This deserves a thread on its own:
Apparently, in bad, old, Dickensian England, where classic liberalism ruled and Manchester capitalism destroyed peoples lifes and souls there you could not throw a stone without hitting a charity.
Also, capitalism had made England so rich that people were considered to be poor who weren´t anywhere else.
Government, in an effort to improve it, killed that system.
Before large-scale government and employer health insurance, friendly societies played an important part in many people’s lives. In some countries, half the population was covered by such societies. Many of these societies still exist. In some countries, they have been incorporated into the health system and become like insurance companies and lost their ceremonial aspect; in others they have taken on a more charitable or social aspect.
In their heyday, members typically paid a regular membership fee and went to lodge meetings to take part in ceremonies. If a member became sick they would receive an allowance to help them meet their financial obligations. The society would have a regular doctor who the member could visit for free. Members of the lodge would visit to provide emotional support (and possibly to check that the sick member was not malingering). When a member died, their funeral would be paid for and the members of their lodge would attend in ceremonial dress?often there was some money left over from the funeral for the widow. Friendly societies also had social functions such as dances, and some had sporting teams for members to participate in. They occasionally became involved in political issues that were of interest to their members.
Surprisingly, England in the Victorian era had a social welfare system that was both fairly comprehensive and independent of the government. Most of us draw our impression of conditions in Victorian England from the novels of Charles Dickens?and the situations that Dickens described were so bad that the word ?Dickensian? has come to mean oppressive, uncaring and inhuman. Something that needs to be noted here, however is that Dickens was what the Victorians called a ?Social reformer? or what we would probably call a ?socialist?. His novels are, in other words, political propaganda that concentrates on the failures of the system rather than on its successes. And because they are such good novels, they have been very effective in discrediting the Victorian system.
In truth, however, even in the modern era of universal government welfare payments we can still find people living in ?Dickensian? conditions?for one obvious instance, the Australian Aborigines. All systems have some weaknesses and concentrating on the worst cases tells us nothing about how well the system works as a whole. Had Dickens been writing today, he would probably be describing terrible situations caused by the actions of heartless government bureaucrats. So let us now look at what history tells us about the Victorian system rather than at what the novels of Dickens tell us about it…
I am posting this because Vroom posts again and again and again
that only government can protect people against injury or illness, as if no infinitely more efficient system had ever existed and as if we had to accept servitude to not have people dying on the streets.
This assumption is wrong.[/b]