The Welfare State and the National Welfare: A Symposium on Some of the Threatening Tendencies of Our Times

The Welfare State and the National Welfare: A Symposium on Some of the Threatening Tendencies of Our Times

The Welfare State and the National Welfare: A Symposium on Some of the Threatening Tendencies of Our Times

The Welfare State and the National Welfare: A Symposium on Some of the Threatening Tendencies of Our Times

Excerpt

Even the most optimistic among us must now concede that the times are sorely out of joint, and that men stand fearfully in the presence of forces which threaten the downfall of values it has taken thousands of years to achieve.

We shall be reminded that on many previous occasions--at different crucial stages in the history of the Ancients, of Feudalism, of the Dark Ages--pessimism ultimately proved unwarranted. But in the total sum and substance of the threatening clouds, the drama of history has rarely before shown such potential for blood and destruction and the very quashing of civilization itself.

Is it necessary to catalogue the symptoms of society's malaise? Here are a few.

Abroad, among peoples of the Western democratic and humanitarian tradition, a darkening scene of profound economic weakness and physical and moral fatigue: Terrific destruction, in two brief wars, of goods, houses, instruments of production, and other wealth it has taken ages to accumulate. Continuous and health-threatening reduction of the standard of living. Cumulative physical, mental, and spiritual illness. A mass psychosis of hopelessness and cynicism engendered by first-hand acquaintance with terrifying danger and repeated . . .

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