- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Democratic or Participatory Welfare?

Posted by: Lark ( Conspiracy against the privileged, Ireland ) on November 05, 1999 at 16:24:24:

I'm currently really struggling with a disertation for my Social Policy degree, I'm concentrating on welfare theory and I'm trying in my own mind to figure out how I can link Social Patnership (which is a European idea that all elements in society, the good and the bad, unions and bastard capitalists can unite in councils come to consensual agreements and create policy at a community rather than state level), a reality with democratic/libertarian theories of welfare.

Now I know a lot of people here, regardless of political perspective, are hostile towards welfare, or welfarism, believing instead in revolution or ancient out of date economic theories but could anyone give me any assistance or links.

The main problems and prospects in welfare I think are:
1) Structural change has led the permanent exclusion of a section of the population from employment, this is going to have a bad effect since employment isnt just a source of income but a source of social networks, social and community level integration.

2) The real, that is pragmatic social policy I'm not engaging in one dimensional thought here, choice is High expenditure on the creation Mass Employment and low social expenditure or Low expenditure on Mass Unemployment and high social expenditure. I know which one I'd prefer considering the physiological and psychological consequences of permanent/intergeneration unemployment for the individual and society, however at present the might of transglobal companies/the privately owned command economy makes the later the only possible option or at least the only option weaklings like Blair and Clinton will consider.

3)What is required then is community based organisation so the work can be organised by and for the unemployed so that they do not suffer the stigma of unemployment and the consequences of permanent exclusion from the conventional source of social interation, skills acquirement etc. Social Partnership is probubly not sufficiently radical(when wages where determined in the Republic of Ireland on a Partnership basis, that is, the capitalists would pay thier taxs if the workers would accept wages determined for them not by them, the capitalists all conspired to construct illegal ofshore accounts with the assistance of senior politicians, so much for an end to class struggle) to fulfil this vision but there's always a possibility.

If anyone can give me references or wishes to debate this it'd be a fantastic help because I can reference posts from this site and absolutely nothing has been written in this area. Participation is usually considered a political rather than welfare issue so you can imagine the difficulties.

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