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Bottom up thinking from a political party at last

Tim Worstall’s commentary on the new Tory faith in
is funny and perceptive. The main criticism
people make of voluntarism is that people might
not volunteer. Says Worstall:

We currently have several armies’ worth
of people whose paid job is to shepherd the proles into certain
forms of organisation and behaviour. The worry seems to be that if
these roles were devolved down to a community of volunteers, then
they wouldn’t get done. The proles would be unshepherded for the
proles can’t be arsed to do said shepherding.

As he points out, this is a neat case of revealed

We can’t leave people alone to do or not
do these things for they’ll not get done. Excellent, they shouldn’t
be done then!

For the first time in my life, I’ve seen a political manifesto
based on bottom-up, emergent-property thinking throughout. Not
like the old right wing, which wanted bottom-up for business and
top-down for society. Not like the old left wing, which wanted
top-down for the economy and bottom-up for society. Not like
today’s Labour party, which wants top-down,
authoritarian dirigisme for everything.

Well, almost throughout. The Tories still seem to be thinking
top-down on energy, marriage and a few other things.

Still, this Letwinism is the most `liberal’,
people-trusting party platform I’ve seen. Michael Gove on Newsnight (starts at 15.08
was great. I especially like his comment when told police
chiefs are against bering made accountable to elected

The authentic voice of vested interests
throughout the ages.


By Matt Ridley | Tagged:  rational-optimist