Much political behaviour can be interpreted as the pursuit of more or less naked self-interest. Occasionally, though, individuals do apparently exhibit some concern for their fellow human beings. The result is a less cold and dismal world – and one in which moral philosophers can find a role. Our focus here, however, is more on practical problems than philosophical ones. We shall be less concerned with questions of what moralists should demand of people than with questions of how such demands could be enforced upon people. Specifically, we will be asking how it is possible to evoke from people support for policies aiding those less fortunate than themselves. We propose to address this question by exploring the sources of support for the most broadly-based institution presently available for promoting social justice, the welfare state.