Gove wants to take away our Nuts, IDS and Ed Vaizey think dads shouldn't be allowed to take their 14 year-old sons to see the latest Batman movie. It is particularly galling that Gove and Vaizey have previously projected themselves as on the libertarian side of the libertarian / authoritarian divide. Libertarian paternalism, government "nudging", is increasingly beginning to seem like a modernised version of old fashioned authoritarian conservativism. Vaizey explicitly encourages local councils to exercise their statutory powers to prevent teenage boys seeing Batman. That is not a nudge, that is a kick in the teeth for parental responsibility, it is not the business of the state to determine for parents what is their cultural norm.
Well, d'uh. The Tories are not libertarian, have never been libertarian and any member of the Tory Party who claims to be a libertarian—and this applies doubly to those Tories in Parliament, i.e. the leaders of the Tory Party who make the policy—is either deluded or lying.
Libertarians care about family values, families are the fundamental unit of society, the welfare state has done more damage to families than anything else.
Well quite. In fact, a few days ago, I argued that the Welfare State is responsible for our "broken society".
When people walk along the street these days, they see a homeless person and think, "why doesn't the state do something about homeless people/the mentally ill/the chiiiiiiiiiiilllldren?"
What they should be thinking is, "what can I do to help that person?"
The state dehumanises people: it separates them from their fellow human beings.
I am so sick of ignorant people banging on about "the atomisation of society" and how it's all because of "capitalism" and our "materialistic society".
Bollocks. Absolute stinking horseshit. Ravening piss-weasels.
Have we evolved into more materialistic people at a genetic level? We have not. "Materialism" has been around for as long as humans have traded goods: we have always been acquisitive.
It is not capitalism or materialism that has caused our atomised society: it is statism. It is the "the state do something about that" attitude.
The state also rewards the stupid and the lazy—those with no future—for having children who will also have no future, which will lead to yet more problems—as Jackart said in a rather long but excellent "state of the nation" essay recently.
But it's not the monstrous burden of the left's vision of "society" on the hard pressed tax-payer which so offends, but the effects that money has on its recipients. The left will not, cannot accept that it is the welfare state's perverse incentives (most notoriously the massive incentive to have children in order to get a council house) rather than lack of money and opportunity, which are at the root of the hellish, crime ridden estates ruining whole areas of towns. The idea that welfare payments subsidise crime, by leaving young men with nothing else to do, is repugnant. Repugnant, but true. The opposing, rather optimistic idea that people will work even though they could get the same money 'on the social' seems remarkably common on the left. It is common, but false. And it is this false premise, underlying everything the left does which is at the root of the social breakdown at the margins of society.
By making charity the state's function, you see to it that delivery of welfare is expansive, bureaucratic and replete with perverse incentives. Who are the women least likely to be able to bring up a child alone? The young and poor. To whom is a home, independence and an income should they become pregnant promised? The young and poor! Without fathers, with uneducated mothers, and no culture of work beyond the most casual, it is no wonder generations have been brought up with no respect for themselves or the rest of society. Then there are the smack heads whose free methadone keeps them addicted, and the just plain lazy for whom work is popping off to the doctor to get his "bad back" signed off. And inevitable the result is a feral feckless self-spawning underclass of useless people, whose despair and ennui is inflicted on the rest of us.
Quite. The point is that this state of affairs is not helping our society and, in the end, it is not helping those whom we are ostensibly attempting to help. It is merely leading to generation after generation of people whose entire lives will be spent rotting in these ghettos of the poor. Or, as I expressed it recently...
... and in places like Dewsbury and Glasgow East we hand over billions of pounds of aid, which ensures that the feckless and downright evil can continue to oppress, terrorise and exploit the productive, whilst popping out thousands of kids whom they are unable to support and who will live lives with no more meaning than their parents'.
As Wat says, it is a sick system—though motivated by kindly ideals—and helps to condemn millions to lives of misery and both financial and intellectual poverty.
Let's put a fucking stop to it. I am willing to take suggestions as to how we manage the transition, but this insanity has to stop and stop soon.
UPDATE: the Nameless One assesses the Tories and gets it spot on.
Things will stay, in the now very likely Tory government, pretty much the same.
Which is why I am the member of a party who, if they can truly get off the ground, actually offer a substantial departure to the status quo. And I know that those who have fallen under the spell of Cameron and neutered Tory party will ultimately end up disappointed. There is nothing radical on the horizon; just a more photogenic Prime Minister and minor tinkering with a system that is clearly, and obviously, corrupt, fucked and rotten to the core.