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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Social Disease

A blog post by Lord Tebbit caught my eye. Entitled 'Don't look left for the answers' it is well worth the read. Commenting that few people actually understand the Prime Minister's concept of a "Big Society" he goes on to say of those favouring an ever larger Bureaucracy and government involvement in every aspect of our lives -

"On the other hand, the believers in the Big State are clear enough about what they want. More and more regulation, not just of the economy, but of the way in which we live. More and more dependency upon the state. Downward only social mobility, except of course for the exclusive echelons of the political class. Dumbed down state education, the disincentivisation of work through high taxes and welfare. The attacks on the traditional family unit, the toleration, if not the encouragement, of low level crime, vandalism and hooliganism."

I think he has, as usual, hit the nail squarely on the head here. A few paragraphs further in he slams home yet another body blow for those who believe that the State is the best organ to ensure freedom and equality -

"But socialism is an illness. It is the illness which has overwhelmed the Labour Party’s inheritance from both Welsh valley Methodism and love of education and the Rochdale Pioneers tradition of self-help."

Socialism is a delusion. Its proponents believe that the wealth of the nation is theirs to apportion and distribute. It is not. The wealth of any nation depends on the constituents being productively employed, of generating wealth which, in purchasing the services provided by the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, others share. That there are always inequalities in this is a given, but there are worse inequalities in a 'Socialist' State - ask those who suffered under the 80 years of Communist Rule in Russia or any of the Eastern European States occupied by the USSR after 1945. The ruling 'Elite' can always make a case for their having more than anyone else of the 'communal wealth.'

The socialist ideal of a 'fairer' society is a delusion, simply because 'fairness' is a moral concept, the root of almost all religious belief. The minute you try to enshrine it in a law, defining what is fair or unfair, it becomes biased and unfair to many more than it is supposed to help.

There must be a fair sharing of wealth, but it must also be based on a contribution to that wealth in the form of labour or service. Socialists always see themselves as being the arbiters of wealth distribution, the 'natural' rulers of those less visionary than themselves, yet they are usually also the least capable of being the rulers in any useful or meaningful sense. This is what worries me about almost everyone I now see in Parliament and everyone I have ever had to deal with in the Civil Service.

A fair society, as Gandhi implied, cares for the aged, the infirm and for its young. It does not provide freebie wealth accumulation to the lazy, the feckless or the thief. Government is the least competent organisation to do any of it. Government should concern itself only with providing those services which are best provided by a central authority, it should provide security with adequate defence forces, police, fire and ambulance services. Justice, economic stability and sensible foreign policy are the province of government, not, as we have at present daily interference in every persons everyday life.

Lord Tebbit is right. Socialism is a disease, but, like a cancer, it is difficult to cure without radical surgery and aggressive medication.

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