So Mr Cameron and his team must take heart as they come smack up against the most dangerous and pervasive official orthodoxy of our time: one that is more sinister than the command economy or the surveillance state, more destructive of the common good than easy money or consumerist selfishness. Moral relativism – the idea that no one, and certainly no one in a position of power or authority, may pass judgement on the worthiness of any individual's life choices – is the great beast that will have to be defeated.Watkin traces the defence of modernism in architecture back to Hegelian and Marxist philosophy; to the false supremacy of Zeitgeist that condemns critics of modernistic architecture as “old-fashioned”, irrelevant, anti-social, and even immoral. Staunch in his defence of Quinlan Terry, (not in my opinion a great designer, but a good enough one) Watkin says “The modernism with which Quinlan Terry has had to battle is, like the Taliban, a puritanical religion.”
Modernism in architecture as with moral relativism in society is based not on the primacy of the 'right' of the individual to make their own rules, or set their own standards, but on the suppression of the right of society to set rules and standards against which individuals may be morally judged. I've commented before on the French bourgeois virtues; Assiduité, Economie, Mediocrité, Conjugalité, Temperance,Optomisme, Dynamisme, Modernité, and these are the building blocks of what Cameron means by Responsibility. Please note that modernism and modernity are quite different (ask me if you must) and that mediocrity means something quite different to 'poor quality'. Even rediscovering the vocabulary of morality after decades of moral relativism is clearing the brush from a lost garden.
Be in no doubt that the opposite of responsibility is irresponsibility, and the antonyms of the bourgeois virtues are the vices upon which Beveridge declared war; idleness, ignorance, squalor, disease and want, and just as Cameron is the inheritor of Beveridge's sword so Labour, whose best-intentioned Welfarism has created so much poverty and suffering amongst the British people, are the enemy of a responsible society.