India - Development models and Future

Joe Shearer

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Looking at what might ensue will make little sense unless a member has gone through the videos. They happen to be in the form of rambling, self-laudatory harangues, and it is difficult to remember at the end of viewing one what was said in the other ones. @Nilgiri prepared a point-wise summary of the three when he detailed his own observations, and, in my humble opinion, it is difficult to go further without keeping that summary open in front of oneself. Here it is, then, with apologies to @Nilgiri for not having sought his permission first.

Part 1 (Global history + economic systems rising from Christian world/politics):

1. USA reset was different (in opposition to European system), clear inherent, inalienable, god given (direct) rights(rather than lease of rights from king of divine authority). Disingenous for Guru to skip this over.

2. Guru correct about common law system inherited from UK (India, Canada etc), there are no inalienable rights essentially

3. Pre-existing (to British Raj) right to property and life in India (being somewhat similar in essence to US), was not codified politically in a larger national level and was somewhat variable in history (there were clearly bad kings and tyrants etc well before foreign invasions started).

4. Hobbes, from church to state "divine right"....essentially correct

5. Commentary on Max Weber perspective w.r.t India, China largely correct

6. Truman overarching doctrine + Marxism (to replace any non-western philosophy) + UN initial globalism (on western liberal, individual centric) commentary also largely correct

7. Disagree with capitalism being fully materialistic only, it is more defined (imo) on anti consolidated state economic power/reach past public goods (but to rather allow organic free market to exist for allocation of resources esp w.r.t commodities)

8. Capitalism can definitely have spiritual and non-monetary aspects (disagree with Guru), it is however largely neutral regarding them as they portend to economic forces

9. "Purpose" of capitalism is lot more advanced, I would disagree with it being equivalent and same purpose of communism. There was definitely an overlap (material wellbeing), but capitalism approaches this somewhat scientifically and broadly in that material gain is the only real way to measure progress objectively. It does not exclude other forms of progress inherently, just adopts neutral tone to them since they cannot as easily be objectively measured. This is a key distinction Guru misses.

10. It really depends how you define capitalism given there are many types and forms of capitalism. Pure material driven capitalism (to the complete exclusion of other social aspects) is only one form. There are others. There are ongoing debates and schools of thought regarding this. Sankranti for instance argues a lot on the Hegel perspective which is fine, we just have to realise there are competing streams of definition here on what we mean.

11. Commentary on Karl Marx spot on. Declaring backwardness emotionally (on one's own internalised perspective) rather than with facts and logic. Even supporting colonialism for a greater "environment" creation.

12. Fukuyama works are interesting but do contain flaws. Well worth reading for those interested in this subject.

13. "One size fits all" flaw (for any economic system) completely spot on.

14. Anti globalist forces gathering pace (cultural identity + decentralising debate) = good relevant thing, agree with Guru


Part 2: (The Indian context/model):

1. Agree with India self-recognising but still largely unprepared right now in the intellectual level for a homegrown, optimised model.

2. Don't buy the anti-Hindu atmosphere argument (supposedly kept sheltered privately intrinsically/institutionally in independent India by essence) too much. Rather it was suppresed/displaced (at the fountain head of national/political/economic thought) by the islamic conquest + colonialism earlier and the substitution of this in some unfettered way by "diluted" Marxism (after independence). There was massive inevitable inertia inherited from this. It is being reclaimed now over time.

3. Commentary on micro enterprise largely correct (providing the base... but not counted as "formal") Effects will be seen 2020 onwards for judging on it.

4. Commentary on the Deng Xiaopeng efforts/reforms 100000000% spot on. I talked about this earlier in other threads:

https:///pdf/threads/high...-than-philippines.531612/page-6#post-10065480

https:///pdf/threads/high...-than-philippines.531612/page-8#post-10067971

https:///pdf/threads/comp...desh-and-myanmar.522876/page-43#post-10048746

https:///pdf/threads/paki...-weakened-economy.529479/page-3#post-10033184

https:///pdf/threads/paki...-weakened-economy.529479/page-3#post-10033184


5. Decentralisation (ancient, more traditional based) vs (older now but new in context of history, static, large economic brakes applied) centralisation psyche in context of indian development model is spot on, definitely cannot rely on govt alone to change this

6. Small and Medium entrepreneurship, out of radar, commentary spot on.

7. Asking which spot has highest GDP per capita/productivity is disingenuous again, at what scale is the appropriate resolution? Can define highest GDP per capita as the 1 meter square around Mukesh Ambani etc

8. Still nice to hear the SME story in Gujarat, it definitely needs a massive research esp effect of the social capital Guru talking about and needs further context with other parts of India too and how best to capture and promote institutionally.

9. Overall agree on sustainable social contract need within society operating in free market, it is a strong resistance to unfettered materialism + liberalism + democracy living off each other to survive and inevitably creating a bust for every boom given their opposition to how humans intrinsically organise and structure themselves @Desert Fox

10. Over requesting needs from the society but refusing to give back to it (claiming independence selectively) is definitely a major issue

11. Commentary on west overall correct and Max weber commentary being perception rather than prognosis correct. Extreme high individualism definitely creates a void (by erosion of immediate local social capital) that the larger ever-growing type of social forces will occupy in their most nefarious ways for sure (big govt overreach). This is definitely already happening in the "post prime" developed countries.

12. I disagree its a defeat for Christianity/abrahamic religion.

13. Disagree vehemently its in the root of Christianity. The concept of order and structured dominion from disorder and total generic entropy is found in nearly all culture and definitely all civilisation.

14. Too simplistic analysis of the West in what they conserve/exploit etc. Catch phrases of anthropocentric and ecocentric is disingenuous too the way they are being applied liberally here.

15. Destruction of core culture in West is definitely an issue, results are coming to roost now

16. Oversimplistic on the multi-cultural USA. This is a massive subject by itself. They are not fully wrong or right on this. India is not exactly stellar at some inherent cultural level on this. But I feel India overall does a good job on this social aspect in its specific environment because of its cultural inheritance and evolution.

17. Political shenanigans on "unskilled" definition (and all trades covered by this) because of a elitist, lutyens need to rid "caste" on paper (and then they hypocritically brought it back in another much broader form by mandal commision) has definitely been extremely harmful and needs correction ASAP.

18. Definitely the loss (whatever scale it happened for political convenience/propoganda feel) of traditional apprenticing has been a terrible loss for India

19. Family + community driven development....agree completely.

20. Whoever that idiot US Indian economist was that said cut savings to spend more (Esp for Indian women, the repository of the concept of goddess Laxmi) is a complete moron. No idea of what investment is and means....and why that is fundamentally important for capex cycles.

21. Economist arrogance is definite issue when you are not a globalist shill, I have come across it myself too. Completely agree with Guru here.

22. 100% correct on US welfare spending going to collapse the US economy at current rate:

https:///pdf/threads/chin...y-and-time-ruchir-sharma.475008/#post-9153036

23. Milton Friedman reference https:///pdf/styles/default/xenforo/smilies/mrgreen.gif @Joe Shearer

24. Western liberal "Anthropological modernity" is destroying the social capital. Spot on. It has been proven and validated with the black community in the US (destroy the families, get the votes, get the neo-plantation). It is now being expanded there to everyone else with gusto. Europe has less heterogeneity so has done better overall (through chance rather than design)....but the design is catching up there now too with the mass import of people effectively going on welfare (both direct and indirect) without paying in. The govt benefits by having captive votes to expand its role in society till the collapse happens.

25. State dependent society = grandiose self-destructive problem. 100% spot on.


Part 3. (India future in the world)

1. Disagree with Japan and China not having an original culture, China had strong Confucian roots before Buddhism. Japan had its pre-Shinto culture too. Definitely India influenced them, but its not some overarching level.

2. Guru too haughty and proud of Indian cultural prowess. Shadow civilisations, huh...

3. Really doubt Mao said that, I would like to see a valid source. Mao was a known sycophant at the same time being a autocrat narcissist...strange guy, not credible for this talk to begin with.

4. Crime Rates, I understand where he is coming from, but a lot of it is under-reported too. Cannot really compare across countries easily. I cannot criticise BD people on this forum on the lack of crediblity from their country alone, there is plenty to improve in India too before comparing crime rates with other major societies in the west etc.

5. Centralisation (Rajan, Govt, Media etc) vs decentralisation, optics versus reality revisited. 100% agree again...but must be wary of becoming too subjective on the matter...."the disconnect"

6. Performing India vs publicity India....very true.

7. New tech to strengthen social capital is true in Indian culture (varying, often bad for other cultures esp post-prime), I have experienced in personal level too https:///pdf/styles/default/xenforo/smilies/smile.gif

8. Some "Western ppl who control the whole thing" for wikipedia is kind of silly talk. People who edit more pages get more credibility and rating (and over time ability to moderate and review changes), this is a standard model across the internet. The bias when it comes to subjective topics is somewhat true. More on youtube and facebook compared to wkipedia now. Only way to address is to make Indian equivalents and alternatives to hedge and compete. It will take time....meanwhile its good time to learn whats going right and wrong right now.

9. Maybe it changed some minds regarding India after Pokhran. I had to deal with gora snobs in middle school saying India is going to blow itself up. Very few people change their prejudice overnnight like what guru is suggesting imo. Its true Indian confidence levels rose with time....its not only hard power (pokhran) related though.

10. Indian Soft power civilisational footprint importance, I agree with. Relevance of it to solving Western liberal-induced woes may be crucial for promoting this over there. Overall its doing a great job inside the developing world largely without much help.
 

Nilgiri

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@Joe Shearer Completely fine with me.

Let us tackle each point one by one maybe in whichever order you want. I welcome fleshing this out as my own summary points sometimes are lacking what I truly want to say as well (I was in a bit of hurry etc).
 

Joe Shearer

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@Joe Shearer Completely fine with me.

Let us tackle each point one by one maybe in whichever order you want. I welcome fleshing this out as my own summary points sometimes are lacking what I truly want to say as well (I was in a bit of hurry etc).
I sincerely believe that, in this forum, that encourages reflection and debate on the issues rather than on the personalities, and that is in a sense a 'home' forum, insofar as none of the groups in Indian academic thought, including economic, political, social, and historical thought, can claim that they have a 'proprietorial' right to their point of view, you will find it comfortable and stimulating to delve into these matters.

Your stand on encouraging members of other nationalities to pitch in will also set the tone. I will not venture an opinion, and am happy to leave it to you to set the rules of discussion and debate.

One by one is fine by me; it would be difficult to attack it any other way. After going through these one by one, however, it is sure that an overarching picture will emerge. I am quite unabashed (=not yet bashed up?) in stating that after listening to the two personalities in discussion, and heard, with increasing astonishment, bewilderment and finally anger, what the conclusions were, I have come to some tentative conclusions. These may be - most probably will be - smoothed down while jousting with you.
 

Joe Shearer

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@jbgt90

I am very keen that you should at least observe, if not participate. This is a fascinating set of videos, and the insights into the religious right, not the economically-liberal but socially-conservative right that @Nilgiri represents, but the bigot red in fang and claw, are invaluable.
 

Nilgiri

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@jbgt90

I am very keen that you should at least observe, if not participate. This is a fascinating set of videos, and the insights into the religious right, not the economically-liberal but socially-conservative right that @Nilgiri represents, but the bigot red in fang and claw, are invaluable.
I will start shortly @Joe Shearer , just a little busy at the moment. You are welcome to initiate a point discussion too whenever you want.
 

Nilgiri

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@The Sandman @Hellhound @Khafee @Hithchiker @Tps77 @I.R.A @WebMaster you all might be interested to watch this page....esp when Joe gets back. In meantime please have a read of this article (when time permits) and tell me what you all think of it...it largely correlates with my position on the larger issue (whatever the country/society in question).

It will be useful reference for me when the debate gets going:

https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/moral-case-against-big-government-how-government-shapes-the-character

A Moral Case Against Big Government: How Government Shapes the Character, Vision, and Virtue of Citizens
by Ryan Messmore

Introduction

To advocate good government is to recognize the indispensable role that political authority plays in a healthy community. To advocate limited government is to understand that not everything necessary for a community to be healthy is the responsibility of government. A good but limited government is one that serves its citizens by exercising well its particular task and refraining from other tasks. Essential to government's particular task is ensuring that other social institutions are free to exercise their own particular tasks.

Identifying the proper tasks and limits of various social institutions is bound up with a society's understanding of the good life and the good community-its moral vision of its defining goods and purposes. The case for good, limited government is therefore incomplete if it proceeds only in terms of the effects upon individual freedom or the fiscal implications of expanded government programs. Governing is a moral task, and the size and scope of government have moral implications for society, including its members' ability to fulfill their ethical obligations to one another.

The primary task of government is administering judgment according to standards of justice. Because law by its very nature concerns moral judgments, a government that stands under the rule of law presupposes the existence of a moral order, expresses the social concept of that order, and in turn encourages the fundamental moral principles of a society, particularly regarding justice. Citizens' assumptions and expectations of government therefore shape not only their national character, but also their approach to issues like poverty and economic justice. Moreover, our assumptions about government influence the formation of the social bonds required to cultivate virtue, and thus sustain freedom, as well as the way citizens think about and relate to neighbors in need.

Sustaining limited government and freedom turns on the question of how virtue is cultivated and which communities and institutions are most appropriate for this task. Local forms of association, especially the family and religious congregations, generate the thick, personal bonds that unite and motivate individuals toward the good for themselves and others. The proper exercise of political authority articulates a society's understanding of good through law and enacts judgment upon those who violate it through certain acts of wrongdoing. Citizens thus render a proper level of trust and appreciation for the crucial role that good government plays in a healthy society.

As government assumes greater political authority, however, it is more able to shape the terms of public discourse and draw to itself expectations and levels of trust beyond those appropriate to good government, often at the expense of smaller institutions of civil society. Such a shift in the public's attitude toward expansive government can weaken democracy, given that diversification of authority among local associations is a strong check against government tyranny. Moreover, not only does unhealthy reliance upon government social programs discourage genuine compassion and personal relations between wealthy and poor citizens, but the cost of funding such programs actually threatens future generations with unsustainable debt. A good but limited government will thus acknowledge that other social institutions are better able to cultivate virtuous citizens, care for those in need, and further true democratic freedom while exercising its own crucial responsibility to protect its citizens and social institutions from injustice.

O O O

How Big Government Shapes Public Imagination

Today the United States government claims responsibility to provide a vast number of goods and services, which increases its potential to influence the attitudes and expectations-the public imagination-of its citizens.

The national government provides all citizens with protection of basic freedoms, national security and defense, a judicial court system, federal prisons, immigration control, stable financial markets, free trade, and a national currency.
It also aims to provide a reliable infrastructure, public schools, affordable energy, clean air and water, safe foods and medicines, innovative technologies, postal service, national parks and recreational sites, arts and humanities programs, emergency relief, space exploration, a national library, railroad corporation, archives, and botanic garden and numerous other goods.
In addition, federal social programs supply money, food stamps, housing, prescription drugs, medical care, transportation, training, counseling, rehabilitation programs, and other forms of care to the persistently poor, the provisionally poor, the elderly, the sick, the addicted, the immobile, the unemployed, the uneducated, the undereducated, the unmarried with children, children without parents, and children who are parents.

On the other side of the equation, the government expects citizens to render due allegiance in a variety of ways. At a minimum, the government asks its citizens to pledge allegiance to its flag; to value certain concepts such as individual freedom, religious liberty, popular sovereignty, and private ownership; to obey the rule of law and the rulings of the judicial process; and to be willing to fight and die for its defense. Most AmericThe Entitlement Mentality's Distortion of Our Vision of Moral Responsibilityans comply with such requests for allegiance, viewing them as both prudential and patriotic measures.

In other areas, government does not ask, but requires, certain actions. Citizens must pay taxes, meet official regulations, and obey specific laws to avoid fine or imprisonment. Most citizens also acknowledge these kinds of demands as necessary for a functioning nation-state (even if they disagree with specific policies and laws).

What goes less noticed is the subtle influence that the government's power of enforcement wields on the public imagination. The official, explicit, first-order authority to mandate payment of taxes and to enforce laws carries informal, implicit, derivative powers. These include the power to promote certain causes, prioritize certain risks, endorse certain values and beliefs, uphold certain standards, encourage certain expectations, and define and interpret certain terms. For example, the government dictates that American taxpayers must contribute to certain retirement savings mechanisms established by the government; give financial support to value-laden programs (such as diversity training in government agencies); and bankroll supposedly secular public schools whose curricula are inevitably embedded with assumptions about the true, good, and beautiful.

Moreover, the expansion of government carries over into the power to define influential legal categories and terms-such as what counts as discrimination, secular, and marriage. It also shapes social expectations and outlooks among citizens-such as where to look for assistance (the welfare state); who to blame in times of crisis (FEMA, the President, the Federal Reserve); and what people are entitled to by right (privacy, cheap prescription drugs, same-sex marriage, etc.).

The central place the government occupies among serious public discussions and debates about such issues as health care or welfare testifies to its centripetal influence over the thoughts and expectations of its citizens. Public discourse often implies that the national government is the primary-if not only-institution responsible for addressing pressing issues that face us as individuals and communities.

Rather than asking who should take responsibility for an issue (whether, family, neighborhood, government, religious congregation, etc.), the public debate too often blithely assumes that the answer is government and instead focuses on how it should address the problem. For example, when the issues of health care and welfare are raised in public discourse, they are often referenced in terms of "the health care debate" or "welfare reform" in general, with government as the implied referent. Seldom does public discourse acknowledge the possibility of other institutions taking an important role in addressing such issues: Seldom does it include talk of "this congregation's health care debate" (i.e., the discussion going on among a group of religious co-congregants about how they will address the health care needs within and around their community) or "that neighborhood's welfare reform" (i.e., the projects a community has undertaken to form a network of mutual support and interdependence for those in need). Government crowds out other institutions from the public imagination, and this is reflected and reinforced by prevailing public discourse.

In short, the powers to pass laws and collect taxes entail the power to define, to some extent, the terms of public understanding, involvement, and debate. In this way, government has power to help shape citizens' thoughts, words, and deeds and influence where they place their trust, hope, and expectations.[16]

Policymakers and government officials should neither ignore the power that comes with the exercise of political authority nor pretend that government's task can be morally neutral. A good but limited government should acknowledge that it governs according to a certain conception of good and right but has a limited role in bringing about or realizing that conception. The government's responsibility vis-à-vis the good and right is judgment: The government judges social relationships and activities in light of a moral vision.[17] This differs from a more expansive understanding of government's role-the kind that justifies the nanny state, whereby, for example, the state replaces local, non-government initiatives that actively pursue public goods with its own programs.

Misplaced Allegiance Threatens Democracy

Citizens' cultural allegiances to family, church, and local associations, claims Nisbet, are some of "the most powerful resources of democracy." [18] The diversification of authority and allegiance among social institutions helps to prevent any one institution from becoming too powerful. In the words of 19th century French priest and political writer Felicite Robert de Lamennais, "Who says liberty, says association." [19]

A healthy democratic society trusts its government to exercise certain defined tasks. Citizens actually weaken democracy, however, by placing in the government the trust, hope, and loyalty that properly belong to local associations. Government officials encourage this erosion when they use rhetoric that implies that they can "save" people from society's most serious problems by top-down social engineering or that government programs are primarily responsible for overcoming these ills. This comes close to utopian thinking, implying that the state has omnicompetence that rivals God's.

When government exercises power outside its proper boundaries, not only does it assume responsibilities that it is not qualified to fulfill, but it also undermines its legitimate task of protecting freedom and justice. By taking over the functions of smaller institutions, rendering them less socially relevant, government weakens the check against tyranny that diversification of authorities provides. A nation-state avoids both explicit and implicit establishment of religion when it encourages citizens to give government only the amount of trust, hope, and loyalty it deserves without diminishing their trust or allegiance in other institutions and authorities. The trust and loyalty that are appropriate to government derive from the indispensable role that it plays in promoting justice and punishing injustice in society, a function without which the social bonds and cooperative behavior that comprise healthy communities would be jeopardized.

In sum, the authority that citizens vest in government carries significant moral implications. The amount of responsibility ceded to or claimed by government can shape attitudes, motivations, expectations, and even the terms in which we debate public issues. Moreover, the government can influence the cultivation of character and the strength of social bonds by protecting virtue-forming institutions such as the family or religious congregations against unjust interference from other institutions, including the state.

Another important aspect of the government's moral influence upon society is its contribution toward a pervasive mentality that interprets the state's responsibility toward its citizens through a hyperindividualistic lens of entitlement. The case for a good but limited government should also recognize the deleterious effects of this mentality and the corresponding cost of government-funded social programs on our moral vision and the social relationships that bind us together.

The Problematic Notion of Government as Provider

The moral vision according to which government officials make judgments about the common good entails fundamental ideas about human nature, justice, moral obligation, and responsibility. Given the power of government to shape the attitudes and discourse of its citizenry, the particular moral notions dominant in government not only depend upon, but also contribute to and reinforce the moral vision of the larger society.

A conception of broad government responsibility to provide for those in need has exercised great influence since the days of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. This in turn has fed a notion of individual entitlement. "Necessitous men are not free men," said President Roosevelt in 1944, expounding a long list of goods that government should supply its citizens to ensure their freedom and security-which he called a new bill of rights-including decent housing, health care, and a good job.[20] Those who conceive of government responsibility and individual rights in this expansive way argue that the nation's responsibility to care for its citizens in need calls for more, not less, government power, authority, and spending. They often therefore justify ballooning federal budgets on moral grounds, assuming that corporate care and concern for other human beings must correlate with spending more on government-funded social programs.

A closer examination reveals that raising federal spending is not the only way that we can corporately address need, nor is it the most just, effective, compassionate, or responsible way to meet our moral obligations to those in need. The idea that individuals are owed an ever-increasing number of rights by the government weakens the concept of justice by approaching it only from the side of the isolated individual. Moreover, the "care" provided by government social programs-often in the form of impersonal checks-is less holistic and humanizing than that provided by smaller, more personal approaches.

Beyond being less just and compassionate, expensive government social programs can lead to additional unhealthy moral consequences, including damaging dependence on government handouts and unsustainable budget deficits for future generations. Finally, this "government as provider" mentality can foster a sense of resentment among taxpayers, sapping our propensity to give and receive gifts and misconstruing the social obligations that bind us together, thus further weakening the moral fiber of our nation.

O O O

The Entitlement Mentality's Incomplete Notion of Justice

Voluntary sacrifice of one's time or money to give to the poor, the sick, and the elderly is a virtue. Indeed, one could argue that healthy communities depend upon some members giving to other members who are in need. And it is certainly proper for those in need to ask for help from others. However, the notion that people are entitled to or deserve other people's time or money is not the best moral rationale for giving to those who are in need.

O O O

The Entitlement Mentality's Ineffective Compassion

The word "compassion" means "suffering with," while care implies acting in ways that provide assistance while avoiding harm. Compassionate care is the kind of aid or attention that comes alongside those who suffer and acknowledges their dignity. In contrast to government social service programs, the myriad unsung heroes who come alongside those who suffer and give of themselves voluntarily and often without compensation better express justice, responsibility, and compassion and can provide more holistic and humanizing care by fostering face-to-face interaction and relationships with those in need.

O O O


The Entitlement Mentality's Short-sighted View of Social Obligation

Society has a moral obligation to help the poor, the sick, and the elderly.[23] However, government-funded programs fail to meet such obligations in the most just or compassionate way, and the rising cost of funding these programs also ignores other moral obligations-namely, those directed to all citizens, including the needy, in future generations.

O O O

The Entitlement Mentality's Distortion of Our Vision of Moral Responsibility

Government social service programs also shape the way citizens think about and relate to neighbors in need. These programs encourage a vision of their recipients not as holistic persons with dignity, but as bundles of costly needs or, worse, wretched dependents. On the other hand, such programs support a view of the wealthy in impersonal, financially reductionist terms-not as responsible servants, but as revenue sources.

O O O

Conclusion

The moral nature of governing and the moral implications for society of the nature, size, and scope of government are inescapable. The case for limited government will therefore inevitably need to take these moral considerations into account. A government that understands its main responsibility to be that of administering judgment in terms of justice will play an essential, and essentially limited, role in sustaining a healthy society. A good but limited government will both exercise the authority it is competent to wield-i.e., the power to use legitimate force to defend right-and provide conditions of justice in which local associations can exercise the authority that rightly belongs to them.

The moral case for good but limited government rests on the competency of other institutions to provide for the needs of citizens and to cultivate the virtues necessary to fulfill the moral obligations that sustain a free society. Not only can the fundamental institutions of family and religious congregations, as well as other communities of civil society, provide more personal, humanizing, holistic, and compassionate care, but they can better engender the trust and responsibility required for citizens to fulfill their moral obligations to each other.

Families and churches, as well as such other institutions as schools, businesses, sports teams, community orchestras, professional organizations, neighborhood watch committees, and faith-based and other nonprofit groups, bind their members not to abstract laws, but to other people. They are premised not on individual autonomy, but on the authority of knowledgeable and competent parents, pastors, teachers, coaches, conductors, and other leaders with the power to discipline. They motivate not solely by fear but by trust, and they are united not only by their opposition to unjust interference, but also by substantial positive goals, commitments, and convictions that they share in common.

It is therefore the responsibility of a modern nation-state that desires to bind its "many" into "one" to limit its power and its purse, leaving primary responsibility for moral formation in the hands of local moral communities. Only these associations and institutions can foster true justice and compassion for those in need-a fact that makes them essential for the cultivation of virtuous citizens and the prevention of governmental tyranny.

-Ryan Messmore is William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
 

Hithchiker

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@The Sandman @Hellhound @Khafee @Hithchiker @Tps77 @I.R.A @WebMaster you all might be interested to watch this page....esp when Joe gets back. In meantime please have a read of this article (when time permits) and tell me what you all think of it...it largely correlates with my position on the larger issue (whatever the country/society in question).

It will be useful reference for me when the debate gets going:

https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/moral-case-against-big-government-how-government-shapes-the-character

A Moral Case Against Big Government: How Government Shapes the Character, Vision, and Virtue of Citizens
by Ryan Messmore

Introduction

To advocate good government is to recognize the indispensable role that political authority plays in a healthy community. To advocate limited government is to understand that not everything necessary for a community to be healthy is the responsibility of government. A good but limited government is one that serves its citizens by exercising well its particular task and refraining from other tasks. Essential to government's particular task is ensuring that other social institutions are free to exercise their own particular tasks.

Identifying the proper tasks and limits of various social institutions is bound up with a society's understanding of the good life and the good community-its moral vision of its defining goods and purposes. The case for good, limited government is therefore incomplete if it proceeds only in terms of the effects upon individual freedom or the fiscal implications of expanded government programs. Governing is a moral task, and the size and scope of government have moral implications for society, including its members' ability to fulfill their ethical obligations to one another.

The primary task of government is administering judgment according to standards of justice. Because law by its very nature concerns moral judgments, a government that stands under the rule of law presupposes the existence of a moral order, expresses the social concept of that order, and in turn encourages the fundamental moral principles of a society, particularly regarding justice. Citizens' assumptions and expectations of government therefore shape not only their national character, but also their approach to issues like poverty and economic justice. Moreover, our assumptions about government influence the formation of the social bonds required to cultivate virtue, and thus sustain freedom, as well as the way citizens think about and relate to neighbors in need.

Sustaining limited government and freedom turns on the question of how virtue is cultivated and which communities and institutions are most appropriate for this task. Local forms of association, especially the family and religious congregations, generate the thick, personal bonds that unite and motivate individuals toward the good for themselves and others. The proper exercise of political authority articulates a society's understanding of good through law and enacts judgment upon those who violate it through certain acts of wrongdoing. Citizens thus render a proper level of trust and appreciation for the crucial role that good government plays in a healthy society.

As government assumes greater political authority, however, it is more able to shape the terms of public discourse and draw to itself expectations and levels of trust beyond those appropriate to good government, often at the expense of smaller institutions of civil society. Such a shift in the public's attitude toward expansive government can weaken democracy, given that diversification of authority among local associations is a strong check against government tyranny. Moreover, not only does unhealthy reliance upon government social programs discourage genuine compassion and personal relations between wealthy and poor citizens, but the cost of funding such programs actually threatens future generations with unsustainable debt. A good but limited government will thus acknowledge that other social institutions are better able to cultivate virtuous citizens, care for those in need, and further true democratic freedom while exercising its own crucial responsibility to protect its citizens and social institutions from injustice.

O O O

How Big Government Shapes Public Imagination

Today the United States government claims responsibility to provide a vast number of goods and services, which increases its potential to influence the attitudes and expectations-the public imagination-of its citizens.

The national government provides all citizens with protection of basic freedoms, national security and defense, a judicial court system, federal prisons, immigration control, stable financial markets, free trade, and a national currency.
It also aims to provide a reliable infrastructure, public schools, affordable energy, clean air and water, safe foods and medicines, innovative technologies, postal service, national parks and recreational sites, arts and humanities programs, emergency relief, space exploration, a national library, railroad corporation, archives, and botanic garden and numerous other goods.
In addition, federal social programs supply money, food stamps, housing, prescription drugs, medical care, transportation, training, counseling, rehabilitation programs, and other forms of care to the persistently poor, the provisionally poor, the elderly, the sick, the addicted, the immobile, the unemployed, the uneducated, the undereducated, the unmarried with children, children without parents, and children who are parents.

On the other side of the equation, the government expects citizens to render due allegiance in a variety of ways. At a minimum, the government asks its citizens to pledge allegiance to its flag; to value certain concepts such as individual freedom, religious liberty, popular sovereignty, and private ownership; to obey the rule of law and the rulings of the judicial process; and to be willing to fight and die for its defense. Most AmericThe Entitlement Mentality's Distortion of Our Vision of Moral Responsibilityans comply with such requests for allegiance, viewing them as both prudential and patriotic measures.

In other areas, government does not ask, but requires, certain actions. Citizens must pay taxes, meet official regulations, and obey specific laws to avoid fine or imprisonment. Most citizens also acknowledge these kinds of demands as necessary for a functioning nation-state (even if they disagree with specific policies and laws).

What goes less noticed is the subtle influence that the government's power of enforcement wields on the public imagination. The official, explicit, first-order authority to mandate payment of taxes and to enforce laws carries informal, implicit, derivative powers. These include the power to promote certain causes, prioritize certain risks, endorse certain values and beliefs, uphold certain standards, encourage certain expectations, and define and interpret certain terms. For example, the government dictates that American taxpayers must contribute to certain retirement savings mechanisms established by the government; give financial support to value-laden programs (such as diversity training in government agencies); and bankroll supposedly secular public schools whose curricula are inevitably embedded with assumptions about the true, good, and beautiful.

Moreover, the expansion of government carries over into the power to define influential legal categories and terms-such as what counts as discrimination, secular, and marriage. It also shapes social expectations and outlooks among citizens-such as where to look for assistance (the welfare state); who to blame in times of crisis (FEMA, the President, the Federal Reserve); and what people are entitled to by right (privacy, cheap prescription drugs, same-sex marriage, etc.).

The central place the government occupies among serious public discussions and debates about such issues as health care or welfare testifies to its centripetal influence over the thoughts and expectations of its citizens. Public discourse often implies that the national government is the primary-if not only-institution responsible for addressing pressing issues that face us as individuals and communities.

Rather than asking who should take responsibility for an issue (whether, family, neighborhood, government, religious congregation, etc.), the public debate too often blithely assumes that the answer is government and instead focuses on how it should address the problem. For example, when the issues of health care and welfare are raised in public discourse, they are often referenced in terms of "the health care debate" or "welfare reform" in general, with government as the implied referent. Seldom does public discourse acknowledge the possibility of other institutions taking an important role in addressing such issues: Seldom does it include talk of "this congregation's health care debate" (i.e., the discussion going on among a group of religious co-congregants about how they will address the health care needs within and around their community) or "that neighborhood's welfare reform" (i.e., the projects a community has undertaken to form a network of mutual support and interdependence for those in need). Government crowds out other institutions from the public imagination, and this is reflected and reinforced by prevailing public discourse.

In short, the powers to pass laws and collect taxes entail the power to define, to some extent, the terms of public understanding, involvement, and debate. In this way, government has power to help shape citizens' thoughts, words, and deeds and influence where they place their trust, hope, and expectations.[16]

Policymakers and government officials should neither ignore the power that comes with the exercise of political authority nor pretend that government's task can be morally neutral. A good but limited government should acknowledge that it governs according to a certain conception of good and right but has a limited role in bringing about or realizing that conception. The government's responsibility vis-à-vis the good and right is judgment: The government judges social relationships and activities in light of a moral vision.[17] This differs from a more expansive understanding of government's role-the kind that justifies the nanny state, whereby, for example, the state replaces local, non-government initiatives that actively pursue public goods with its own programs.

Misplaced Allegiance Threatens Democracy

Citizens' cultural allegiances to family, church, and local associations, claims Nisbet, are some of "the most powerful resources of democracy." [18] The diversification of authority and allegiance among social institutions helps to prevent any one institution from becoming too powerful. In the words of 19th century French priest and political writer Felicite Robert de Lamennais, "Who says liberty, says association." [19]

A healthy democratic society trusts its government to exercise certain defined tasks. Citizens actually weaken democracy, however, by placing in the government the trust, hope, and loyalty that properly belong to local associations. Government officials encourage this erosion when they use rhetoric that implies that they can "save" people from society's most serious problems by top-down social engineering or that government programs are primarily responsible for overcoming these ills. This comes close to utopian thinking, implying that the state has omnicompetence that rivals God's.

When government exercises power outside its proper boundaries, not only does it assume responsibilities that it is not qualified to fulfill, but it also undermines its legitimate task of protecting freedom and justice. By taking over the functions of smaller institutions, rendering them less socially relevant, government weakens the check against tyranny that diversification of authorities provides. A nation-state avoids both explicit and implicit establishment of religion when it encourages citizens to give government only the amount of trust, hope, and loyalty it deserves without diminishing their trust or allegiance in other institutions and authorities. The trust and loyalty that are appropriate to government derive from the indispensable role that it plays in promoting justice and punishing injustice in society, a function without which the social bonds and cooperative behavior that comprise healthy communities would be jeopardized.

In sum, the authority that citizens vest in government carries significant moral implications. The amount of responsibility ceded to or claimed by government can shape attitudes, motivations, expectations, and even the terms in which we debate public issues. Moreover, the government can influence the cultivation of character and the strength of social bonds by protecting virtue-forming institutions such as the family or religious congregations against unjust interference from other institutions, including the state.

Another important aspect of the government's moral influence upon society is its contribution toward a pervasive mentality that interprets the state's responsibility toward its citizens through a hyperindividualistic lens of entitlement. The case for a good but limited government should also recognize the deleterious effects of this mentality and the corresponding cost of government-funded social programs on our moral vision and the social relationships that bind us together.

The Problematic Notion of Government as Provider

The moral vision according to which government officials make judgments about the common good entails fundamental ideas about human nature, justice, moral obligation, and responsibility. Given the power of government to shape the attitudes and discourse of its citizenry, the particular moral notions dominant in government not only depend upon, but also contribute to and reinforce the moral vision of the larger society.

A conception of broad government responsibility to provide for those in need has exercised great influence since the days of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. This in turn has fed a notion of individual entitlement. "Necessitous men are not free men," said President Roosevelt in 1944, expounding a long list of goods that government should supply its citizens to ensure their freedom and security-which he called a new bill of rights-including decent housing, health care, and a good job.[20] Those who conceive of government responsibility and individual rights in this expansive way argue that the nation's responsibility to care for its citizens in need calls for more, not less, government power, authority, and spending. They often therefore justify ballooning federal budgets on moral grounds, assuming that corporate care and concern for other human beings must correlate with spending more on government-funded social programs.

A closer examination reveals that raising federal spending is not the only way that we can corporately address need, nor is it the most just, effective, compassionate, or responsible way to meet our moral obligations to those in need. The idea that individuals are owed an ever-increasing number of rights by the government weakens the concept of justice by approaching it only from the side of the isolated individual. Moreover, the "care" provided by government social programs-often in the form of impersonal checks-is less holistic and humanizing than that provided by smaller, more personal approaches.

Beyond being less just and compassionate, expensive government social programs can lead to additional unhealthy moral consequences, including damaging dependence on government handouts and unsustainable budget deficits for future generations. Finally, this "government as provider" mentality can foster a sense of resentment among taxpayers, sapping our propensity to give and receive gifts and misconstruing the social obligations that bind us together, thus further weakening the moral fiber of our nation.

O O O

The Entitlement Mentality's Incomplete Notion of Justice

Voluntary sacrifice of one's time or money to give to the poor, the sick, and the elderly is a virtue. Indeed, one could argue that healthy communities depend upon some members giving to other members who are in need. And it is certainly proper for those in need to ask for help from others. However, the notion that people are entitled to or deserve other people's time or money is not the best moral rationale for giving to those who are in need.

O O O

The Entitlement Mentality's Ineffective Compassion

The word "compassion" means "suffering with," while care implies acting in ways that provide assistance while avoiding harm. Compassionate care is the kind of aid or attention that comes alongside those who suffer and acknowledges their dignity. In contrast to government social service programs, the myriad unsung heroes who come alongside those who suffer and give of themselves voluntarily and often without compensation better express justice, responsibility, and compassion and can provide more holistic and humanizing care by fostering face-to-face interaction and relationships with those in need.

O O O


The Entitlement Mentality's Short-sighted View of Social Obligation

Society has a moral obligation to help the poor, the sick, and the elderly.[23] However, government-funded programs fail to meet such obligations in the most just or compassionate way, and the rising cost of funding these programs also ignores other moral obligations-namely, those directed to all citizens, including the needy, in future generations.

O O O

The Entitlement Mentality's Distortion of Our Vision of Moral Responsibility

Government social service programs also shape the way citizens think about and relate to neighbors in need. These programs encourage a vision of their recipients not as holistic persons with dignity, but as bundles of costly needs or, worse, wretched dependents. On the other hand, such programs support a view of the wealthy in impersonal, financially reductionist terms-not as responsible servants, but as revenue sources.

O O O

Conclusion

The moral nature of governing and the moral implications for society of the nature, size, and scope of government are inescapable. The case for limited government will therefore inevitably need to take these moral considerations into account. A government that understands its main responsibility to be that of administering judgment in terms of justice will play an essential, and essentially limited, role in sustaining a healthy society. A good but limited government will both exercise the authority it is competent to wield-i.e., the power to use legitimate force to defend right-and provide conditions of justice in which local associations can exercise the authority that rightly belongs to them.

The moral case for good but limited government rests on the competency of other institutions to provide for the needs of citizens and to cultivate the virtues necessary to fulfill the moral obligations that sustain a free society. Not only can the fundamental institutions of family and religious congregations, as well as other communities of civil society, provide more personal, humanizing, holistic, and compassionate care, but they can better engender the trust and responsibility required for citizens to fulfill their moral obligations to each other.

Families and churches, as well as such other institutions as schools, businesses, sports teams, community orchestras, professional organizations, neighborhood watch committees, and faith-based and other nonprofit groups, bind their members not to abstract laws, but to other people. They are premised not on individual autonomy, but on the authority of knowledgeable and competent parents, pastors, teachers, coaches, conductors, and other leaders with the power to discipline. They motivate not solely by fear but by trust, and they are united not only by their opposition to unjust interference, but also by substantial positive goals, commitments, and convictions that they share in common.

It is therefore the responsibility of a modern nation-state that desires to bind its "many" into "one" to limit its power and its purse, leaving primary responsibility for moral formation in the hands of local moral communities. Only these associations and institutions can foster true justice and compassion for those in need-a fact that makes them essential for the cultivation of virtuous citizens and the prevention of governmental tyranny.

-Ryan Messmore is William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
Will read it thoroughly and comeback
 

Scorpion

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@The Sandman @Hellhound @Khafee @Hithchiker @Tps77 @I.R.A @WebMaster you all might be interested to watch this page....esp when Joe gets back. In meantime please have a read of this article (when time permits) and tell me what you all think of it...it largely correlates with my position on the larger issue (whatever the country/society in question).

It will be useful reference for me when the debate gets going:

https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/moral-case-against-big-government-how-government-shapes-the-character

A Moral Case Against Big Government: How Government Shapes the Character, Vision, and Virtue of Citizens
by Ryan Messmore

Introduction

To advocate good government is to recognize the indispensable role that political authority plays in a healthy community. To advocate limited government is to understand that not everything necessary for a community to be healthy is the responsibility of government. A good but limited government is one that serves its citizens by exercising well its particular task and refraining from other tasks. Essential to government's particular task is ensuring that other social institutions are free to exercise their own particular tasks.

Identifying the proper tasks and limits of various social institutions is bound up with a society's understanding of the good life and the good community-its moral vision of its defining goods and purposes. The case for good, limited government is therefore incomplete if it proceeds only in terms of the effects upon individual freedom or the fiscal implications of expanded government programs. Governing is a moral task, and the size and scope of government have moral implications for society, including its members' ability to fulfill their ethical obligations to one another.

The primary task of government is administering judgment according to standards of justice. Because law by its very nature concerns moral judgments, a government that stands under the rule of law presupposes the existence of a moral order, expresses the social concept of that order, and in turn encourages the fundamental moral principles of a society, particularly regarding justice. Citizens' assumptions and expectations of government therefore shape not only their national character, but also their approach to issues like poverty and economic justice. Moreover, our assumptions about government influence the formation of the social bonds required to cultivate virtue, and thus sustain freedom, as well as the way citizens think about and relate to neighbors in need.

Sustaining limited government and freedom turns on the question of how virtue is cultivated and which communities and institutions are most appropriate for this task. Local forms of association, especially the family and religious congregations, generate the thick, personal bonds that unite and motivate individuals toward the good for themselves and others. The proper exercise of political authority articulates a society's understanding of good through law and enacts judgment upon those who violate it through certain acts of wrongdoing. Citizens thus render a proper level of trust and appreciation for the crucial role that good government plays in a healthy society.

As government assumes greater political authority, however, it is more able to shape the terms of public discourse and draw to itself expectations and levels of trust beyond those appropriate to good government, often at the expense of smaller institutions of civil society. Such a shift in the public's attitude toward expansive government can weaken democracy, given that diversification of authority among local associations is a strong check against government tyranny. Moreover, not only does unhealthy reliance upon government social programs discourage genuine compassion and personal relations between wealthy and poor citizens, but the cost of funding such programs actually threatens future generations with unsustainable debt. A good but limited government will thus acknowledge that other social institutions are better able to cultivate virtuous citizens, care for those in need, and further true democratic freedom while exercising its own crucial responsibility to protect its citizens and social institutions from injustice.

O O O

How Big Government Shapes Public Imagination

Today the United States government claims responsibility to provide a vast number of goods and services, which increases its potential to influence the attitudes and expectations-the public imagination-of its citizens.

The national government provides all citizens with protection of basic freedoms, national security and defense, a judicial court system, federal prisons, immigration control, stable financial markets, free trade, and a national currency.
It also aims to provide a reliable infrastructure, public schools, affordable energy, clean air and water, safe foods and medicines, innovative technologies, postal service, national parks and recreational sites, arts and humanities programs, emergency relief, space exploration, a national library, railroad corporation, archives, and botanic garden and numerous other goods.
In addition, federal social programs supply money, food stamps, housing, prescription drugs, medical care, transportation, training, counseling, rehabilitation programs, and other forms of care to the persistently poor, the provisionally poor, the elderly, the sick, the addicted, the immobile, the unemployed, the uneducated, the undereducated, the unmarried with children, children without parents, and children who are parents.

On the other side of the equation, the government expects citizens to render due allegiance in a variety of ways. At a minimum, the government asks its citizens to pledge allegiance to its flag; to value certain concepts such as individual freedom, religious liberty, popular sovereignty, and private ownership; to obey the rule of law and the rulings of the judicial process; and to be willing to fight and die for its defense. Most AmericThe Entitlement Mentality's Distortion of Our Vision of Moral Responsibilityans comply with such requests for allegiance, viewing them as both prudential and patriotic measures.

In other areas, government does not ask, but requires, certain actions. Citizens must pay taxes, meet official regulations, and obey specific laws to avoid fine or imprisonment. Most citizens also acknowledge these kinds of demands as necessary for a functioning nation-state (even if they disagree with specific policies and laws).

What goes less noticed is the subtle influence that the government's power of enforcement wields on the public imagination. The official, explicit, first-order authority to mandate payment of taxes and to enforce laws carries informal, implicit, derivative powers. These include the power to promote certain causes, prioritize certain risks, endorse certain values and beliefs, uphold certain standards, encourage certain expectations, and define and interpret certain terms. For example, the government dictates that American taxpayers must contribute to certain retirement savings mechanisms established by the government; give financial support to value-laden programs (such as diversity training in government agencies); and bankroll supposedly secular public schools whose curricula are inevitably embedded with assumptions about the true, good, and beautiful.

Moreover, the expansion of government carries over into the power to define influential legal categories and terms-such as what counts as discrimination, secular, and marriage. It also shapes social expectations and outlooks among citizens-such as where to look for assistance (the welfare state); who to blame in times of crisis (FEMA, the President, the Federal Reserve); and what people are entitled to by right (privacy, cheap prescription drugs, same-sex marriage, etc.).

The central place the government occupies among serious public discussions and debates about such issues as health care or welfare testifies to its centripetal influence over the thoughts and expectations of its citizens. Public discourse often implies that the national government is the primary-if not only-institution responsible for addressing pressing issues that face us as individuals and communities.

Rather than asking who should take responsibility for an issue (whether, family, neighborhood, government, religious congregation, etc.), the public debate too often blithely assumes that the answer is government and instead focuses on how it should address the problem. For example, when the issues of health care and welfare are raised in public discourse, they are often referenced in terms of "the health care debate" or "welfare reform" in general, with government as the implied referent. Seldom does public discourse acknowledge the possibility of other institutions taking an important role in addressing such issues: Seldom does it include talk of "this congregation's health care debate" (i.e., the discussion going on among a group of religious co-congregants about how they will address the health care needs within and around their community) or "that neighborhood's welfare reform" (i.e., the projects a community has undertaken to form a network of mutual support and interdependence for those in need). Government crowds out other institutions from the public imagination, and this is reflected and reinforced by prevailing public discourse.

In short, the powers to pass laws and collect taxes entail the power to define, to some extent, the terms of public understanding, involvement, and debate. In this way, government has power to help shape citizens' thoughts, words, and deeds and influence where they place their trust, hope, and expectations.[16]

Policymakers and government officials should neither ignore the power that comes with the exercise of political authority nor pretend that government's task can be morally neutral. A good but limited government should acknowledge that it governs according to a certain conception of good and right but has a limited role in bringing about or realizing that conception. The government's responsibility vis-à-vis the good and right is judgment: The government judges social relationships and activities in light of a moral vision.[17] This differs from a more expansive understanding of government's role-the kind that justifies the nanny state, whereby, for example, the state replaces local, non-government initiatives that actively pursue public goods with its own programs.

Misplaced Allegiance Threatens Democracy

Citizens' cultural allegiances to family, church, and local associations, claims Nisbet, are some of "the most powerful resources of democracy." [18] The diversification of authority and allegiance among social institutions helps to prevent any one institution from becoming too powerful. In the words of 19th century French priest and political writer Felicite Robert de Lamennais, "Who says liberty, says association." [19]

A healthy democratic society trusts its government to exercise certain defined tasks. Citizens actually weaken democracy, however, by placing in the government the trust, hope, and loyalty that properly belong to local associations. Government officials encourage this erosion when they use rhetoric that implies that they can "save" people from society's most serious problems by top-down social engineering or that government programs are primarily responsible for overcoming these ills. This comes close to utopian thinking, implying that the state has omnicompetence that rivals God's.

When government exercises power outside its proper boundaries, not only does it assume responsibilities that it is not qualified to fulfill, but it also undermines its legitimate task of protecting freedom and justice. By taking over the functions of smaller institutions, rendering them less socially relevant, government weakens the check against tyranny that diversification of authorities provides. A nation-state avoids both explicit and implicit establishment of religion when it encourages citizens to give government only the amount of trust, hope, and loyalty it deserves without diminishing their trust or allegiance in other institutions and authorities. The trust and loyalty that are appropriate to government derive from the indispensable role that it plays in promoting justice and punishing injustice in society, a function without which the social bonds and cooperative behavior that comprise healthy communities would be jeopardized.

In sum, the authority that citizens vest in government carries significant moral implications. The amount of responsibility ceded to or claimed by government can shape attitudes, motivations, expectations, and even the terms in which we debate public issues. Moreover, the government can influence the cultivation of character and the strength of social bonds by protecting virtue-forming institutions such as the family or religious congregations against unjust interference from other institutions, including the state.

Another important aspect of the government's moral influence upon society is its contribution toward a pervasive mentality that interprets the state's responsibility toward its citizens through a hyperindividualistic lens of entitlement. The case for a good but limited government should also recognize the deleterious effects of this mentality and the corresponding cost of government-funded social programs on our moral vision and the social relationships that bind us together.

The Problematic Notion of Government as Provider

The moral vision according to which government officials make judgments about the common good entails fundamental ideas about human nature, justice, moral obligation, and responsibility. Given the power of government to shape the attitudes and discourse of its citizenry, the particular moral notions dominant in government not only depend upon, but also contribute to and reinforce the moral vision of the larger society.

A conception of broad government responsibility to provide for those in need has exercised great influence since the days of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. This in turn has fed a notion of individual entitlement. "Necessitous men are not free men," said President Roosevelt in 1944, expounding a long list of goods that government should supply its citizens to ensure their freedom and security-which he called a new bill of rights-including decent housing, health care, and a good job.[20] Those who conceive of government responsibility and individual rights in this expansive way argue that the nation's responsibility to care for its citizens in need calls for more, not less, government power, authority, and spending. They often therefore justify ballooning federal budgets on moral grounds, assuming that corporate care and concern for other human beings must correlate with spending more on government-funded social programs.

A closer examination reveals that raising federal spending is not the only way that we can corporately address need, nor is it the most just, effective, compassionate, or responsible way to meet our moral obligations to those in need. The idea that individuals are owed an ever-increasing number of rights by the government weakens the concept of justice by approaching it only from the side of the isolated individual. Moreover, the "care" provided by government social programs-often in the form of impersonal checks-is less holistic and humanizing than that provided by smaller, more personal approaches.

Beyond being less just and compassionate, expensive government social programs can lead to additional unhealthy moral consequences, including damaging dependence on government handouts and unsustainable budget deficits for future generations. Finally, this "government as provider" mentality can foster a sense of resentment among taxpayers, sapping our propensity to give and receive gifts and misconstruing the social obligations that bind us together, thus further weakening the moral fiber of our nation.

O O O

The Entitlement Mentality's Incomplete Notion of Justice

Voluntary sacrifice of one's time or money to give to the poor, the sick, and the elderly is a virtue. Indeed, one could argue that healthy communities depend upon some members giving to other members who are in need. And it is certainly proper for those in need to ask for help from others. However, the notion that people are entitled to or deserve other people's time or money is not the best moral rationale for giving to those who are in need.

O O O

The Entitlement Mentality's Ineffective Compassion

The word "compassion" means "suffering with," while care implies acting in ways that provide assistance while avoiding harm. Compassionate care is the kind of aid or attention that comes alongside those who suffer and acknowledges their dignity. In contrast to government social service programs, the myriad unsung heroes who come alongside those who suffer and give of themselves voluntarily and often without compensation better express justice, responsibility, and compassion and can provide more holistic and humanizing care by fostering face-to-face interaction and relationships with those in need.

O O O


The Entitlement Mentality's Short-sighted View of Social Obligation

Society has a moral obligation to help the poor, the sick, and the elderly.[23] However, government-funded programs fail to meet such obligations in the most just or compassionate way, and the rising cost of funding these programs also ignores other moral obligations-namely, those directed to all citizens, including the needy, in future generations.

O O O

The Entitlement Mentality's Distortion of Our Vision of Moral Responsibility

Government social service programs also shape the way citizens think about and relate to neighbors in need. These programs encourage a vision of their recipients not as holistic persons with dignity, but as bundles of costly needs or, worse, wretched dependents. On the other hand, such programs support a view of the wealthy in impersonal, financially reductionist terms-not as responsible servants, but as revenue sources.

O O O

Conclusion

The moral nature of governing and the moral implications for society of the nature, size, and scope of government are inescapable. The case for limited government will therefore inevitably need to take these moral considerations into account. A government that understands its main responsibility to be that of administering judgment in terms of justice will play an essential, and essentially limited, role in sustaining a healthy society. A good but limited government will both exercise the authority it is competent to wield-i.e., the power to use legitimate force to defend right-and provide conditions of justice in which local associations can exercise the authority that rightly belongs to them.

The moral case for good but limited government rests on the competency of other institutions to provide for the needs of citizens and to cultivate the virtues necessary to fulfill the moral obligations that sustain a free society. Not only can the fundamental institutions of family and religious congregations, as well as other communities of civil society, provide more personal, humanizing, holistic, and compassionate care, but they can better engender the trust and responsibility required for citizens to fulfill their moral obligations to each other.

Families and churches, as well as such other institutions as schools, businesses, sports teams, community orchestras, professional organizations, neighborhood watch committees, and faith-based and other nonprofit groups, bind their members not to abstract laws, but to other people. They are premised not on individual autonomy, but on the authority of knowledgeable and competent parents, pastors, teachers, coaches, conductors, and other leaders with the power to discipline. They motivate not solely by fear but by trust, and they are united not only by their opposition to unjust interference, but also by substantial positive goals, commitments, and convictions that they share in common.

It is therefore the responsibility of a modern nation-state that desires to bind its "many" into "one" to limit its power and its purse, leaving primary responsibility for moral formation in the hands of local moral communities. Only these associations and institutions can foster true justice and compassion for those in need-a fact that makes them essential for the cultivation of virtuous citizens and the prevention of governmental tyranny.

-Ryan Messmore is William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
When the average joe is working his/her butt off trying to make a living the last thing would be considered is playing a vital role for the greater good of the society and the economy. The one thing Indian gov should focused on is elevating the living standard for low income class. From there you shift from individualism to collectivism, from desperation to inspiration.
 

Joe Shearer

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@Nilgiri We are being deconstructed as a nation, as a functioning economy, as a legal system, as a country capable of defending itself, as a diplomatic neighbour, as a thinking man's nation, as a society at peace within itself, as a safe place for women and female children, and as a functioning environment in which to be born, to grow, to learn, to work, to marry, to build homes and families, and to die a peaceful death.Before getting down to brass tacks, a thought for the advanced:

When Manmohan Singh says that the Modi government is “systematically dismantling the economy of the country”, it isn’t just one more Opposition leader indulging in routine BJP-bashing

When Manmohan Singh says that the Modi government is “systematically dismantling the economy of the country” it isn’t just one more Opposition leader indulging in routine BJP-bashing.

Nor was the former Prime Minister merely repeating in Bengaluru what he had said earlier about monumental blunders like demonetisation and other epic errors of omission and commission.

Dr Manmohan Singh was echoing the growing concerns of many economists and market analysts in the last three weeks alone. He was relying on the latest figures, trends and projections emerging from the government itself as also the minutes of the RBI’s monetary policy committee meeting held in April.

The numbers are not reassuring. The economy is in a constipated mode. This has nothing to do with Karnataka election campaign rhetoric. It pertains to the basic parameters of financial stability and growth prospects—income and expenditure, savings and investment, inflation and growth.

When Dr Singh says that “our country today is experiencing difficult times”, he is not talking only about the plight of the farmers and unemployed youth. He is drawing meaningful attention to financial and monetary danger signals like the current account deficit spiraling out of control, the volatility in foreign capital inflows and outgoes, the sinking value of the rupee, the paralysis in domestic investment and the grim forecasts of rising food inflation over the coming months.

These are such oft-repeated concepts that nowadays even moderately alert citizens are aware of their significance and consequences. Regrettably nobody knows how to effectively manage them and bring them back to even keel—least of all the highly-educated, highly-paid government economists.

The crux of the problem is that the rigid culture under the Modi dispensation does not permit bold suggestions and free flow of ideas. Decision-making powers have become so closely-held and strictly-regulated through the Prime Minister’s Office and/or the RSS headquarters in Nagpur that top bureaucrats and learned advisors alike are hesitant to arouse suspicions of ideological disloyalty​
The crowds that throng the election rallies addressed by Narendra Modi and the masses of voters who are apparently captivated by the colourful language of the Prime Minister can hardly be expected to distinguish between democratic and autocratic styles of governance.
Nor can the common man be expected to sense the dangers inherent in forcibly trying to superimpose and inject an unproven socio-cultural ideology onto an existing multi-dimensional economic superstructure that has been in existence for decades.

This is what the RSS-BJP government under Modi is attempting to do. It is consciously disrupting the prevalent system at every level — social, spiritual, cultural and economic. It is seeking to wrench existing institutional models into a new shape and configuration in tune with the untried and untested ideas of Sangh thinkers and mentors like Golwalkar, Savarkar and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.

It is not working. It is not only causing gigantic disruption in every sphere of national life—from education to judiciary to religion—but it is also leading to enormous suffering. The single act of demonetisation is a classic example. The upheaval in schools, colleges and universities is another. The tectonic rumblings shaking the very foundations of the judicial system are yet another outcome.

Similarly, the entire spectrum of economic activity in the country is undergoing serious disruption — partly because of the fact that the RSS thinkers had not thought through their theory of Swadeshi economics and mainly because the present rulers have not been able to work out a coherent model of development suited to the existing eco-system in place.​
Hence, when Dr. Manmohan Singh made his scathing critique of the BJP government’s "disastrous policies" and "economic mismanagement", he was referring to a much deeper malaise and a much greater danger than many would have grasped. What many observers may have missed was his tone—he was not criticising Modi for his mistakes alone but was pointing a finger at the horrendously misplaced intentions behind Modi’s Quixotic concept of new India.The former Prime Minister added a profound comment in a tone of deep sadness—he said the “unfortunate truth” was that the looming economic crisis was “entirely avoidable”.Noting that economic policy has a significant impact on the lives of people, he said it was essential that those tasked with decision making pay careful attention to policies and programmes and not act on whims and fancies and half-baked theories of development.India, he said, “is a complex and diverse country and no one person can be the repository of all wisdom". He added: "All we hear is that the intentions are virtuous". But even if intentions are good, they result in massive losses for the country and untold misery for the people if they are based on narrow schools of thought and faulty theories of development.
 

Nilgiri

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@Nilgiri We are being deconstructed as a nation, as a functioning economy, as a legal system, as a country capable of defending itself, as a diplomatic neighbour, as a thinking man's nation, as a society at peace within itself, as a safe place for women and female children, and as a functioning environment in which to be born, to grow, to learn, to work, to marry, to build homes and families, and to die a peaceful death.Before getting down to brass tacks, a thought for the advanced:

When Manmohan Singh says that the Modi government is “systematically dismantling the economy of the country”, it isn’t just one more Opposition leader indulging in routine BJP-bashing

When Manmohan Singh says that the Modi government is “systematically dismantling the economy of the country” it isn’t just one more Opposition leader indulging in routine BJP-bashing.

Nor was the former Prime Minister merely repeating in Bengaluru what he had said earlier about monumental blunders like demonetisation and other epic errors of omission and commission.

Dr Manmohan Singh was echoing the growing concerns of many economists and market analysts in the last three weeks alone. He was relying on the latest figures, trends and projections emerging from the government itself as also the minutes of the RBI’s monetary policy committee meeting held in April.

The numbers are not reassuring. The economy is in a constipated mode. This has nothing to do with Karnataka election campaign rhetoric. It pertains to the basic parameters of financial stability and growth prospects—income and expenditure, savings and investment, inflation and growth.

When Dr Singh says that “our country today is experiencing difficult times”, he is not talking only about the plight of the farmers and unemployed youth. He is drawing meaningful attention to financial and monetary danger signals like the current account deficit spiraling out of control, the volatility in foreign capital inflows and outgoes, the sinking value of the rupee, the paralysis in domestic investment and the grim forecasts of rising food inflation over the coming months.

These are such oft-repeated concepts that nowadays even moderately alert citizens are aware of their significance and consequences. Regrettably nobody knows how to effectively manage them and bring them back to even keel—least of all the highly-educated, highly-paid government economists.

The crux of the problem is that the rigid culture under the Modi dispensation does not permit bold suggestions and free flow of ideas. Decision-making powers have become so closely-held and strictly-regulated through the Prime Minister’s Office and/or the RSS headquarters in Nagpur that top bureaucrats and learned advisors alike are hesitant to arouse suspicions of ideological disloyalty​
The crowds that throng the election rallies addressed by Narendra Modi and the masses of voters who are apparently captivated by the colourful language of the Prime Minister can hardly be expected to distinguish between democratic and autocratic styles of governance.
Nor can the common man be expected to sense the dangers inherent in forcibly trying to superimpose and inject an unproven socio-cultural ideology onto an existing multi-dimensional economic superstructure that has been in existence for decades.

This is what the RSS-BJP government under Modi is attempting to do. It is consciously disrupting the prevalent system at every level — social, spiritual, cultural and economic. It is seeking to wrench existing institutional models into a new shape and configuration in tune with the untried and untested ideas of Sangh thinkers and mentors like Golwalkar, Savarkar and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.

It is not working. It is not only causing gigantic disruption in every sphere of national life—from education to judiciary to religion—but it is also leading to enormous suffering. The single act of demonetisation is a classic example. The upheaval in schools, colleges and universities is another. The tectonic rumblings shaking the very foundations of the judicial system are yet another outcome.

Similarly, the entire spectrum of economic activity in the country is undergoing serious disruption — partly because of the fact that the RSS thinkers had not thought through their theory of Swadeshi economics and mainly because the present rulers have not been able to work out a coherent model of development suited to the existing eco-system in place.​
Hence, when Dr. Manmohan Singh made his scathing critique of the BJP government’s "disastrous policies" and "economic mismanagement", he was referring to a much deeper malaise and a much greater danger than many would have grasped. What many observers may have missed was his tone—he was not criticising Modi for his mistakes alone but was pointing a finger at the horrendously misplaced intentions behind Modi’s Quixotic concept of new India.The former Prime Minister added a profound comment in a tone of deep sadness—he said the “unfortunate truth” was that the looming economic crisis was “entirely avoidable”.Noting that economic policy has a significant impact on the lives of people, he said it was essential that those tasked with decision making pay careful attention to policies and programmes and not act on whims and fancies and half-baked theories of development.India, he said, “is a complex and diverse country and no one person can be the repository of all wisdom". He added: "All we hear is that the intentions are virtuous". But even if intentions are good, they result in massive losses for the country and untold misery for the people if they are based on narrow schools of thought and faulty theories of development.
Did you write this one Joe? I will give reply a bit later.
 

Joe Shearer

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Did you write this one Joe? I will give reply a bit later.
No.

The article broadly marches in the same direction as I do, and in spite of my reluctance, I find myself more and more aligned to the objectives and purposes of the Congress. That is why I reprinted/ reproduced it. My own views are a harsher, but more data-driven, version of this.

Do write in reply, or in general.
 

Joe Shearer

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I also plan to reproduce, entirely without permission, a couple of posts from a private mailing list, that lead to alarming inferences about the state of Indo-Pakistani perceptions of each other, specifically within what was often the most tolerant and understanding social segment in each country, the liberals. Now, even among ourselves, there are increasing numbers of disagreements over what would earlier have been brushed aside, whether it was an Indian phenomenon or Pakistani.

Things are not good in the world.
 

WebMaster

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I also plan to reproduce, entirely without permission, a couple of posts from a private mailing list, that lead to alarming inferences about the state of Indo-Pakistani perceptions of each other, specifically within what was often the most tolerant and understanding social segment in each country, the liberals. Now, even among ourselves, there are increasing numbers of disagreements over what would earlier have been brushed aside, whether it was an Indian phenomenon or Pakistani.

Things are not good in the world.
Willing eagerly to read those posts, please do share.
 

Nilgiri

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No.

The article broadly marches in the same direction as I do, and in spite of my reluctance, I find myself more and more aligned to the objectives and purposes of the Congress. That is why I reprinted/ reproduced it. My own views are a harsher, but more data-driven, version of this.

Do write in reply, or in general.
Can you link me to the original article...I couldn't find it. I also have some data driven stuff to share a bit later.
 

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