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Welfare State Versus Welfare Society?

ANTHONY SKILLEN
Journal of Applied Philosophy
Vol. 2, No. 1 (1985), pp. 3-17
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24353425
Page Count: 15
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Welfare State Versus Welfare Society?
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Abstract

The welfare state is not just a system of personal insurance but an expression of community, of concern for our fellows. It places some things beyond the question of purchasing power. Yet its structures are often criticised as subverting personal and social cares and responsibilities. Arguably there is a 'dialectic of self-destruction' here, a tendency for the institution to undermine its own support. At the same time this problem is inherent in the capitalist state itself, as is brought out by a study of the philosophers of 'civil society' from Mandeville to Greén. It is schematically argued that the welfare state needs reconstructing as an articulation rather than a substitute for 'community'. Implications for the class, gender and age structures of society are sketched.

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