The Guardian on society: It’s broken. So let’s fix it


A Guardian journalist supports David Cameron:

A few months ago I might have disagreed with [Cameron]; I might have argued that he was quite simply scaremongering, that the country is at heart, just as Gordon Brown has said, basically “decent and compassionate”. But that was before this week. A week when three separate events showed the depths to which this society has finally sunk.

Again, I find I ask if it is time for a change of heart. Again, I find that this problem goes to the core of political debate.

Should we rely on an increase in state power to fix a society broken by a lack of responsibility and morality or is it the state that devours liberty, prosperity and virtue?

I reflect on what I have read, on the present seemingly boundless intervention of the state and on what my East European colleagues have told me about post-Communist societies, and I am determined that the state is the cause of this problem, not its solution.

The solution is individual people, en masse, deciding to take responsibility for restoring a civil society “of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values.” Hegel was wrong: state supervision has failed to maintain civility in society.

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