HOMEPAGE FOR JOHN J. RAY -- as of 2005Just the basics...
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This is my basic home page but it does also point to my various academic writings on the topics of psychological authoritarianism, racism, conservatism, dogmatism, the Adorno theory, achievement motivation, A-B personality etc. For particulars, click the third site below. My monograph on the causes of Leftism is available via the fourth site listed below. But best of all is my daily "blog". Be sure to visit me there soon by clicking on the first link below. After the links below, I move on to a short essay that I hope to be thought-provoking.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT MY MAIN BLOG
My academic home page
Book on the motivations of Leftists
List giving access to all my academic papers
Menu of my more recent writings
Documents of interest
More documents of interest
Yet more documents of interest
The political correctness monitor
The Greenie monitor
A good paper on Leftist elitism by "Hovhannes"
Read here my summary paper on authoritarianism that Political Psychology would not print
Some geneological notes for both sides of my family
Some notes on the Scottish Presbyterian element in my background
A brief autobiography
And click HERE to see two good posters about Hitler and Mussolini. Educational for Leftists.
GOOD SITES BIO INTERESTS firstname.lastname@example.org I am Australian born of British descent and have taught both psychology and sociology at Australian universities. I was born in 1943 and retired in 1983. Academic-standard psychological research, politics, the stockmarket, blogging and listening to Baroque music.
A LIBERTARIAN TRACT
By John Ray
These days people generally think of the government as the only possible source of mass social welfare services. Like most things that government does, however, such services tend to be provided in an inefficient, wasteful and arrogant way. There are, however, alternatives to government-provided welfare.
Surprisingly, England in the Victorian era had a social welfare system that was both fairly comprehensive and independent of the government.
Most of us draw our impression of conditions in Victorian England from the novels of Charles Dickens -- and the situations that Dickens described were so bad that the word "Dickensian" has come to mean oppressive, uncaring and inhuman. Something that needs to be noted here, however is that Dickens was the Victorians called a "Social reformer" or what we would probably call a "socialist". His novels are, in other words, political propaganda that concentrates on the failures of the system rather than on its successes. And because they are such good novels, they have been very effective in discrediting the Victorian system.
In truth, however, even in the modern era of universal government welfare payments we can still find people living in "Dickensian" conditions -- for one obvious instance, the Australian Aborigines. All systems have some weaknesses and concentrating on the worst cases tells us nothing about how well the system works as a whole. Had Dickens been writing today, he would probably be describing terrible situations caused by the actions of heartless government bureaucrats.
So let us now look at what history tells us about the Victorian system rather than at what the novels of Dickens tell us about it:
There were two main sources of social security in Victorian England: The parish and the Friendly Societies. The parish system is the one Dickens concentrated on but it was in fact the Friendly Societies that were more important. We still have many of the Friendly Societies with us to this day. Most Australians will have heard of Manchester Unity, The Oddfellows, The Druids and various other societies. These days just about all they provide is health insurance but in the Victorian era their functions were much broader. They also provided unemployment insurance, widows benefits, funeral benefits and various social functions.
In the Victorian era a skilled worker would normally join a Friendly Society associated with his work, his town or his religion. If no other Society suited him he could join the Oddfellows. When he joined, he signed up to pay a weekly subscription to the society out of his wages. In return the Society covered him for most of the problems of daily life. If he got sick he went for free to the Society's doctor or a doctor that the Society had an agreement with. If he got really sick he could be admitted for free to a hospital run or approved by the Society. If he became unemployed he would receive a weekly payment from the Society to keep him going. If he died, his widow would be looked after. So ordinary workers in the Victorian era in fact had quite a high level of social welfare benefits -- all privately provided without any involvement by the government.
Some people, however, fell outside the Friendly Society system by reason of being too poor or too foolish to join. For these there was the parish system. This was a system whereby the local parish of the Church of England gave charity to the poor so that nobody need be without shelter or food. It provided only the most basic food and shelter and did nothing to make poverty comfortable but it did make sure that everybody was provided for in some way. Such a system was often heartless and could be abused and it is on such heartlessness and abuse that Dickens focused.
Any system can be abused, however, and there is no doubt that the present system of government welfare that we have is also often heartless and is also often abused. The main difference between then and now is that the present system is more generous. Our unemployed get more spent on them. Our society today is however much richer than the England of Victorian times so the more generous provisions of the present era would probably have occurred under any system.
So there is after all a well-proven alternative to government welfare. And think of how much power the individual had back then. If he didn't like the way his particular Friendly Society was treating people, he could take his business elsewhere. Just try telling our Department of Social Security that you will take your business elsewhere!
The main reason why welfare provision has been taken over by Government is that for most of the postwar era (from 1945 on) people in general conducted this huge experiment of getting the government to do everything. In Russia they even got the government to run all the businesses. The theory was that government could do everything better than private organizations could. We now know how ludicrously untrue this is and around the world people are taking things out of the hands of government and giving them back to the private sector. The sooner this happens in the social welfare field too, the better off we all will be.
And, as we all know, home pages have family photos so here is a picture of the best looking one in my familly -- my sister Roxanne -- taken when she was a kid. Note the white picket fence. For some reason known only to their own dismal hearts, Australian Leftists scorn white picket fences, but I have put up quite of few of them in my day.
And a picture of Rox in her 40s (on right). In the middle is my brother Chris -- the nicest brother one could ask for. And on the Left is Roxanne's eldest daughter Katie
My youthful self many years ago with my first girlfriend Janet, now a resident of the Hexagon
My B.A. graduation in 1968
More pix here
Index page for this site
DETAILS OF REGULARLY UPDATED BLOGS BY JOHN RAY:
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Western Heart" (A summary blog)
BLOGS OCCASIONALLY UPDATED:
"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
To be continued ....
My alternative Wikipedia
Laughing at New Matilda
Dagmar Schellenberger is an operatic genius
Updated as news items come in:
Coral reef compendium.
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
Australian Police News
BLOGS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED
"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
OF INTEREST (2)
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Bank of Queensland blues
There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)
Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Rarely updated)
Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following:
OR: (After 2015)