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October 08, 2008

Comments

Dan

"the inability to stand on one’s own two feet and face the responsibility of one’s own actions" - the unfortunate consequence of the welfare state is that it removes one's requirement to even attempt to stand on one's own two feet.

Indeed streamlining the welfare state is in line with both conservative disposition and Conservative policy.

Nick Cohen

Chris, We've just had an insane bubble market collapse, why do you still believe in the wisdom of crowds?

chris

Nick - Danny Finkelstein got it right this morning. Crowds have wisdom when they comprise independent minds. Bubbles, however, emerge when people are not independent, but rather believe things merely because others do - the wisdom of crowds then degenerates into groupthink.
Becauses bosses and "experts" come from similar backgrounds, they are, perhaps, more prone to groupthink than are more dispersed groups.

Francis Sedgemore

Morris dancing a conservative tendency? No-one ever told me. I was under the impression that we folkies comprised the revolutionary vanguard of Albion, ready to hang the bankers and Times leader writers with our collective hankies.

Will

Growing up in the eighties, when they were hell bent on wrecking the "post-war consensus" (remember that?) and selling off all the Great British institutions they could find for their scrap value, I always wondered just what, exactly, the Conservative Party was trying to CONSERVE. I never did find anyone who could tell me.

ortega

Oakesottians for Socialism? Since once there we christians... But, is there anything more Rationalist than socialism?

jameshigham

Many leftists, then, have Tory sentiments. And many Conservatives do not ...

Which shows that the left right divide is all bunkum anyway.

Larry Teabag

Perhaps there's a difference between a crowd and a mob.

dearieme

Building Society demutualisation: conservatives would have said "let be", liberals "you have permission to demutualise if you wish" (which is what the Conservatives said) and most Socialists "you are hereby Nationalised". One Socialist subset, the Nazis, would have said "We don't care about your structural facade, just so long as you do what we tell you".

ejh

Hurrah for the socialist fogey:

http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/the-socialist-fogey/

ejh

"the unfortunate consequence of the welfare state is that it removes one's requirement to even attempt to stand on one's own two feet."

What a load of old cack this is, of course: ill-informed and ignorant of what it's actually like, trying to cope on next-to-no money, how much willpower and strength it actually entails.

A lot harder, I think, than trying to cope when one has trust funds, public school education and contacts and inheritances: but oddly, we don't call that "dependency".

John Meredith

"A lot harder, I think, than trying to cope when one has trust funds, public school education and contacts and inheritances: but oddly, we don't call that "dependency"."

That is true, but this sort of hardship does not necesarily entail passivity and dependency. In fact, it often engenders or encourages the opposite traits. It takes a special kind of system to suppress initiative and independence and our welfare system is just that.

Andrew Kelly

Chris, you are beginning to sound like that other great blogger, Peter Hitchens.

Hilary Wade

I read a sort of parallel post to this after Hurricane Katrina, about how Republican politics had moved away from the ideal of John Wayne riding into town to help the townsfolk organise themselves against the outlaws (because he was obviously a hero, therefore it was his duty); from this ideal, to modern-day Republicans giving sound-bites about how the victims only had themselves to blame. You just can't picture the Duke doing that.

Alex

I always wondered just what, exactly, the Conservative Party was trying to CONSERVE.

Capitalism.

ejh

"In fact, it often engenders or encourages the opposite traits."

Yer right. Perhaps the problem should be resolved by awarding trust funds, public school educations and inheritances to the children of the unemployed, since that would have the "opposite effect".

William

I always wondered just what, exactly, the Conservative Party was trying to CONSERVE.

-- their own advantages.

John Meredith

"Yer right. Perhaps the problem should be resolved by awarding trust funds, public school educations and inheritances to the children of the unemployed, since that would have the "opposite effect"."

That is pretty much the policy that this blog recommends. CD calls it a 'citizen's wage'.

thomas

It's well known what Ian Hislop's preferred political philosophy is, so I'm surprised you attempt to question him.

Was Marx a marxist? Well Engels made a fortune trading on the floor of the Manchester Exchange, so...

...so what are Conservatives trying to conserve?

British Conservatives want to conserve traditional British liberties, but their paradoxic willingness to sacrifice these liberties for power fuels the nostalgic mythology which kills the thing they covet.

anglonoel

Roger Protz of the Campaign for Real Ale used to be editor of 'Socialist Worker' in the early 1970s.

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