There is such a thing as the collective, it’s just not the State


10 thoughts on “There is such a thing as the collective, it’s just not the State”

  1. Rational Anarchist

    There are collectives at a number of different levels, surely. If someone in my immediate family needs something, my wife and I provide it. For the more extended family we might remember the debt/loan, but never expect to collect. It’s just that it breaks down a bit beyond the family.

    If I provide something to a neighbour, I generally expect to be paid back.

  2. Huh? That’s very Phillosophisticated…

    And hard to answer, if at all, given the different definitions and attached values/implied responsibilities to both “collective” and “state” according to Opinion.

    Dunno what you’re after here, but engerlish is a slippery language when it comes to this kind of thing..

  3. The Collective exists, even ignoring Borg references.

    What the collective constitutes depends on the situation (ie degree of immediate danger) and state of general affairs.
    Its one of those dynamic things.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    Collectives are just ways of us getting together to solve mutual problems. They get more difficult and complicated to organise the bigger they are.

    The State only needs to get involved when coercion is needed to overcome the free-rider problem. At which point they aren’t really a collective.

  5. BiND,

    Well put.

    I’ve been starting to think for a while that we could dismantle large parts of the welfare state because the free riders aren’t a problem. And what’s going on with Covid-19 makes me think this would really work.

    In particular, I’m thinking how there’s huge numbers of foodbanks across the country, all stuffed full of food. Food is cheap and lots of people don’t mind putting a couple of tins into the box as they leave the supermarket. I think we may be close to the point where this would sustain itself. We don’t even need everyone putting tins into the box.

    The thing that Covid-19 has highlighted is how people spring to life in the absence of the state. I’ve volunteered for something from the local council and on Friday, I got a call, a couple of weeks later about my application. I suspect this might be all over bar the shouting by the time I actually do some volunteer driving. But what’s been happening for weeks now is local Facebook groups doing this. Someone throwing up a request and someone else catching it and doing it. Could we ditch a load of social services and see what happens? Maybe people would look in on old Mrs Miggins more, perhaps even give her more time than what social services do now?

  6. Maybe people would look in on old Mrs Miggins more, perhaps even give her more time than what social services do now?

    Probably would work. After all, as soon as the state takes over it instantly becomes Someone Else’s Problem.

  7. BiW,

    It’s also the thing of people not having to pay for social services, leaving more money in your pocket.

    Another thing is how lean a lot of small charities are. They’re really smart at grabbing people to help with a small task. They’ll post something on Facebook and someone nearby without much to do will give up a few hours. And they’re amenable to a 95% solution (like businesses are) rather than the 99.99% solutionn government wants (which multiplies the budget by 20).

  8. The Arabs know how to do collectivism:
    My country before the world.
    My religion before my country.
    My tribe before my religion.
    My family before my tribe.
    My brother before my family.

  9. @BoM4
    I’ve got the same experience of Facebook groups playing a blinder in my large Chilterns village.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    ISTR it was Tim who, many years ago, linked to some research that showed that philanthropy was inversely correlated with the size of the welfare state. I must also plead guilty of not doing my duty in some cases when I was working because I felt I’d paid enough in taxes that I should enjoy my spare time and not give it up for voluntary work as well.

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