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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 4, No. 10. September 18, 1941

Reasons for Progress

Reasons for Progress.

But the evidence in this book leaves one with little doubt that New Zealand has built up to-day a system of social services equalled by very few other countries. At first sight it is rather difficult to understand why this should be so. One can hardly regard it as the result of an unusually highly developed moral, cultural or political consciousness on the part of the typical New Zealander, who, as Dr. Sutch points out, might be rather unkindly described as one who thinks "that H. G. Wells is a scientist, Cezanne is a corsetiere, and that Marx had brothers." Nor does it seem altogether reasonable to asscribe it to the peculiar inspiration and genius of New Zealand politicians. A fact which is of obvious importance, however, is that those interests in New Zealand which have opposed progress in social services are less fortunate than their counterparts overseas in that they have neither an established church nor an aristocracy which can lend to the status quo the sanctions of the Scriptures and Debrett. However, it might be dangerous to draw from this too rosy a picture of the future of colonial democracy—Grey's description of the Old Age Pension Bill of 1882 as "a blow at Christianity itself, a blow at the family, an attempt to make every single individual a part of a great Communistic society," has a depressingly contemporary ring.