Category Archives: TURKEYS NOT BEES
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.
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.
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.
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 martinknox.com
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.
Nanny state is a term of British origin that 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.
Tyler Brule, a Canadian journalist and editorial director of a mens’ magazine, enthusiastic for going back to the fifties with globalization, consumerism and entrepreneurs, wrote as follows:
‘. . .Australia is becoming the world’s dumbest nation . . .(because of) the removal of personal responsibility and the increase in the number and scope of health and safety laws,’ Monocle, 2015
‘He argued that Australian cities are over-sanitised,’ I said. ‘Many of the laws have been implemented in the expectation that they will reduce violence or improve health and safety. The excessive laws were accused of restricting freedom, ruining livelihoods and small businesses, turning the nation into a nanny state.’
Conditions in Australia could require more government protection than in most countries because we have large distances with sparse populations in the interior. There could be sympathy for interference with personal choice when Australians can freely choose to live in places where climate extremes prevail. The population emerged from compelled settlement with a predilection for governments espousing egalitarian values.
Both labour and liberal governments pay lip service to equality and invest in the public interest, such as infrastructure and social housing. More than in America, Australians make government provision for those who are unlucky or unfortunate, with disabilities, illness, victims of crime, prisoners, unemployment, or needing services such as electricity, water, hospitals, schools and internet at remote locations. Provision is also needed for the very young and the very old. Shortfall in representation and provision for indigenous people is being considered for affirmative action.
Australians regard themselves as living in a lucky country. The nanny state in Australia attempts to reconcile egalitarian government provision to remote locations. Inequalities of location, between city and outback, are difficult for private businesses to supply equally. Subsidised nanny state services, rather than internal migration, are preferred.
Nanny state provision may not be a panacea, because it can diminish personal responsibility. The irony of the nanny state is reduced self-care. For Australians, this could mean increasing individual taxes and expectation of increased international support for local collective action.
See also my post: Is Australia a Nanny State? April 11, 2023
My novel ‘Turkeys Not Bees’ has a story with individualists in conflict with collectivists concerning sport and pandemic control. Reviews see martinknox.com
I asked ChatGPT the following question.
What social contexts limit affirmative action?
The response, unedited, was as follows.
Affirmative action policies are designed to address historical and systemic inequalities by providing preferential treatment to underrepresented or disadvantaged groups in areas like education, employment, and contracting. However, these policies can face limitations and challenges in various social contexts, including:
- Legal Challenges: Affirmative action policies often face legal challenges, with opponents arguing that they can be discriminatory against individuals who are not part of the targeted groups. Supreme Court cases in the United States, such as Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) and Fisher v. University of Texas (2013), have placed restrictions on how affirmative action can be implemented in education.
- Public Opinion: Public opinion can limit the effectiveness of affirmative action, as there may be significant opposition to such policies. Public perception can influence policymakers and institutions, leading to changes or limitations on affirmative action programs.
- Political Climate: The political climate in a given region or country can affect the implementation and continuation of affirmative action policies. Changes in leadership or political ideology can lead to shifts in policy support and enforcement.
- Resource Constraints: Limited resources can hinder the effectiveness of affirmative action programs. If there are insufficient resources allocated to support individuals from underrepresented groups, the intended goals may not be achieved.
- Stereotyping and Stigma: Affirmative action policies can sometimes reinforce stereotypes and create stigmas, as some individuals may perceive beneficiaries of these policies as less qualified or deserving. This can affect the social acceptance of affirmative action programs.
- Enforcement and Compliance: The enforcement of affirmative action policies can vary, and non-compliance or lack of enforcement by institutions can limit their impact. Without strong oversight and accountability mechanisms, institutions may not fully implement these policies.
- Intersectionality: Intersectionality refers to the overlapping of multiple social identities (e.g., race, gender, socioeconomic status). Affirmative action policies may not adequately address the complex challenges faced by individuals who belong to multiple marginalized groups.
- Backlash: Affirmative action policies can generate backlash from those who feel they are being unfairly treated or excluded. This backlash can create tension and resistance, making it more challenging to maintain or expand these policies.
- Limited Scope: Some affirmative action policies may have limited scope and may not address broader systemic issues such as institutional racism, economic inequality, or educational disparities. Critics argue that more comprehensive solutions are needed to address these underlying issues effectively.
- Evolving Definitions of Diversity: As societal understandings of diversity evolve, there may be debates about which groups should be eligible for affirmative action and which dimensions of diversity should be considered.
It’s important to note that the impact and limitations of affirmative action policies can vary significantly depending on the specific context, including the country, region, and the specific goals and implementation strategies of the policies in question. Public debate and ongoing evaluation are essential aspects of discussions surrounding affirmative action.
My novel Turkeys not Bees abjures social conditioning. On Amazon.
Reviews see martinknox.com
TURKEYS NOT BEES
I wrote this during the pandemic, because I was concerned about government overreach, within a spectacle of profit and votes from health, sport, food, employment and education. My purpose was to expose the bullying and racketeering.
ANIMAL FARM 2
I have updated Orwell’s 1945 political satire, with a sequel in which descendents of the farm animals suffer more totalitarianism, as the World reverberates from events controlled by Russia and the superpowers. My purpose was to reveal bullying and science fakery.
TIME IS GOLD
I wanted to celebrate human success using science, at the frontiers of athletic endurance, with the story of a marathon runner who in the future is able to use Einstein’s Special Relativity in her neural performances and break the World record.
SHORT OF LOVE
The story was conceived as a satirical love story which riffs on the usual conventions of commitment and monogamy, against his career as a high-powered executive, when her activism converges on the same ethical space. It is partly autobiographical.
I wanted to celebrate the honesty of most public servants. An iconic politician confronts a self-seeking government and she mysteriously disappears. A novel transparent forensic investigation strategy is used to find her, exposing and arraigning the culprits.
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS BROWNER
This is speculative fiction, curious about Australia 250 years in the future, during dark times when the outlook for the people seems compromised by exigencies of population growth, energy supply, world trade, climate change, immigration, religion and political conflict. The epic story tells how indigenous national leaders deal with these creatively.
BRISBANE RIVER ANTI-MEMOIR
Coming. I investigate effectiveness of management river flooding.
Available from Amazon. Excerpts and reviews at martinknox.com