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The politics of civil societyNeoliberalism or Social Left?$
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Frederick Powell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347640

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347640.001.0001

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Civic virtue and social reform

Civic virtue and social reform

(p.63) Three Civic virtue and social reform
The politics of civil society

Frederick Powell

Policy Press

This chapter examines the role of civic virtue in shaping social reform, the cradle of social policy as a discipline, and the political Zeitgeist that inspired the welfare state. It discusses the great struggle which took place between Marxists attempting to create a new subjectivity through the revolutionising of the working class, and anti-Marxists committed to social reform. It notes that the politics of welfare is a modern utopian narrative of an attempt to create a more virtuous society. It explains how, inherent in the emerging welfare state, was a fusion between state and society. It explains that utopian ideals of human welfare were turned on their head in the new dystopian regimes that evolved into totalitarian societies based on fear. It adds that democracy and civil society were eliminated.

Keywords:   civic virtue, social reform, social policy, welfare state, Marxists, anti-Marxists, utopian ideals, human welfare, democracy

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