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Forum LockedThe "welfare state"?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The "welfare state"?
    Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 04:36
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Leonidas observed

For any functioning society we need taxes and we need welfare. i dont know how you expect the vulnerable to look after themselves but not everyone can 'pay their way' and not everyone on welfare is there because they're lazy. Granted many are, but many have disabilities, bad luck, no family etc etc.
No one is dismissing the purpose behind taxation or that government exists to preserve the common good; instead, the focus falls on the systemic shortcomings of a regulatory ambiance that transfers all decisions to anonymous bureaucracies that forever encroach upon the autonomy of personal decisions. Further this impetus toward minimizing the ambit of individual initiative not only generates a false sense of security but also forges an understanding of rights that moves far beyond the political and enters the arena of economic entitlement. One might even surmise that the latter will ultimately breed a permanent underclass whose preservation becomes the driving force behind the interested bureaucracy whose existence flows from their deprivation.
your whole opposition to what is a natural and logical outcome of a mass scale, industrialize economy/society is puzzling and has no practical purpose. There is an economic entitlement as the economy is a shared resource, however the difference between the losers and winners that are a natural outcome of this resource has to managed.  Safety nets make sure the situation for the poor is not desperate, which is totally responsible and actaully protects the economy and society from such a potentially more costly outcome.

BTW, there has always been an underclass and welfare is a reaction to this rather than the other way around. difference of the old times and now is that we feel responsible for those that are at the loser end of society. Any concern that this is wrong because its via a anonymous intermediary should be dismissed as purely  and uselessly academic. Since this intermediary alone has the capacity, mandate and resources to do so, with no obligations attached beyond good citizenship.

Who wants to go back to  'the good ol' days' where there a moral attachment to wealth with all that outdated and barbaric pseudo-aristocratic entitlement of the upper class.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 13:09
Originally posted by red clay

That you, in common with too many Americans, have no idea what 'liberal' and 'socialist' mean on the world stage is predictable, but not my fault.
 
 
Sadly true, many in the US wouldn't know a true Liberal or socialist if one were to bite them on the butt.
 
 
 
Fiddlesticks! Everyone knows that liberals have blue eyes while socialists have green ones!
 
In politics, there are no classic Liberals left in Europe at all--with the possible exception of Albania--and everyone of the remaining lot from Berlusconi through Merkel to Brown are all children of socialism in one manner or another. As for whether the Demos in the US would recognize a Liberal from a Socialist, such is an inane contemplation since the political outlook here has been, from the start, essentially utilitarian: if it works fine, if it doesn't let us argue over it and then dump it!
 
How many more Galloways are about?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 16:49
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Originally posted by red clay

That you, in common with too many Americans, have no idea what 'liberal' and 'socialist' mean on the world stage is predictable, but not my fault.
 
Sadly true, many in the US wouldn't know a true Liberal or socialist if one were to bite them on the butt.
 
Fiddlesticks! Everyone knows that liberals have blue eyes while socialists have green ones!
 
In politics, there are no classic Liberals left in Europe at all--with the possible exception of Albania--
I know that statement is annoying and you like that, but it would help your credibility if you would explain what you mean by that 'possible exception of Albania'.
and everyone of the remaining lot from Berlusconi through Merkel to Brown are all children of socialism in one manner or another.
Berlusconi, Merkel and Brown have very little in common, though the last two have more in common than either has with Berlusconi. None of them even claims to be a Liberal.
 
Brown at least calls himself a socialist, though he's tarred in that respect with having been associated with Blair. In Britain the liberal party is more than alive and kicking, having more MPs than at any time in the last 60-odd years.
 
Merkel is literally a child of communism wince she was born, brought up and educated in a Communist country: now however she represents the Christian Democrats, occupying much the same ground as the US Democratic party (insofar as that has a common platform). The socialist party in Germany at the moment are the Social Democrats and the liberal one is the Free Democrats, though they are well to the right of the British Liberals.  I'm not sure how to classify the German Green party.
 
Berlusconi is a law to himself really, but is close to being an American Republican as it is possible to be and still stay alive in European politics. His personal party is Forza Italia, which claims to be Christian Democrat, liberal and liberal-conservative, but mostly seems to be in the old Italian tradition of standing for whatever the leader thinks it should today. He certainly has never shown any sign of being a 'child of socialism' in any way whatsoever. He is after all the richest man in Italy and 51st in the world.
 
But I'm not going to get drawn into analysing Italian political parties Confused  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Italy
As for whether the Demos in the US would recognize a Liberal from a Socialist, such is an inane contemplation since the political outlook here has been, from the start, essentially utilitarian: if it works fine, if it doesn't let us argue over it and then dump it!
I see the great American myths are still flourishing. It may have een true at some time but if it were still true the US would have dumped its health care system years ago for a more efficient and cheaper one, General Motors would be long gone, and so would the American merchant marine. Just for a few items.
 
Welfare for individuals may be a low priority for the US government, but much of industry relies on welfare from the government to stay in business.
 
How many more Galloways are about?
I assume you know as little about Galloway as about that mixed bag Brown, Merkel and Berlusconi. I hope however the answer to y<our question is none, though I don't see what possible relevance it has to the thread.
 
Neither do you probably, or you would have been able to explain it and not once more drop some meaningless murky hint.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 19:24
Hello to you all
 
No matter how libertarians want to spin it, the only reason for the current prosperity is government intervention and regulation of the economy. Before the 30s, sever depression episodes and long running inflation was commonplace. From 1870 to 1900 Britain was in a deep and long stagnation. Same goes for the US economy and all other economies of the world. Poverty was so rampant and unemployment was so huge that the current number of today look a blessing. Yes, there are many problems associated with the model of the welfare state but the answer is to fix those problems not to cancel the reason for them. Look at the countries of central and South America, the darlings of Friedman and co. The social situation there is dire and the reason is wild uncontrolled capitalism. What is needed now is more regulation of the economy not less and the current subprime crisis is just an example.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 21:49

Gcle bemoaned:

I know that statement is annoying and you like that, but it would help your credibility if you would explain what you mean by that 'possible exception of Albania'.
...
Welfare for individuals may be a low priority for the US government, but much of industry relies on welfare from the government to stay in business.
 
How many more Galloways are about?
I assume you know as little about Galloway as about that mixed bag Brown, Merkel and Berlusconi. I hope however the answer to y<our question is none, though I don't see what possible relevance it has to the thread.
 
Neither do you probably, or you would have been able to explain it and not once more drop some meaningless murky hint.
 
No murkier than the effort to turn this thread into another example of Yankee-bashing so typical of Euro smugness. So far there has been little of history and the historical processes that gave rise to the socialist constructs of the modern European state and instead a flow of defensive posturing more typical of a candidate standing for Parliament and telling the constitutency they've never had it so good.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 12:24
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

No murkier than the effort to turn this thread into another example of Yankee-bashing so typical of Euro smugness.
 
Why is telling the truth about the US seen as 'Yankee-bashing'?
So far there has been little of history and the historical processes that gave rise to the socialist constructs of the modern European state
Well, Leonidas and Al Jassas have just recently brought up the historical processes.
 
However, you need to look at the title of this sub-forum and its parent. This part of All Empires is specifically not restricted to discussing history.
 
If you want to restrict your posts to historical matters then you are free to do so here. If you want other contributors also to stick to historical aspects, then start a thread in one of the history sub-forums, presumably in modern history.
 
In any case to confuse the welfare state with socialism is a fundamental error. The defining feature of socialism is centralised state ownership and control. Pretty well all parties in most of the world subscribe to the principles of the welfare state: it has nothing necessarily to do with socialism, though of course most socialists like most liberals and conservatives and communists and even anarchists support it.
and instead a flow of defensive posturing more typical of a candidate standing for Parliament and telling the constitutency they've never had it so good.
You really must love displaying your ignorance. That particular phrase is forever associated with British conservatism. No Liberal or Labour candidate would have used it, no opposition candidate is ever likely to use it, and anyway while I guess I was technically old enough, I didn't stand for Parliament in 1959.


Edited by gcle2003 - 03-Feb-2008 at 12:27
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Post Options Post Options   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 13:46
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

No murkier than the effort to turn this thread into another example of Yankee-bashing so typical of Euro smugness.
 
Why is telling the truth about the US seen as 'Yankee-bashing'?
So far there has been little of history and the historical processes that gave rise to the socialist constructs of the modern European state
Well, Leonidas and Al Jassas have just recently brought up the historical processes.
 
However, you need to look at the title of this sub-forum and its parent. This part of All Empires is specifically not restricted to discussing history.
 
If you want to restrict your posts to historical matters then you are free to do so here. If you want other contributors also to stick to historical aspects, then start a thread in one of the history sub-forums, presumably in modern history.
 
In any case to confuse the welfare state with socialism is a fundamental error. The defining feature of socialism is centralised state ownership and control. Pretty well all parties in most of the world subscribe to the principles of the welfare state: it has nothing necessarily to do with socialism, though of course most socialists like most liberals and conservatives and communists and even anarchists support it.
and instead a flow of defensive posturing more typical of a candidate standing for Parliament and telling the constitutency they've never had it so good.
You really must love displaying your ignorance. That particular phrase is forever associated with British conservatism. No Liberal or Labour candidate would have used it, no opposition candidate is ever likely to use it, and anyway while I guess I was technically old enough, I didn't stand for Parliament in 1959.
 
Ah! Another who is forever certain that they are the fountain of truth and certainty. The Welfare State is socialism "lite" and stems from the posture adopted by those in the Second International at the close of the 19th century who accepted the position of Edouard Bernsten against revolutionary violence as the means to political power. Whether you wish to accept it or not, the achievement of Eden through persistent "reform" or the efficacy of violent cleansing is rather immaterial in terms of the ends sought: the eutopia of a regulated society.
 
At the moment I am seriously considering getting you ASBO status.
 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 03-Feb-2008 at 13:47
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2008 at 13:56
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

 
Ah! Another who is forever certain that they are the fountain of truth and certainty.
Who's the other one?
The Welfare State is socialism "lite" and stems from the posture adopted by those in the Second International at the close of the 19th century who accepted the position of Edouard Bernsten against revolutionary violence as the means to political power.
More balderdash. (Incidentally that's Bernstein.)
 
The welfare state, even in its modern form, derives from sources like British nonconformism in the early 19th century (and the equivalent in other countries), led by people like Wilberforce and Rowntree, just as much as from any form of socialism, Marxist or otherwise. Even later Lloyd George and Asquith were no socialists, not even of the non-Marxist socialist varieties like William Morris (better classified as an anarchist) and Robert Owen (better classified as a liberal).
 
Bismark was no socialist. FDR was no socialist. Robert Peel was no socialist, but the factories acts were important steps in establishing the welfare state philosophy. Disraeli was no socialist, but the 'one nation' concept was also an early move toward the philosophy underlying the welfare state.
 
And I'm pretty sure the welfare state, even in its modern form, was well under way in most of western Europe anyway before there were any socialist governments there, though of course the arrival of socialist governments speeded up the process, and the disastrous collapse of the unregulated capitalist system in the thirties made it necessary to extend it further than before (even in the US).
 
You might as well claim that the abolition of slavery was due to socialism. It's true it would run counter to socialist principles, but it wasn't socialists that abolished it: Lincoln was no socialist.
 
 Whether you wish to accept it or not, the achievement of Eden through persistent "reform" or the efficacy of violent cleansing is rather immaterial in terms of the ends sought: the eutopia of a regulated society.
Eden? You mean Anthony Eden? I guess not, since he has nothing to do with anything here: pretty well his entire career was involved with foreign affairs.
 
On second thoughts I guess you mean Paradise. But anyway the choice between peaceful and piecemeal reform on the one hand, and violent revolution on the other is highly important.
 
Moreover, while my view on the pretentiousness of 'eutopia' remains unchanged, whether one sees there as being an ideal achievable society or not is critical to the distinction between socialism and other philosophies of the welfare state. It is in fact one of the reasons that I, and other liberals like Popper for instance, reject socialism, and in particular reject Communism.
 
Frequently more damage is done in the search for and the belief in the achievability of, and ideal state than is done by clinging on to the existent from self-interest and fear of change.
 
At the moment I am seriously considering getting you ASBO status.
How would you do that?
And what for - pointing out that you're wrong, as when you said 'eutopia' was Latin?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2008 at 22:46
Quite a sleight-of-hand that shuffling of Wilberforce and Rowntree (I suppose you meant Joseph and not Benjamin) in the same deck. But then I suppose all do-gooders can be classified as Socialists...but as matters stand the pettiness in the content of your posts speaks for itself. Perhaps in the rant over eutopia you simply wish to gestate or replicate in utero; however, etymology does not work the way you wish it so. The word had no existence in Greek whatsoever (find outopos anywhere?), and is the coinage of Scholastic Latin of the 16th century;  Did you not know that Thomas Moore's little book was originally written in Latin?
As for you usual querelousness over a typo, you nevertheless did know who Edouard was...sic transit poppaea mundi.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 10:36
Does that post contribute anything to the subject?
 
I guess you can classify anything any way you like. However, to classify all 'do-gooders' as 'socialist' makes a mockery of any attempt to talk seriously about the early development of the welfare state.
 
I know that 'eutopia' and 'utopia' are relatively modern coinages: I even explained to you how More was joking when he made up the word 'Utopia'. The point is that the components of the word are Greek, and indeed the pun is a Greek pun. What it certainly isn't is Latin, as you said.
 
What you wrote, incidentally, was
If you had known that eutopia is Latin for "true and good place" and that an eutopian theory of government encompasses the Welfare State (in contrast to the coinage of Thomas More for utopia, no place)
'Eutopia' is not 'Latin for "true and good place"'. It isn't Latin for anything.  And you misrepresented More's coinage, whatever the language, since it deliberately means both 'good place' and 'no place'.
 
I note that once again you have not countered or even contradicted any of my points (or other people's) except to claim that Bismark, FDR, Lloyd George, Asquith, Rowntree[1], Peel and Disraeli were socialists. I guess you could also throw in Moses, since he advised storing up the produce of the seven fat years to redistribute it in the seven lean years, which is as early an example of welfare statism as I can think of.
 
And what on earth is
Perhaps in the rant over eutopia you simply wish to gestate or replicate in utero;
supposed to contribute, if indeed it means anything at all, which it doesn't appear to do.
 
[1] I was actally thinking of Joseph, but Benjamin would also make the point, since he was a lifelong Liberal and a friend of Lloyd George. What neither of them was was socialist.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 12:34
The components of the word psychopath are Greek but such does not make the word a Greek word thus its etymology (origins of historical usage) is not Greek. But that is besides the point because the drive in all of the postings set by you is the gnawing at irrelevancies so as to maintain the fantasy that the "Welfare State" is indistinguishable from the objectives and politics of all government through history rather than an apt descriptive set squarely within the ambits of European political thought since 1890.
 
By the way, eu and ou are Greek, "u" is not, so gestate that...
 
How about the Welfare State as an example of neo-Luddism in politics?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 13:19

There's no Latin lexicon to include a word like "eutopia" so obviously it's not a Latin word (unlike the word "psychopath" which exists in many English dictionaries and lexicons). Its components are not Latin, so it's not even a word derived from other Latin words. And actually if one knows a bit of Latin (and I doubt drgonzaga knows) would have known that "topia" (or better said "topos") does not mean "place" in Latin (it can mean in Greek, but this is another dish). And any reader of this book (and I doubt drgonzaga is one) could have noticed that most of the names in this book are derived from Greek: Hythlodaeus, Ademus, etc. Any well-edited copy of this book should have such things clarified in its foreword because obviously the casual English reader does not know Greek and cannot understand the double meaning these names have.

As a side comment: the Greek "ou" is casually transliterated in Latin alphabet by "u". My nick-name on this forum is a good hint.


Edited by Chilbudios - 05-Feb-2008 at 13:25
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 14:36
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

The components of the word psychopath are Greek but such does not make the word a Greek word thus its etymology (origins of historical usage) is not Greek. But that is besides the point because the drive in all of the postings set by you is the gnawing at irrelevancies so as to maintain the fantasy that the "Welfare State" is indistinguishable from the objectives and politics of all government through history
'Indistinguishable' isn't the point.  The 'welfare state' doesn't spring into existence in 1890 or with the second international or at any other time. Its growth is organic, and its historical development a continuous process, albeit moving faster and more slowly at different periods.
 
In fact it's arguable that 'welfare' and 'state' are so closely intertwined that their development is parallel. Take the opening paragraph of Aristotle's Politics (Jowett's translation)

Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view to some good; for mankind always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good.

 
 
Of course, as several people have already pointed out here, the need for the State to intervene to provide for the common good changes with time, and in particular the processes associated with urbanisation in some places and migration to new worlds in other, leading to the break-up of traditional support mechanisms have made the requirement sharper than ever in the last 100-200 years. The diminishing role of the churches and the democratisation of society have also increased the requirement substantially. (If there is no noblesse how can noblesse oblige? If the church doesn't collect tithes for charity, who will?)
 
However any attempt to put in that development a marker that says "from now on, and only from now on, the 'welfare state' exists" cannot be justified.
rather than an apt descriptive set squarely within the ambits of European political thought since 1890.
What's Luxembourg declaring independence got to do with it? Or the start of the County Championship in cricket? The pilot got dropped?
 
How's anyone supposed to know what you are talking about?
By the way, eu and ou are Greek, "u" is not, so gestate that...
Do you know what 'gestate' means?
 
How about the Welfare State as an example of neo-Luddism in politics?
Bad example. I don't know what you may intend neo-Luddism to mean, but Luddism is a good example of short-sighted ultraconservatism. Neo-Luddism, I guess, like its forebear, would have to represent the attempt to turn the clock back and reverse the progress of the welfare state, as exemplified by the so-called neo-cons in the US, or some of those that have misappropriated and misnamed 'welfare reform' over the last 20 years or so.


Edited by gcle2003 - 05-Feb-2008 at 14:38
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Post Options Post Options   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 16:41
The Peanut and its gallery of one...how amusing. I suggest that both take it up with E. P. Hennock and how the term Welfare State is defined in historiography. Perhaps then they might understand their collective responsibilitie.
 
 E. P. Hennock. The Origin of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850–1914. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 19:24
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

The Peanut and its gallery of one...how amusing. I suggest that both take it up with E. P. Hennock and how the term Welfare State is defined in historiography. Perhaps then they might understand their collective responsibilitie.
 
 E. P. Hennock. The Origin of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850–1914. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
 
Can't you state a position and then stick to it? You were just claiming it started in 1890; before that you said it started with Bernstein and the second international; now you've come up with 1850. In a way you're making exactly my point: the choice of a startng point is entirely arbitrary, since the development is continuous.
 
Hennock's title is a misnomer anyway. You can't say the 'origin' was a period of 64 years. By 1914 the 'origin' was well over. A better title would have been The Development of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850-1914 - although in any case he doesn't restrict himself to that period. This is from the opening chapter:
Despite the subsequent preoccupation with urban poverty, the transformation of poor relief in the nineteenth century began in a rural setting. In Prussia as in England it began with a drastic change in rural society. In England that change came about in response to market forces and then created a situation that led to the intervention of the State in the form of the Poor Law (Amendment) Act of 1834.
In Prussia, he considers events as early as 1816, and there are references to developments in the eighteenth century, in particular in rural areas. He in fact provides tables on population growth and internal migration from 1816 onward.
 
From the tone, Hennock (for whom I have respect for his views on the modern welfare state and its future in the UK) would certainly have accepted that the Poor Law Act of 1834 was itself a direct descendant of the Elizabethan acts of 1598 and 1601, which really did mark a turning point in the history of state welfare provision in England.
 
What does start around 1850 is a growing preoccupation with the difficulties of the urban poor; up until that time, not surprisingly, legislation had been mainly concerned with the rural poor, as Hennock describes.
 
And of course none of this whatsoever backs up your contention that it all started with socialism.
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 05-Feb-2008 at 19:24
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Post Options Post Options   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Feb-2008 at 09:24
You are a jewel, always gnawing at the flesh like the larvae of putrescence so as to demand a last word that is totally beside the point given that "poor relief" does not constitute the Welfare State. Under your loosey-goosey constructs you might as well call the constructions of the pyramids the initial attempt to solve rural unemployment in Egypt outside the harvest season and hence the Pharaohs lie at the root of the welfare state! Pvoerty has little if anything to do with Welfare as defined within the statits perspective and touches upon entitlement and the transformation of economic considerations into political rights.

Edited by drgonzaga - 06-Feb-2008 at 09:24
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Feb-2008 at 10:48
'Poor relief' is certainly part of the welfare state - in fact what else are welfare benefits paid for? And equally certainly Hennock's book is concerned with poor relief as the extract I quoted makes clear. So why did you post the book if you don't agree with what it says? Could be you hadn't read it?
 
You comment about the pyramids is just silly. Since I never said anything of the sort, there's no reason to imply I did. I mentioned Moses (somewhat light-heartedly) because the implication of the biblical story is that in Egypt at the time, the State, insofar as it can be considered a state, saved food in order to distribute it to the people in hard times. Which is as close to an State insurance scheme as one can get.
 
I would agree that one cannot logically talk about the 'welfare state' where there is no organised central state, or where welfare is the responsibility of some institution other than the state. So in the medieval period where welfare was seen as the responsibility of the Church (which collected taxes and donations partly to that end) it would be incorrect to talk about the welfare state.
 
However it is no coincidence that as the centralised state developed in the Tudor period in England, the State began to intervene directly in legislating to provide support for the poor. As a term the 'welfare state' may be a relatively modern coinage (ww2 in the UK, late 19th century in German, second empire in France), but as a reality the idea that the state should support the unfortunate goes back to the origin of the state itself.
 
To say
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Poverty has little if anything to do with Welfare
under any reasonable definition of welfare is ridiculous. If there were no poor, why would there be welfare? 
 
Incidentally it's somewhat ironic in view of recent history that De Toqueville considered the US to be a welfare state, which he disapproved of, and complained in 1835:
Cet État se veut si bienveillant envers ses citoyens qu’il entend se substituer à eux dans l’organisation de leur propre vie. Ira-t-il jusqu’à les empêcher de vivre pour mieux les protéger d’eux-mêmes ?
 
My translation:
This State wants to be so caring of its citizens that it attempts to take over from them the organisation of their own life. Will it go as far as stopping them from living better in order to protect them from themselves?
 
De Toqueville was voicing many people's objection to the welfare state: how could he do that if it didn't exist?
 
Anyway isn't it about time that you tried to produce some kind of argument, preferably with your definition of 'welfare state', to support your various assertions? So far you've only quoted an American TV pundit who thinks all socialist states are failed, a 92 (or so) year old French/American who thinks the welfare state is a phenomenon of the past, and a respected English specialist in the subject who disagrees with you.
 
That would make such a change after such idiocies as "The Peanut and its gallery of one...how amusing" and "always gnawing at the flesh like the larvae of putrescence".
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
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