Honey I Shrunk the State

  • Mike KingEmail author
Part of the CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance book series (CSEG)


What size the public sphere? This question goes to the heart of politics since the Quaker John Bright (1839–1922) was a parliamentarian as well known in the middle nineteenth century as Gladstone and Disraeli. Bright is important to the Quaker tradition for representing its ‘small government’ branch of political thinking, in contrast to George Cadbury (1811–1889), founder of the chocolate business, and whose legacy in political thinking leans much more to ‘big government’. This is partly a question of how we find the balance between private goods and public goods. This chapter suggests that it is useful to consider Karl Marx and Milton Friedman as respectively representing extremes of thought on this issue and that Quakers can help discern between the legacies of Bright and Cadbury by considering how close Cadbury’s legacy might be to Marxian thinking compared to how close Bright’s legacy might be to Friedmanite thinking. The state pension is used as an example of a public good to help explore this question.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London Metropolitan UniversityLondonUK

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