Oh it sounds so-so traditionalist but in theory it stands just as strong as it did back in the days of enlightenment. Talking about the enlightenment in such a modern context may sound strange, but in fact the work of Hobbes still plays a significant role in the way politics manoeuvres and operates. Since the country went to the polling booths and felt the best way forward would be via a coalition we have been increasingly tolerant of a new type of economics and politics.
Whilst theoretically speaking the smear campaigns and the ‘old’ politics still remains rife, there has been a significant change in the role of the ‘Welfare State’. Whilst Alan Duncan-Smith and George Osbourne quarrel over just how streamline the new benefits system is going to be there is no doubt that pulling the plug on someone’s housing benefits or income support is a whole new shift of politics. In the days of Hobbes the idea of a ‘social contract’ between the citizen and the government (or monarch, in the context of then) was a sign of ‘you support me, and we’ll give you the power to protect’. So what happens when government fancies big business instead of supporting its citizens? What happens when the Tory’s march into power.
The ‘Big Society’ should really about supporting the citizens that empower the politician. If the government continue to strive on with this initiative of hiking up the VAT; cutting benefits left, right and centre then politics must change – again. Our agreement with the politicians that we vote for must also change. I’ll come back to this and will blog regularly about a broader campaign for political change.