Musings about the meaning of Red Toryism. No-one can fault Paul’s efforts, but even after this magnificent long post he has drawn a blank. There are so many quotable lines, that I will not pick out any in particular. It is a bit rude. I am interested to hear how Paul responds to the commenter asking whether Paul’s problem is more with virtue theory itself, or Blond’s particular difficult-to-grasp conception of it.
My problem is the latter. This is by Blond:
By virtue we mean here a combination of talent, fitness for a specific social role, and a moral exercise of that role for the benefit of wider society
But in what sense is that a good description of virtue? On that measure, Courage is not necessarily a virtue, because it is hardly a social virtue, nor ‘a moral exercise …. for the benefit of wider society’. You can be courageous in a cave, on your own. Or storming a citadel in order to kidnap infants.
Meanwhile, Hopi’s shorter post solves the mystery of Blond. For a fiver. Folks, I would appreciate a link to some right-leaning thinkers taking ResPublica more seriously – this discussion is getting weighted one way …
UPDATE: A book review by Ben Brogan does not lift the scepticism:
Like Cameron, Blond dreams of reviving our civic life, the thousands of small-scale community efforts that oxygenate our society and give it meaning. His solutions are less clear, and frankly less comfortable for Tories. He argues for transferring assets to the poor in unspecified ways, perhaps through encouraging small-scale lending between families and associations. The mutuality made famous by John Lewis should be rediscovered at the village scale . . .
If I read one more account about how John Lewis holds the future of capitalism, I will go down in history as the Westminster Strangler ….
I think Chris Dillow is a bit quick to condemn the concept of management here. Yes, managers have increased from some small percentage to a higher small percentage of the NHS. But the lack of productivity gains: is that not surely to do with the large catch-up pay rises that Government ordained? If I went to the fast food industry, increased its management ratio by 50%, and also ordered them to increase staff pay by 7% p.a over 10 years (or whatever), would this prove that management does not work?
(I am an amateur on health economics. Begging to be knocked down here …)
Ben Chu seems to think securitization is a bad idea in practise, whatever one believes in theory. Call me naive, but I disagree. Putting it simply, the credit the economy needs is either going to sit untraded on bank balance sheets, occasionally misvalued, or be traded in some way. The securitization mess of 2006-10 was about the worst of both worlds. But I would not like us to return to everything squatting on bank balance sheets. I want a post-banking world, and intelligent, simple securitization – which has been around for a very long time – ought to be a part of this.