HOMEPAGE FOR JOHN J. RAYJust 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
Alternate site for my blog
My academic home page
Book on the motivations of Leftists
List giving access to all my academic papers
Backup list of my academic papers
Menu of my more recent writings
Documents of interest
More documents of interest
Yet more documents of interest
The Wicked one speaks
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 email@example.com 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
In the Army
I am very pleased and proud to have been an army man -- even though my service was in Australia itself and hence in no way dramatic
And my son Joe taken on Xmas day 2005:
There are a couple of slightler earlier pictures of him here
Jenny, mother of Joe
My stepson Paul with his magnificent wife Sue (See a note here about Paul and me)
My most recent wedding -- to the magnificent Kathryn
And the kind lady -- Anne -- who is putting up with me these days
Celebrating the birthday of a poet (with haggis) on my verandah with Anne and Jill
And who's that guy hiding underneath the Panama?
It is I with my gorgeous stepdaughter Susan on her wedding day
And when you are dealing with twins, you have to be very careful so here is a picture of my other gorgeous stepdaughter, Von
They look as different as chalk and cheese but they are in fact twins -- and I think the world of both of them
And here we see my backyard as it long was -- in an Autumn view photographed by Anne
And the extraordinay winter display put out by the self-seeded Cassia tree outside my back door
And a genuine Edwardian Tantalus in my living room -- given to me by a little sweetheart
Getting to the bottom of the barrel now! A medley (collage?) of photos of myself taken around the turn of the century when I was slimmer -- note the ethnic dress!
And a photo from about 1980 of my father with my second wife (Joy) for comparison with the coffee-drinking photo of me just above. A strong family resemblance, I think.
Index page for this site
FULL DETAILS OF BLOGS BY JOHN RAY:
"Tongue Tied" blog (Backup here)
"Dissecting Leftism" blog (Backup here)
"Obama Watch" blog (No longer being updated -- Backup here)
"Dissecting Leftism" blog (Backup here)
"Australian Politics" blog (Backup here)
"Gun Watch" blog (Backup here)
"Education Watch International" blog (Backup here)
"Socialized Medicine" blog (Backup here. No longer being updated)
"Political Correctness Watch" blog (Backup here)
"Greenie Watch" blog (Backup here)
"Food & Health Skeptic" blog (Backup here)
"Eye on Britain" blog (Backup here)
"Immigration Watch International" blog. (Backup here).
"Leftists as Elitists" blog (Not now regularly updated -- Backup here or here)
"Marx & Engels in their own words" blog (Not now regularly updated -- Backup here or here)
"A scripture blog" (Not now regularly updated -- Backup here or here)
recipe blog (Not now regularly updated -- Backup here)
"Some memoirs" (Occasionally updated -- Backup here)
"Paralipomena" (Irregularly updated. Not backed up)
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 (Backup here).
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. 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: