A Canadian journalist accused Australia of being ‘the world’s dumbest nation’ – see my previous posts. ‘Nanny state ‘conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective or interfering unduly with personal choice. The term likens such a government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing. Australia has compulsory bike helmets, a ban on nicotine and no left turn on red lights.

I used to believe an hypothesis was true only if it could not be falsified, which was the dictum of philosopher Karl Popper. I could falsify that Australia is wholly a nanny state with examples of beneficial policies. But now I conclude something is true, or false, from the method(s) used to determine it. Listed below are ten methods, with examples. Religious truth has been omitted to save space.

Epistemic Theories Of Truth 

Opponents of a nanny state would object to over-provision, verified by any knowledge, belief, acceptance, justification, measurement, observation or experience. Nanny state overreach in Australia’s provision for minority groups, such as children, disabled and disadvantaged people, cannot be verified absolutely, but can be related to similar provision made by other nations.

The Coherence View Of Truth

If a person believes nanny state over-provision is causing welfare dependence and also believes it is an unacceptable drain on public resources., these beliefs together acquire truth to oppose it.


A proposition that traffic calming provisions do not make our streets safer, if it is true, would support that traffic calming is nanny state over-provision. Accident statistics comparing calmed and uncalmed streets could test the proposition and determine the truth.

The Correspondence Theory Of Truth

If people believe speeding of cars through city streets would be prevented by building obstacles to speeding, then provision of traffic calming would be truthful.


If an educated guess was ‘Most people choose to live in streets with regulated architecture styles and required colours of buildings,’ a survey could test for truth or falsity.

Immanuel Kant

A phenomenon of welfare dependence, in districts with nanny state provision, could be invoked to demonstrate real provision is harmful.


If over-provision is self-correcting, because it is not subscribed to, counter productive, or hidden, nanny state over-provision would not be true.


A person could not believe nanny state provision is harmful, if the harm is not true.


Nanny state provisions could be construed as harmful and untrue from a perspective such as nihilism or libertarianism or deconstruction.

Community Agreement

Jury verdicts, surveys and partisan processes can create communal truths. Scientific truth does not have a political majority because true science is empirical or epistemic, vested in reason.

Which truth?

Not everyone’s  truth is listened to. We restrict some people and help others by regulation, positive discrimination, affirmative action, political correctness and wokeism. ‘Nanny state’ is a pejorative term people use to criticise overreach and over-provision they think does harm, rewarding unfairly, wasting public resources and creating dependence.

Australia’s nanny state is either true or false, depending on the type of truth presented. The moral is, when Truth is invoked, to identify the method(s) establishing it and the conditions.

These blog posts are at

Is Australia a Nanny State?

Does Australia Need To Be A Nanny State?

The different types of truth are explained in my post How Do We Know If It’s True?

My book Turkeys Not Bees is on Amazon.

About martinknox

Materially minimalist; gastronomically prefer food I cook; biologically an unattached male survivor; economically independent; sociologically a learner and teacher of science; psychologically selfaltruistic; anthropologically West Country English tenant farmer; religiously variable; ethically case by case; philosophically a sceptical Popperian.

Posted on November 12, 2023, in TURKEYS NOT BEES and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on IS IT TRUE AUSTRALIA IS A NANNY STATE?.

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