Comment 26837

By SE (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2008 at 14:48:01

Sure, get rid of the welfare state. Let's go back to the days of Dickensian England and the privately-run Poor Houses. Right.

From the dawn of humanity, societies have made sure their members don't slip below an "irreducible minimum" of material comfort. "Welfare", in that sense, is a completely natural human impulse. To suggest doing away with it to supposedly save on some tax dollars (which would probably be sucked up by increased taxes for cops and prisons) is, in my opinion, cruel, crass, and ultimately inhuman.

Of course the bureaucracies of the centralized state are inefficient at producing welfare, as well as most other things. But, for people who are concerned about that, before they make a knee-jerk conversion to right-wing market fundamentalism, I encourage them to at least consider a left-libertarian analysis: the problem with welfare in state-capitalist society is the anonymity that comes with centralization and the breakdown of community. The alienated and frankly undignified nature of wage labour is bound to produce an aversion to work (which is felt by even the most conscientious workers). Finally, the mentality that produces abuse of the welfare system is the same "me-first" ideology underpins conservatism.

Protest the WARfare state. End corporate welfare first. Then decentralize the welfare (and health and education) system.

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