Dependent Individualism

Dependent Individualism

The decline of the Republican right and the renewed interest in major social legislation compels us to ask a crucial question: Can the welfare state fulfill its promise without a strong ethical core? In Western Europe that ethical core was usually provided by social democracy. In America social democratic traditions have been severely undermined by radical individualism. But without cohesive and ethically informed political communities and movements to stand watch over the legislative process, reforms tend to be waylaid by powerful interest groups and even to aggravate the problems they were designed to deal with.

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