at 12:11 am

    There is always a huge constituency for soaking the rich in Bangladesh. In our country, the belief that people only get rich at others expense is firmly ingrained in almost everyone. Very few believes in the wealth generating capacity of the market. The question is, can the government soak the rich? Apart from straight revenue sources like trade, consumption and payroll, the wealth gathering arm of the government is very weak.

  2. jrahman said, on July 16, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Hmm. The other angle is that one can soak the rich through non-state / non-political means. Anecdotal evidence suggests there is a lot of private philanthropy or redistribution through family network. I wonder if there is any data on this stuff.

  3. Jeanenry said, on October 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

    The truth is that the rich organize, borrowing mostly to maintain and profit from their means of production. There is risk in this and it takes vision. They will hide most of their profit, if not all and never disclose it to the gov. taxman. Governments must work hard to tax and redistribute through social security and unemployment benefits. Its correct Communism is dead, similar to nuclear war, the end never justifies the means. Think of Cambodia and you will know this.

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