The governmental philosophy and political changes which occurred in the United States from about the mid 1960’s onward, the type which fostered the belief that an all knowing all caring state would serve it’s citizens interests best, led directly to what is often referred to as the creation of the “Nanny State“, and indirectly to our inclusion into the UNWG. In fairness to Europe it should be said that the Europeans always seemed to be on the leading edge of the curve, a generation or more ahead of the U.S. in this important area.
The EAB takes a somewhat divergent view on the type of state brought into being and hence disagrees with the given name. It wasn’t a “Nanny State” that was being created, but a “Mommy State“. A Nanny might work eight or ten hours a day doing the bidding of her employer. The Nanny, almost always being from a lower economic stratum than her employer, would generally have had harsher and more rigid ideas concerning what was right or wrong in childhood behavior, and the appropriate penalties for transgression upon the same. “Spare the rod spoil the child.” would be typical, and unless given explicit instructions to the contrary was likely to test such theories in practice. They weren’t just theories to the Nanny, after all that was how she had been raised. The children, (citizens for short), obeyed out of self interest. When they reached a certain age, (the age of majority), the former children were on their own and the Nanny no longer had any direct control over their actions. With a little luck though, some of the lessons stuck.
The government, unlike a Nanny but instead like some kind of Super Mommy, a Soccer Mommy on steroids, had to decide that the only proper course was to institute policies which would keep the children safe 24 hours a day, safe both from external sources of harm and from those it felt the children might bring upon themselves. And there was no age of majority; an eternal childhood, we would all become as Peter Pan. A Government of the Government, by the Government, and, most especially, for the Government. Try substituting the word Mommy for the last three instances of the word Government in the previous sentence, it has a certain ring. It was done for the children and all of us were and always would be children. There were bad parents and something must be done.
Since we were children and hence incapable of independently determining right from wrong; as so many Mommies knew, it was a foregone conclusion that we could hardly be held responsible for our own actions. And as we were not responsible it was unfair to punish us for doing wrong things. Punishing us would make us feel bad and more importantly make Mommy feel bad. It was much better to control our lives in such a manner that bad things just couldn’t happen. If bad things still happened it was a very minor exercise in logic to prove that the controls were insufficient. And of course a Mommy can always tell what is right for her children. So long as she is doing something which minimizes or eliminates the worry on her part concerning the safety or well being of her children, (and we are all her children), then it must be right.
Why the profound shift in American attitude in the second half of the 20th century? A number of factors suggest themselves. Universal suffrage giving mommies the vote plus the increasing role of government on all levels, the horrendous loss of life caused by two world wars, the rise of the scientific method, or rather the pseudo-scientific method as trendy intellectual fashion replaced tradition, were just a few of those factors. And another, often neglected cause, was the decline in family size. With fewer children per Mommy each child must receive that much more care. With more per capita wealth and longer life spans there came an ever increasing feeling that there was more than enough of all things material for society to distribute the surplus for the benefit of all. Politicians, being politicians, could always tell what type of changes would lead to their increased power, some even managed to convince themselves it wasn’t power they sought but the ability to do good. And so, of the two major parties in the U.S., one was for rapid adoption of the Mammy State on principal because it would lead to more power, and the leaders of the other party could never quite make their aversion to the Mommy State overcome their greater aversion to a possible election loss. On both sides then the overpowering truth was, “In Principal we have no Principal but Power.”, and that was the only important principal . And thus we were ripe for inclusion into the UNWG.
The United Nations World Government gave over all shelter and a place to shift the blame for those things, and they were legion, for which politicians did not wish to assume responsibility. After all it was better to live with a few minor inconveniences and curtailment of liberty than risk a possible worse fate by not joining with the majority of the rest of the world. And being non judgmental regarding the policies and practices of the other governments in the UNWG was taught to be an indication of the highest form of virtue. Fraternity, Equality, Diversity. Except as Orwell knew some were more equal than others. And thus the road to serfdom, but very affluent and happy serfs we must be.
After all, this protection from harm was something which needed doing. The United States had very severe and easily recognizable internal problems. As Michael Crichton once pointed out with 4 % of the worlds population producing 20% of the worlds output, (economic globalization was just getting underway), we needed 50% of the worlds lawyers. Those lawyers were responsible for over 95% of worldwide monetary damage suits and for an even larger percentage of monies recovered, almost all such judgments being rendered by United States courts. The need for such suits were attributable to either corporate or professional malpractice. Equality of outcome must be achieved. There should be no pain. After all what kind of a Mommy can watch unfeelingly while any of her children do poorly or suffer discomfort? It was obvious that something needed doing and the politicians, Mommies, and ruling classes, for somewhat different reasons, decided the “Mommy State” and the UNWG were the answers.
For additional commentary see: Dissidents and Opposition to the UNWG.