Thursday, April 01, 2010

Big state or "big society"? It's the same thing when government is involved

So Dave has revealed his grand plan and what makes him "different" from Brown. Dave's going to replace the "big state" with a "big society". Yay!

Oh dear, oh dear. Is that it? Really? Is that what all those Cameron supporters are pinning their hopes on?

Because, when you strip it down, all Cameron is proposing is a big state through different means. All he is offering is more quangos and more fake charities gobbling up government funding (our money) to pay for various government initiatives. In other words - it is exactly the same thing that we've been getting for the last 13 years under Blair and Brown.

Cameron claims that this is a "bottom up" process - but he is wrong. He is wrong for two reasons. First of all, in a bottom up process, the "community" decide what they want and decide how they will fund it. There is no government involvement whatsoever - but under his plan the community may decide what they want, but government will decide whether it is acceptable and will decide how it is funded.

Forget the fact that the decision may be made by some regional authority or "charity" and that the funding may not come directly from a government department - it is the same thing with a different name.

The second thing to bear in mind is that we do not have society because we have a government - we have a government because we have society. This is essentially the problem for the socialist ideology because they attempt to model society to what they want which, ultimately, can not happen.

A society is a group of people with shared values, mutual interests and a common culture. There are obviously levels of society - both geographical and class - but the ultimate conclusion of that society is the nation state. It can not go beyond that - as I have said many times before - because there isn't a group of people with the shared values, mutual interests and common culture beyond the nation state.

Government does not make society. It can not make society. All it can do is impose state directives on a society - i.e. big government. Dave's idea sounds different - but it isn't. It's the same thing with a different name.

Much like the Tory and Labour parties.


Anonymous said...

Clear and concise Stan, all we need to know: we got the society we deserve because we elect governments who want to abolish the nation state. Simples.


wonderfulforhisage said...

A very helpful analysis. Thank you.

Antisthenes said...

As I understand it this idea originated from an initative of a side kick of Obama in Chicargo, USA. This side kick was and is an extremist and the sole purpose was to set up groups to push the extremist agenda although it was not advertised as such.

Stan said...

I think you're right, Antisthenes - it is the same principle used in the USA - but it's also the same principle that Labour have been using here in Britain for the last 13 years.

In the self-regulating and self-organising society we used to have, communities decided what they want and then decided how to fund it long term.

This idea is all about groups competing for government handouts through approved state agencies - fake charities, quangos, development agencies, etc. As always with these sort of things it doesn't come down to what society wants, it comes down to who can shout the loudest and make the most fuss - i.e. which victim group is most approved of by the state. The one thing you can be certain of in such a system is that it will not be the voice of mainstream Britain that will be heard.

Antisthenes said...

And in my turn I have to say I totally agree with you. I commented as much on John Redwood's blog earlier this morning, probably a waste of my typing finger.

However if enough one or more fingered typist out there do the same thing maybe they will listen.