Saturday, 13 November 2010

Jesse Norman on Big Society

What is Big Society? A political philosophy that says there are unimaginable reserves of social energy beneith society and that government can play an important role in liberating them - helping people to help themselves and developing social capital says Jesse Norman in this week's Politics Weekly podcast from the Guardian.

Man's natural state is to be in society. Man is a social animal, and that's where you get that linkage to social habit for example, and the missing ingredient you get if you follow that line of thought through is that it starts with 'habits', continues with 'practices' and ends up with 'institutions'.

The criticism is therefore that the state versus individual - or traditional view - misses out this crucial third element of 'institutions' - and those are the things which give people's lives point, purpose, energy and meaning - whether its the local church school you send your children to, or Manchester United football club.

All explained in his book The Big Society.