Public services and individual liberty.

The issue of  the mother and baby homes has been in the news lately. Questions have been asked why did we treat women and babies badly in the past. There are politicians who declare that this must not happen again. The role of the Church and the state has been raised in the Dail.  The Social Democrats have called for the separation of church and state in  the Dail. I hope that we as  a society move towards greater liberty.  I hope that we don’t move from one form of of authority figure towards another type of authority figure. If we as a society in  the morning remove the Church from education and health care we  need to insure that a new elite will not take over.

The state could move in to providing for education and health care directly. The state could be  more interested in looking after its own interests instead of looking after the interests of the person. The state could use the health care system and the education system to control the individual. The state could be more interested in making and saving money instead of the freedom of the individual. We don’t want one group of people replacing another group of people.

Even if the state respects the individual there are other groups besides the Catholic Church that would want to control the individual. If our educational and health care systems were  to be handed over to a private company then they will seek to make as much money as possible. They could seek to control the individual. Health care and education are public services. To turn  them into businesses you would need government subsidies to keep them going. A  business in  the open market makes a profit through the laws of the market. A  business that makes money because a government forces everyone to use its services isn’t operating in the free market.

If  we want to separate church and state to  increase individual liberty then we must insure that what replaces it isn’t another form of control. Do  we want to replace one set of authorities with another set?  There are good people in every organization. There are people who seek to help out of a sense of compassion. To restrict  freedom in  the name  of saving souls, or  saving the health of a person or to save money treats the individual as if they are a child instead of an adult who has the freedom to make decisions even if these decisions are good decisions or bad decisions.

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Author: irishfabian

I am a member of the Irish Labour Party in Cork East.

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