Three Cheers For The Social Liberals

Lindsay Mitchell does some fine work on welfare statistics in NZ. Today she has quite an informative post up on the growth in the Domestic Purposes benefit.

In the text accompanying the stats, I didn’t read anything about why Lindsay thinks these figures continue to increase, from 9000 when it was first introduced to 114,000 today.

I’m not 100% sure who gets these benefits, but I think they’re parents, mostly women, with children but no fathers.

There is some grumbling about politicians, as if they deserve the blame, and I guess they do to an extent. If you pay money for something you get more of it.

However there has to be somewhere a basic cause as to why we have been, overe the last few decades, incrementally burdened with a huge number of families without fathers.

I think a big part of it is that the influence of social liberals has resulted in the gradual degradation of values such as fidelity, chastity, and other characterisics of personal responsibility that impact upon the marital situation.

I believe that this is just another aspect of the Marxist demoralisation strategy that we have been dealing with for some decades now, but say for the sake of argument we put that political theory aside, and just ask ourselves why has the situation become so bad, its apparent the situation is not totally the fault of politicians.

After all, there is no law saying women should go out and have sex with whomever they feel like, and become mothers and have kids with whomever they feel like, and then depart that relationship whenever they feel like it. (And the same of course can be said of men.) There is no law mandating this chain of events.

Why does it happen in New Zealand but not Singapore? (for example)

Its down to social attitudes, and as far as this goes, the people who have advocated for years against traditional Conservative attitudes regarding sex and marriage and children and families are those the most responsible for this situation. Their whining about the cost of it all today sounds pretty hollow really.

40 thoughts on “Three Cheers For The Social Liberals

  1. Yes, I describe myself as a ‘social liberal’. But I don’t subscribe to the government paying for the consequences of personal freedom. The government not picking up after those consequences is a major brake on bad choices.

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  2. Yep, but the government paying for it is not the only factor is it?

    Do you think the comparative lack of broken families and fatherless children before the nineteen sixties was solely down to the fact that there was no DPB?

    One other thing- where are a large proportion of these broken homes and deserted children coming from? Not from the well educated well paid urban liberal environment is it?

    Taking social barriers away for one section of society is fine, but maybe not so fine for another section.

    It kind of puzzles me that you appear to think that all of the traditional social mores apparently have no real value and were just there, in their time, for window dressing. (Maybe I’m wrong about that, but that’s how it appears)

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  3. “Yep, but the government paying for it is not the only factor is it? ”
    No. The trend to unmarried births preceded the DPB. The DPB however accelerated it.

    “Do you think the comparative lack of broken families and fatherless children before the nineteen sixties was solely down to the fact that there was no DPB?”

    No. Much of it was down to women having no other choices or alternatives. I support choices and alternatives so long as they don’t rely on other people to fund them.

    “One other thing- where are a large proportion of these broken homes and deserted children coming from? Not from the well educated well paid urban liberal environment is it? ”

    No. Because “well educated, well-paid” females have choices and alternatives that they value. In the uneducated, unskilled classes it’s reliance on a low earning partner, low paid work themselves or welfare. Welfare isn’t an irrational choice out of the three.

    “Taking social barriers away for one section of society is fine, but maybe not so fine for another section.”

    That’s the Theodore Dalrymple argument. Don’t disagree. Money ameliorates mistakes. But children of broken relationships in the monied classes are not immune to dislocation, being prawns in parental warfare and never learning how to compromise. Perhaps the degree of dysfunction is merely more apparent and desperate in the lower socio-econmic classes.

    “It kind of puzzles me that you appear to think that all of the traditional social mores apparently have no real value and were just there, in their time, for window dressing. (Maybe I’m wrong about that, but that’s how it appears)”

    I thoroughly value ” social mores” but mine would be slightly adjusted.

    For example teenagers have sex. They always have and they always will. I disagree with the conservative position of abstinence. I do agree with the social liberal position of education and responsibility. You would argue that we are not seeing responsibility. But that comes back to the lack of imperative to take individual responsibility when collective responsibility (DPB) prevails.

    People have always had sex outside marriage. But in the past it usually led to marriage. So the ‘ social more’ was, take a chance but pay for it with long term commitment – like it or not. Today the social more should be take a chance but pay for it yourself however you choose. I am pro-marriage and still see that as a good outcome. But it shouldn’t be compulsory.

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  4. That’s some serious mental gymnastics Lindsay. Are you saying that abstinence shoulD taught alongside education, or not at all? And seriously what you are (I think) calling education – some of the recent stories about what children are taught are absolutely mind-boggling – I would call advocating. The education children seem to be receiving about the mechanics of sex and not about the responsibility that comes with it (perhaps because there aren’t any) or even mentioning anything about so much as a “committed relationship” let alone marriage.

    And I’m not sure what you mean about taking risks, but accepting the risk. The reason there are so many on the DPB (both those who choose to leave “unhappy” marriages and those who get pregnant “by accident”) is because there is no outcome enforced from their actions.

    Removing the DPB would automatically make the country LESS socially liberal, because welfare would be no longer a career choice.

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  5. GG, you are using the modern social liberal definition. The one that needs government to advance it . Mine is the classical use. Education, then, is ensuring people understand that they have freedom of action but responsibility for consequences (without the welfare state the consequences were sufficiently unattractive to curtail actions) .

    Personally I think advocating abstinence may work for some but not for most. However as a classical social liberal I can’t stop anyone one else adopting that approach. That’s their prerogative.

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  6. With all due respect Lindsay, to me it seems a slim distinction. Especially in the kiwi context where the government has treat kiwis like infants for decades, and there have been no consequences.

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  7. It’s a huge distinction but the size of it makes a gulf probably unbridgeable. Economic circumstances may eventually dictate otherwise. I hate to be hoping for the worst…

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  8. How do I reach Redbaiter directly (privately)? I have a few questions about NZ politics that I would like his take on. With best regards, Gareth.

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  9. Mitch-

    “For example teenagers have sex. They always have and they always will. ”

    Not really the full point is it? The issue is fatherless children and single mothers who exist today in far greater numbers than at any previous time. What changed within our society that resulted in this unfortunate outcome?

    Its fairly plain that the answer to that is that women have less care of becoming pregnant and young men have less care about making them pregnant. You talk of responsibility but how young does this responsibility kick in?

    Young girls (and young men too) are ready to produce children long before they are ready to shoulder responsibility for their actions or the outcomes. Which is why there has to be simple moral codes that fill the void until young people (and others) are capable of responsibility.

    These moral codes have been scorned by social liberals and that is why there are so many young single mothers. Chastity today in young women is almost a thing of contempt.

    Fidelity has also been downgraded in the same way, which is why there are so many marriage break ups.

    And I’ll leave the downgrading of men and fatherhood aside for now, because I could go on about that forever.

    And all you are doing by allowing these circumstances is giving the statists the opening they need to start interfering in our lives. You’re arming them and giving them the means to set up government agencies and commissions etc etc and all of these exacerbate the situation and so government grows even greater.

    When you say (as you have above) that “the social more should be take a chance but pay for it yourself however you choose” its not only an issue that is far too complex for some young people but even then, its not an outcome that should be the result of any kind of gamble. Especially when if women lose that gamble, there is frequently no option but the DPB.

    Social liberalism is a heaven sent opportunity for the statists to gain a beach head in their battle to control us. We should not give them that beach head, or even the opportunity to establish it.

    Shame was a concept that has a lot going for it, and its totally absent today. Who brought that change about?

    I’d say if you answer that question you not only find the cause of our problems today, but you’ll identify just who is responsible.

    Not only that, I am amazed when it is a strategy that is in plain sight in historical documents, social liberals do not understand that they’re following Marx’s plans to the letter in destroying the family unit and Christianity. He recognised these concepts as two of the biggest obstacles to the totalitarian objectives of his ideology.

    Social liberalism is a seriously misguided addiction that just cannot be afforded in terms of economics or our liberty.

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  10. You and I arguing about social libralism is like Brash and Harawira arguing over racism. We have completely different ideas as to what the term means.

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  11. Excellent RB.

    Further more, founder of the Frankfurt School Georg Lukacs, (the first global left-wing think thank) often considered the most influential left-wing theorist/strategist since Marx himself, once complained in 1914 “Who will save us from Wstern Civilization/”

    VERY IMPORTANT EXCERPT

    . . . this meant that every individual in the West–however deep down–was still optimistic; they still believed that the divine spark of reason in every man and woman can solve the problems facing society, no matter how big those problems are. And that meant that the West could not have a successful Bolshevik revolution. Thus, in 1914, Lukacs could write his great complaint, “Who will save us from Western civilization?”

    . . . was to realize that Western culture could be manipulated in such a way as to self-destruct. All that is in culture had to be abolished through an active theory of criticism, while at the same time, new cultural forms had to be created–forms which would not enlighten nor uplift, but which would expose the true degradation of life under capitalism and the false myths of monotheism. What was needed was what Lukacs called the “abolition of culture,” a new “culture of pessimism,” a world in which the individual does not believe that he or she can have a personal destiny, but only “a destiny of the community in a world that has been abandoned by God.” The political task was to fill the people of the West with hatred, pessimism, and hopelessness–while simultaneously making them so stupid that they saw no other solution to their problems than wild, uncontrollable revolt.

    It absolutely stuns me that libertarian types continuously fail to understand this concept. It’s no secret conspiracy – it’s just that 99.998% of the people don’t know what the end game is.

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  12. “It’s no secret conspiracy – it’s just that 99.998% of the people don’t know what the end game is.”

    Well said as usual Angus.

    Its the game of Critical Theory. A strategy so clearly and widely used by the Marxists as a means to attack and change our culture, and yet you never see it spoken of by those who profess to be concerned with liberty.

    Why not? Why do they refuse to acknowledge such a powerful force? When one denies the existence of the critical theorists, its like fighting with both hands tied behind your back. Its comparable to the allied forces fighting in WWII but refusing to acknowledge the existence of Nazism.

    And the failure of so many who say they are concerned with liberty to acknowledge the obvious link between social liberalism and critical theory is another thing I find perplexing.

    Or even the failure to see the organised and government backed attacks on Christianity and the family for what they are, and to acknowledge the origins of those attacks. Why are they so blind???

    Dupes. Digging their own grave in the belief they’re creating a vegetable garden.

    Angus, your post reminded me of Bill Lind’s brilliant essay on Critical Theory, that I have mentioned often on this blog. I decided to put a permanent link to it at the bottom of the sidebar. He lays it all out so clearly, and the points he makes in that essay are something we should never lose sight of.

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  13. Thanks mate. I’m just a humble sparky and I finally got it – no political science degree for me. . . . just a matter of opening one’s eyes I guess.

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  14. Angus,
    From your excerpt by Georg Lukacs:

    . . . was to realize that Western culture could be manipulated in such a way as to self-destruct. All that is in culture had to be abolished through an active theory of criticism, while at the same time, new cultural forms had to be created–forms which would not enlighten nor uplift, but which would expose the true degradation of life under capitalism and the false myths of monotheism. What was needed was what Lukacs called the “abolition of culture,” a new “culture of pessimism,” a world in which the individual does not believe that he or she can have a personal destiny, but only “a destiny of the community in a world that has been abandoned by God.”

    The removal of God from society is key to redefining society – the Marxists know this. And without God the destruction of absolute morality within that same society is a natural result. Left to his own devices man will always gravitate to more promiscuous and less responsible behaviour, and thus ‘morality’ becomes little more than personal preference – the whole “consenting adult” argument. It is impossible to address such things as increasing out-of-wedlock childbirth and single motherhood in purely economic terms. And thus trying to redress increasing dependence upon the DPB, for example, by removing/reducing it, without addressing the issue of whether sex outside marriage is wrong in the first place will never get to the heart of the matter; for it is only treating the symptom and not the cause.

    Ultimately all decisions and life choices we make are morally driven. And those morals transcend man and are given us by our Creator. Without the Judeo-Christian God as the anchor of Western civilisation society is adrift in an amoral sea; one without absolute values, meaningful consequences to choices made, and where Government, rather than God, sets the ground-rules. This, of course, is the aim of the Marxist elite; to replace God with the all powerful state. A state where they become the focus of worship and dispensers of all wisdom.

    The only solution to reclaiming our society from the Marxist elite is to turn back to biblical principles and the God behind them. Perhaps Russell Kirk has the solution to what we need to get back to, and the recognition that –

    (1) Men and nations are governed by moral laws; and those laws have their origin in a wisdom that is more than human—in divine justice. At heart, political problems are moral and religious problems. The wise statesman tries to apprehend the moral law and govern his conduct accordingly. We have a moral debt to our ancestors, who bestowed upon us our civilization, and a moral obligation to the generations who will come after us. This debt is ordained of God. We have no right, therefore, to tamper impudently with human nature or with the delicate fabric of our civil social order.

    If we do not we will be left with increasing moral degredation of society and the related economic costs of such foolishness; treating the symptoms and never the cause – no fence at the top of the cliff with expensive and ever increasing numbers of ambulances required at the bottom.

    Social Liberals do not recognise the problem, and they refuse to acknowledge the solution.

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  15. And Red, that essay by Bill Lind is indeed brilliant and should be compulsory reading for everyone, and especially those at secondary school.

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  16. Well said Lindsay. Conservatives have always opposed social liberalism for the same reason their Leftist brothers have opposed economic liberalism….the can’t control it,meaning control PEOPLE so fear its implications.

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  17. These fiscally right of centre social liberals have a lot in common with the Greens. They do not know what planet they live on and what country they live in.

    Before one advocates a policy they have to think what am I trying to achieve.

    First let us look at their drug policy. When it is pointed out that cannabis use can lead to a person being a long term beneficiary costing the taxpayer. They response is there should be no welfare or let them take personal responsibility and/or they can die in the gutter if no one feels charitable. This is New Zealand not Asia and we do not let people die in the gutter and they vast majority on New Zealanders would not support such a policy.

    So why advocate a policy that will increase our welfare budget?

    Now look at the DPB. It may be change but it will not be abolished in the foreseeable future so why advocate polices that will increase the number of beneficiaries? There used to be benefits to marriage – socially as well as financial. The social liberals and the libertarians have progressively undermined these over the last 40 years starting with no fault divorce.

    Then came Tim Barnett with the law that put married couple with children on par financial with de facto couples including homosexuals. These helped get de facto relationships more socially acceptable. There is all sorts of evidence that on average children do better brought up with a mother and after married to each other and cost the taxpayer less.

    An added benefit to the taxpayer is the married parents are less likely to need residential care and if they do it will be for a shorter time than parents have not been with their children for their formative years.

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  18. “…the[y] can’t control it, meaning control PEOPLE…”

    James shows his complete ignorance regarding what Conservatives are all about. If anything Conservatives encourage “self-control” in all things, and rather than submitting to Man’s authority that the individual submit to an authority above Man; namely his Creator [or certainly Judeo-Christian principles and values as a minimum].

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  19. Dear god…..
    There needs to be a name for we non religious Conservative non left….as described by PJ O’Rourke…..so we don’t get confused with the culturally serendipitous religious nutters who need divine direction to think.

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  20. Not so much “to think”, Sika, but I do thank Him for giving me a brain in the first place. He provides the hardware; we’re just the software [free-will choice] 😉

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  21. Ahhh….Kris….
    What’s it like to live in an evidence free religious paradigm ….and not even blink or find slightly strange that the brain your god presumably gave you, must, by evidence-less definition, be malfunctioning?

    Evidence-less belief makes you no better than a Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warmist.

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  22. Kris have you ever wondered why most right wing Christian group fail?

    They are aggressive to everyone Christian and non Christian who disagree with them on any issue.

    What are you trying to achieve?

    All conservatives do not agree on everything but unless they can work together the left will win.

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  23. The point I was tryng to make, guys, is that if our morality is only a man-made construct then we are little better than the [largely] atheistic and Marxist Left – our views on right/wrong, how we should treat each other, etc, etc become just a matter of opinion. And as we are well aware opinions change, and similarly values, principles, and laws based on those opinions can likewise be subject to change. Bottom line, there are no moral absolutes.

    If morality doesn’t have its source from an authority higher the man then anything can be justified and explained away. This is the cornerstone of Marxism; that [the Judeo-Christian] God does not exist and that any concept of Him must be driven from society for Marxism to ascend. And in that sense Social Liberals and Libertarians do much of the work on behalf of the Cultural Marxists in our midst.

    I have no axe to grind with Conservatives who happen to not be Christian, but often I find it is rather those who don’t have a faith that attack those who do than the other way around.

    And I refuse to apologise for stating that both my views and the moral foundation [and therefore its laws] of Western civilisation, at least historically, are based on [the Judeo-Christian] God’s word.

    Am I wrong in my thinking that EVEN non-Christian Conservatives see Judeo-Christian principles as the cornerstone of Western civilisation???

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  24. “Am I wrong in my thinking that EVEN non-Christian Conservatives see Judeo-Christian principles as the cornerstone of Western civilisation???”

    NO

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  25. “Evidence-less belief…”
    For me, the evidence for Christian belief and the truth of Jesus’ teachings derives, in part, from the fact of its utter practicality. Also I see no evidence that the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of two thousand years, that experts in various fields like sociology and psychology benefit from, exceed it. Conversely, I see no bursting forth of edifying intellectual fruit promised from breaking the shackles of Judeo-Christian ideas of morality and truth; rather, just the opposite.
    The historical (testimonial evidence, textual reliability) and philosophical discussions, I suppose, cover the rest. I think historians (secular or non-secular) and Christian apologists and philosophers have those, respectively, covered very well. Perhaps nothing has been subject to – and withstood – so much scrutiny, afterall.
    That covers waaaay too much in so few sentences… but it’s basically my outlook.

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  26. Kris
    It goes without saying that we got very lucky, most superstitions translated into cultural codes were / are tragic failures, like Islam or soporific navel gazing for the passive like Buddhism……because they outlive their original context.

    Christianity had its Dark Ages but also its Reformation.
    Then the Protestant political rejigging of Christianity set the scene for the technological revolution of law, science and markets that was the industrial revolution

    However to believe literally in evidence-poor supernatural claims, although the results of that religious belief system were pivotal to Western success, is to confuse the truth of cause and effect.

    Never forget, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

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  27. Kris’s13:27 post started the religious discussion.
    If you think the supernatural is going unchallenged, you’re talking to the wrong bloke.

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  28. Achieve?
    I’m here to gossip and avoid the mutants on comrade sites……no aim to achieve anything at all.

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  29. Sika, you said:

    Christianity had its Dark Ages but also its Reformation.
    Then the Protestant political rejigging of Christianity set the scene for the technological revolution of law, science and markets that was the industrial revolution

    Actually, the Dark Ages were the result of Christianity being perverted and the scriptures being ignored and/or misapplied. The Reformation was the re-emergence of Biblical Christianity.

    However to believe literally in evidence-poor supernatural claims, although the results of that religious belief system were pivotal to Western success, is to confuse the truth of cause and effect.

    Of course Christians would say that God was the “cause” and Western civilisation adhering to His word and the application thereof “resulted” in the success of the West.

    Never forget, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    What LabourDoesntWork said at 12:40, with the addition of the testimony of creation are all “extraordinary evidence” in my Book.

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  30. Sika, you said:

    Kris’s 13:27 post [yesterday] started the religious discussion.

    Ah, wrong.

    Actually, Red said at 00:05 yesterday:

    “Not only that, I am amazed when it is a strategy that is in plain sight in historical documents, social liberals do not understand that they’re following Marx’s plans to the letter in destroying the family unit and Christianity. He recognised these concepts as two of the biggest obstacles to the totalitarian objectives of his ideology.”

    And Angus quoted at 9:02 yesterday:

    . . . was to realize that Western culture could be manipulated in such a way as to self-destruct. All that is in culture had to be abolished through an active theory of criticism, while at the same time, new cultural forms had to be created–forms which would not enlighten nor uplift, but which would expose the true degradation of life under capitalism and the false myths of monotheism. What was needed was what Lukacs called the “abolition of culture,” a new “culture of pessimism,” a world in which the individual does not believe that he or she can have a personal destiny, but only “a destiny of the community in a world that has been abandoned by God.”

    Red again at 10:12 yesterday:

    Or even the failure to see the organised and government backed attacks on Christianity and the family for what they are, and to acknowledge the origins of those attacks. Why are they so blind???

    And it was only after this I made my 13:27 [yesterday] comment. So I hardly think I introduced the topic of religion/Christianty.

    But anyway, how does one debate Marxism [which seeks to drive Christianity from Western civilisation], social liberalism, or any other ‘values’ based system without referring to the VERY foundation upon which the West is built and upon which it became great???

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  31. @ Kris K

    I used to enjoy seeing the biblical reference in your posts at Kiwiblog – watching Mr Piesse going apoplectic and frothing with rage over it was rather amusing !

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  32. Kris….you’re the resident god botherer….the others merely mention the concept as a part of their argument.

    “If morality doesn’t have its source from an authority higher than man then anything can be justified and explained away”……..my life decisions are taken at an executive level way above your god’s payscale, ie. by me.

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  33. Sadly for you, Sika, my God trumps your “executive level” and then raises you one Eternal Life. Not only that, but dividends continue to flow in post [physical] death, with a glorified new body thrown into the deal – so there 😉

    But if you’re serious about “the BIG question” have a look over at my place:
    Signature in the Cell – Stephen Meyer puts an excellent case for Intelligent Design.

    If you want to talk further I’m happy to do it there.

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  34. Kris, Kris……harden up matey, there’s no dignity in inventing fairies at the bottom of the garden because you’re scared of the dark, ie. death.

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