Thursday, October 06, 2005

Philosopher Tories

Interesting reading from The Philosopher's Magazine:
“I think the main question we need to be addressing is how we can have a society in which people grow up to be the kind of people that we would all like to be. That isn't the way it's often put, but it's my view of what it means to live in a socially just society. To my mind, something has gone very wrong – so we're doing a great social injustice – if there are people growing up to be the kind of people we wouldn't like to be: people who find themselves with chaotic lifestyles which they can't control and which drive them to despair and suicide; people who are oppressed by a lack of ability to control their world and deal with it; people who are deprived of culturally rich existence: all these things seem to me profound social injustices. “Some of them have to do with material prosperity, although that's never a guarantee of getting where I want people to be able to get to; nor is its absence a guarantee of not being able to get people where I want people to be able to get to. There are relationships, but it isn't the case that they should be conceived as a sort of mechanical operation for making sure that everybody has enough money, or for making sure that nobody is attacked by a burglar. It's something much deeper than either of those.” ... “I think there is at the moment a paradox that certain kinds of activity where 1) it would be better if they were freer, are more constrained; and 2) other kinds of things where it would better if there were more social support or where social solidarity has been left to decline. For example, we live in a society where there is a huge aversion to risk. There is a colossal amount of regulation designed to minimize risk, I think to an extent which is impeding excellence, exuberance, cultural richness and so on. On the other side, people are growing up in circumstances where they are cruelly deprived of the emotional support that a human being needs in order to live the kind of life that many of us want to lead. This is a particularly intrusive state in some respects and a particularly thin society in other respects.
Oliver Letwin, British Tory Wait, there's more:
“If I didn't believe that people are capable of making decisions and that it makes sense to hold people responsible for their decisions, then more or less everything else that I believe also wouldn't be believable. But I don't think anybody should delude themselves into imagining that they don't believe people make free decisions, or that they don't believe people should be held responsible for their decisions.”
That was well said, wasn't it?

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