The welfare state is a fundamental institution in our modern era. The need for the welfare state is even more necessary in the current century. The emergence of the modern state can be found in both industrialized societies and communist societies as well. In Islamic history, the concept of welfare was introduced 1400 years ago when Muslims conquered Medina city and set the foundation of the first Islamic welfare state.
What is the Welfare State?
The word “Welfare” originally referred to a type of assistance that supports the poor and vulnerable in our society. More recently welfare has come to be a general term for a comprehensive range of social assistance programs designed to help families with many needs, including those identified as associated with, or an impediment to, a healthy and productive life.
“Welfare” means a program that offers support and protection to people in need. Unlike other types of social programs, welfare doesn’t typically provide direct assistance to people. Instead, it provides them with the resources they need to meet the challenges that they face in their daily lives. From a developmental perspective, the modern state is an essential institution in any modern society.
The History of the Welfare State
The welfare state has existed in several ancient civilizations. The Babylonian empire was the first empire to have such a state. Some Western scholars have assumed that the Babylonian state had a close connection with a version of European capitalism. However, we should consider other points.
Babylonian society was quite competitive, with strong patriarchal hierarchies and paternalistic rules. The prosperity of the Babylonian economy was mostly based on slavery and the production of minerals, which required huge amounts of labor and goods. An average family received one-third of its income from production.
Although the Babylonians gave unprecedented attention to public health, their economy was also strongly dependent on wars.
Why is the Welfare State Necessary?
The modern state is necessary because it is termed as an essential institution in our modern society. Welfare states have also developed in recently advanced societies and in former communist societies, following the transition to a market economy.
The Welfare State is the only way to guarantee that the poor are treated as people. It also ensures the human dignity of the people, prevents the social parasites from stealing the wealth of the taxpayers, and promotes a culture of peace and harmony. It Builds Stronger Society and the Virtues of the State
For society to develop, to achieve stability and a middle-income standard of living, it is indispensable to promote the welfare state.
The Future of the Welfare State
The welfare state has become more of a market-oriented system, with different models for certain national circumstances. The Chinese welfare state is not only changing its models but also has come under significant pressure due to its rapid development. Despite increasing opposition from the public, the government adopted a new philosophy of “social protection” to successfully deal with the growing needs of the country.
After the failure of state-led capitalism, which caused the biggest economic debacle in history, the Chinese leadership has been trying to shift from a “command and control” model to “principled” market-based reforms. But what this suggests to the Chinese people is that their state has been getting increasingly entangled in its citizens’ private affairs.
Through the influence of the Welfare State, the framework of ideologies and social ideas is also formed. Socialism is upheld. So vibrant state is necessary in order to harmonize all of the political spheres.
This article explains how the welfare state fosters a culture of wellbeing on the one hand, and how, on the other hand, the culture of greed, theft, and extravagance is formed. It concludes that it is the process of the social mind itself that brings about the transformation of the socialist culture into a vicious capitalist culture.
Modern states are considered a very vital institution in modern society. Its presence ensures the rights and obligations of all citizens as individuals, and also ensures that the state does not become authoritarian in a paternalistic sense.