Support for the Courageous State seems to be falling away:
Earlier this year, the polling company Ipsos MORI began to publish the fruits of its work on 17 years\’ worth of polling results, spread across four generations, starting with those born in 1945 or before, and ending with Generation Y. Among the most striking examples of a yawning gap between the generations was their respective responses to the claim that \”the government should spend more money on welfare benefits for the poor, even if it leads to higher taxes\” – a signifier for the principle of redistribution, support for which has fallen among all generations over the past 20 or so years. Here, though, is the remarkable thing: whereas around 40% of those born in 1945 or before still agree, the numbers tumble as you move down the age range, reaching around half that figure among those aged 33 and under. Similarly, among Gen Y, the claim that \”the creation of the welfare state is one of Britain\’s proudest achievements\” is now supported by around 20% of people; when it comes to the prewar cohort, the figure always hovered at around 70%.
And given that democracy is the highest value (or so we\’re told) therefore that Courageous State should be dismantled.
A large share of Generation Y seems to build its opinions around a liberalism that is both social and, crucially, economic.
Well, yes. If people should indeed have the freedom to fuck whoever they want then they should have the freedom to buy and sell what, with whom, ever they want.
I assume that this is some blindness on my part, some inability to empathise perhaps, but I really cannot ever understand those who argue in favour of social freedoms but not economic, nor economic freedoms but not social. I do understand those who insist that people are not worthy of either set: there are anal retentive authoritarians with us always. I disagree with them but I understand them. But I really do not get some of the more red blooded conservatives who argue for, say, free markets and capitalism but shudder at the thought of Teh Gays being allowed to not frighten the horses behind closed doors. Nor those who insist that the horses be damned and public parks should have free extra strong condoms everywhere but that allowing people to exchange goods, services and money without regulation is the beginning of the very fall into damnation.
Like everyone else I assume that it is they, not me, that is blind: why cannot they see that the two sets of freedoms are in fact the same set? What consenting adults get up to is up to consenting adults as long as they\’re not, in doing so, restricting the freedoms of other consenting adults to do the same?