Thursday, 17 February 2011

Welfare Nation vs. Welfare State

This is my response to an article in today’s Telegraph by Ian Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, “It’s time to end this addiction to benefits
The problem lies far deeper than with the welfare-state, which is just 60 years old, having been created at a time, following years of exceptionally strong national unity and purpose in the struggle against Nazism, when there was still a very strong sense of national identity and solidarity.

This basis of national identity and solidarity, on which the welfare-state was founded, has since been massively eroded by mercenary consumer-capitalism, on the one hand (in which people serve primarily as a “human resource” and “market”, rather than as members of a nation), and mass immigration (of cheap foreign labour) and the creation of a multi-ethnic (effectively, multi-national) society, on the other, thereby destroying the natural ethnic basis of our national identity.

This was justified and enforced by the state adopting a internationalist, left-wing ideology, which, not coincidentally, was the exact, but equally extreme, opposite, of Nazi racial ideology, and condemned the natural ethnic basis of national identity as “racist”. The STATE and its ideology, rather than the people themselves, would define national, or rather, "pseudo-national" identity; but of course, when things are imposed from above and directed from the top down, they don't work very well.

While a welfare-NATION can be organised to work well, a welfare-STATE cannot. In other words, Ian Duncan Smith is flogging a dead horse.

The welfare-state is "Socialism" implemented by the STATE and financed by a capitalist economy.

No wonder things are in such a MESS!

The natural basis of Socialism is the NATION, which is characterised by the shared identity and solidarity of its members. When the STATE, which only "poses" as our nation, attempts to implement Socialism (social services and welfare) from above, it can only make a mess of things: witness 60 years of Britain as a welfare STATE . . !

But I'm on dangerous ground here, bringing together the ideas “Socialism” and the “Nation”. Just one step further and you get “National Socialism”, which, because of its Nazi associations, is the very epitome of evil.

So why did the Nazis call themselves National Socialists? Because they wanted everyone to know how evil they were? Hardly. It was because at the time it was a very positive and popular concept, combining as it did the ideas of nationhood (and nationalism) with those of socialism (and the Nazis were supreme propagandists). In the meantime, of course, both concepts have been thoroughly discredited and demonised; nationalism by the Left, which it equates with “racism”, and socialism by the Right, which it equates with statism. And because the Nazis combined the two, nationalism (racism) and socialism (statism), the concept of National Socialism is abhorred by all.

But the fact remains that the basis of viable socialism (by which I mean all the POSITIVE aspects of social services and welfare, which even the most callous libertarian wouldn't deny the value of) has to be a genuine nation.

The Nazis deserve to be abhorred, but the concept of “national socialism”, which they hijacked and dragged into the abyss with their nasty selves, needs to be recovered, cleansed of its evil Nazi associations, and re-examined.

It's going to be difficult and painful process, I know, because words and their associations (especially those surrounding “nationalism”, “socialism” and “national socialism”) can be extremely powerful and difficult to separate form each other, not just intellectually, but also emotionally. But we cannot allow the Nazis, so long after their demise, to continue their ownership of such a vitally important concept. An ownership which continues to be confirmed and reinforced even today by the political Left and Right, who have incorporated it, i.e. their opposition to it, into their own tribal identities.
Britain now being a multi-ethnic, i.e. multi-national society, the concept we need to be looking at is “multi-national socialism”.

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