“This does not mean that conservatives are wedded to some libertarian conception of the minimal state. The growth of modern societies has created social needs that the old patterns of free association are no longer able to satisfy. But the correct response is not to forbid the state from intruding into the areas of welfare, health care, education, and the rest, but to limit its contribution to the point where citizens’ initiatives can once again take the lead.” – Roger Scruton
Here is an excellent piece by Roger Scruton, who is coming to my university – Ave Maria University – this coming year. I’m not quite sure I agree that the basis of government is solely the spontaneous bond of affection and friendship – perhaps there is something deeper, or less emotive?
But the piece on the whole is excellent, and a good indication of where conservatism needs to go in order to become a positive vision. As per the usual conservative piece, Scruton’s least clarified part is his idea of what the welfare state should be. ‘Less than it is, not non-existent.’ But what does that mean in the concrete?