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Welfare policies, in Europe or anywhere else, can almost always be shown to have been instituted not for the purpose of helping people in need, but rather because they served the political interests one or more powerful groups.

This argument strikes me as either falling perilously close to kapitallogik, or as an exercise in stating the obvious, depending a little on how you define "political interests."

If something does not serve the "political interests" of group A, then that something will not be on group A's agenda - "stuff that makes it onto the agenda" is kinda the definition of "political interest," isn't it? And in order to enact the kind of sweeping social changes that characterise the birth of a modern, functioning welfare state, group A would have to be pretty powerful - after all, that's the definition of power: The ability to implement your political agenda (possibly over the objections of dissenters).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2009 at 11:31:44 AM EST
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