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Mini-Essay: Module 2: Part A

Welfare states became the dominant state form in the global North after World War II
because of industrialization, class struggle and Keynesian economic theory. We will see how
industrialization created denser populations which allowed people to recognize their collective
fate and to organize in big groups to fight for rights. This is the class struggle between the
working class and the elite, and until it is addressed and rectified there will not be social order.
We will also look at Keynes and how he thought capitalism could be fixed by moving away from
the free market ideas of Adam Smith.
With industrialization came mass urbanization and cities began to grow to a point of
having great population densities because that was where the work was. The work was long,
payed very little and was dangerous and grueling. As we learned in the first half of Uluortas
first lecture for this module, this density helped people begin to realize their collective fates and
were able to organize in greater numbers to fight for their civil, political and social rights.
According to Marx and Engels until this struggle between the working class and the elite class is
resolved there will not be social order.
Later on the Bevridge Report in Britain and the Marsh Report in Canada suggested that
the nation had an obligation to care for those that cannot provide for themselves and to educate
the masses. (Uluorta, Lecture 1, Part 2). This was taken seriously but again, the struggle between
the working class and the elite created a need for compromise in the education system to appease
the needs of both. As we can see a compromise between the classes is what appears to lead to
social order.

In the Marshall reading it is argued that until everyone has civil, political and social rights
this class struggle will remain and fixing the class struggle is still the aim of social rights
movements today. (Marshall, 153). Civil rights lead to political rights and they in turn lead to
social rights. Keynes seems to have helped provide an answer to beginning to provide these
rights.
Marx and radical democrats question if capitalism and liberal democracy are even
compatible. (Kellogg, 36). The compromise were looking for is provided for by Keynesian
economics. The only way to save capitalism, he argues, is to give social rights. (Uluorta,
Lecture 1, Part 2). He believed that the free market cannot work in the 20th century and that
unemployment leads to social disorder and is the biggest evil facing capitalist society. (Uluorta,
Lecture 1, Part 2). He proposed to fix this by compromising between the classes with a mixed
economy of both a free market and government intervention. This is the welfare state.
Welfare states became dominant in the global North because of historical, economic and
ideological factors. We entered a period of industrialization that led to population densities and
the mass organized dissatisfaction with the situation of the working class. In the 20th century free
market capitalism was no longer viable and led to mass unemployment, the big downfall of a
capitalist society. The ideology of class struggle exemplified by Marx created a dissatisfaction
among the working class with the elites. These three factors led to the adoption of the welfare
state proposed by Keynes. It provides better working conditions, pay and hours for workers. It
helps to alleviate high unemployment levels and it provides a compromise between the classes.
We choose to be governed because we want social order. (Uluorta, Lecture 1, Part 1).
Social order is only possible with a compromise between the classes and the welfare state

provides that compromise. This is why the balance of class power and the elaboration of social
rights triggered the formation of welfare states.