The failures of the welfare state in the sixties have served as stimulus for, and rationale of, the rise of neoconservative thought in the seventies.
The neoconservative ideologues base themselves on what they regard as the data of the sixties, but they do not take into theoretical account how the limitations of the period permeate their evidence and skew their conclusions. They universalize about social policy, equality, the professionalization of reform, and so on, when actually they are talking about what was done, and not done, in a specific political and social context. As a result, they lack a sense of what might be done under other circumstances—and of the degree to which “circumstances” themselves are aspects of a structure of power created by struggle, not destiny....
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