Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What Would Philip Do?

Philip Pullman, author of the great His Dark Materials series, has an op-ed piece in The Guardian today about how the UK Conservative party can regain power by revisiting some old conservative ideas which have no manifestation in modern conservatism. This seems very relevant to the post-Katrina debate about conservative social policy in the US.

Similarly, it's a conservative idea that provision of such things as healthcare and education should not be the subject of trading in the marketplace. The old-fashioned idea here is that looking after the sick and educating the young are matters of charity, not of business: you do them because they are good things to do, not because you can see profits to be made.

I would be curious to find out if anyone has written extensively on how so many conservatives and especially Christian conservatives became associated with you're-on-your-own social darwinism and market determinism.

Anyway, we'll see if the Tories take heed of Pullman's advice. Of course, he doesn't mention this, but a truly ascendant party would also have a magical knife that would allow them to visit multiple universes at will.

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