I was interested in a comment DPF made in his post about the Nat party conference:
UK Conservative Party Leader David Cameron sent a video address. Talked of using centre right principles to deliver social justice – what the left promise but do not deliver. Said we are on brink of a post-bureaucratic age with the Internet able to empower information to individuals etc. Need policies to limit government and expand freedom.
It seems pretty obvious to me that the reverse of this is true; we are entering a post-ideological age in which our societies become ever more complex and need both state and free-market solutions in order to function. All industralised countries are seeing the rapid growth of a vast, technocratic class of civil servants and this is probably only going to accelerate over the coming decades as those societies get increasingly sophisticated.
The market is unbeatable at certain things – creating wealth, driving technological innovation; but anyone who thinks that its going to be some magical solution to social problems hasn’t been paying attention for the last hundred years and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near government.
If people really want to see the free market in effect they should take a trip to states like Bihar or Utter Pradesh in North India, where the market is king. Its hard to find your way around – there are no road signs, because there’s no real business model for making a profit signposting roads, and everybody just dumps their raw sewerage in the streets because there aren’t any evil civil servants to force their red tape building regulations on you, and there are regular epidemics of deadly diseases (including the bubonic plague), because there aren’t any fat cat health bureacrats sitting around wasting tax-payer dollars on public health initiatives. So you might die of typhus but at least you won’t have the dead hand of the state interfering in your life.