|I think he would call it "all this big society bollocks"|
So i think we established that you wont get someone to do something unless you offer something in return. We have two options. Firstly, we could bribe people into doing what they don't want to do. The more the government want us to do something, and the less we are willing to do it, the more the government will have to give us in return in order to make us comply. Its basic supply and demand. The scale of the Big Society, combined with this much public apathy, means the bill for our bribes is prohibitive. The other option is the long game. To build a real Big Society, one that is not tainted by the poisons of politics, the government needs to create the right environment, and here is how i think they should do it.
David Cameron wants the people of the UK to do his job for him. We have established that there are some people who will jump at the chance to do this, i call them the "Committeemen". The Committeemen are no where near enough in quantity, or quality, to achieve the lofty goals of the Big Society project. So how is he going to do it?
To answer this, i think we need to look at the question "Why does anyone do anything?". A difficult question, but one i like to answer with the help of Maslow and his hierarchy. Be prepared for a chicken and egg situation.
Maslow's hierarchy is a visualisation of the needs of a human being. As a hierarchy, the theory is that we must satisfy the lower, fundamental, needs before being able to advance to the higher, more productive, needs. I believe it the role of an effective welfare state to provide every citizen the opportunity (but not the right) to satisfy the highest need; Transcendence.
Transcendence, plus two other needs, were added by Maslow to his hierarchy which is why you may not recognise it as part of the traditional hierarchy that is most often published. It is defined as follows; "Maslow's self-transcendence level recognizes the human need for ethics, creativity, compassion and spirituality". On seeing this definition, it is clear why it is in the best interests of a welfare state to give opportunities for its citizens to achieve it.
|Mr Cameron...here is your new coalition agreement|
What i am basically saying is, happy people will be more numerous, more willing, and more productive, community volunteers. We need to invest in a system that promotes the effective satisfying of all of Maslow's needs. This society wont need Cameron's big plan, it wil have a plan for itself. Anyone for chicken and egg?