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Unemployment – Make Gentle The Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy” – Maxwell Taylor Kennedy

January 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Economics, Extremism, Ideology, Policy, Progressive Politics, Quotes

The root problem (of unemployment) is in the fact of dependency and uselessness itself.

Unemployment means having nothing to do – which means nothing to do with the rest of us. To be without work, to be without use to one’s fellow citizens, is to be in truth the Invisible Man of whom Ralph Ellison wrote.

The answer to the welfare crisis is work, jobs, self-sufficiency, and family integrity; not a massive new extension of welfare; not a great new outpouring of guidance counsellors to give the poor more advice.

We need jobs… that lets a man say to his community, to his family, to his country, and most important, to himself, “I helped to build this country. I am a participant in its great public ventures. I am a man.”

RFK’s prose means that he’s frequently remembered as the most ideological of the 1960s liberals, but this is historical revisionism. Ideologically speaking, Bobby would have been a member of the ‘Labor Right’. He was vilified by his contemporaries on the left for his principled opposition to communism and the welfare state. His economics and his values were very much of the progressive centre. He would have been a strong advocate of mutual responsibility had the term been used at the time.

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