Wednesday, 17 December 2014

There's a very simple solution to this moral conundrum, compassion-mongers: Part II

Following on from yesterday's post about the avowed willingness of the politically enlightened to see their (and everyone else's) taxes squandered on "free riders" - i.e. those thieves who screw us all by living off benefits because it's easier than working for a living - here's part two:

What many left-wingers don't take account is the moral havoc they wreak by supporting a scattergun, non-judgmental welfare system which traps many able-bodied people and their families in chaotic, unfulfilling, worthless, shoddy lives. Obviously some Labour politicians and Labour party supporters are only too aware of the human damage done by policies they've been supporting for most of their lives. The ones who feel guilty, I suspect, are those who belong to an older, more decent socialist tradition (which owed as much to Christianity as it did to Marxism) whose goal was to genuinely empower the working classes to improve their own lives by providing them with the means of getting  a decent education, proper housing, wages that would do more than barely sustain life, and to provide a safety net for hard times and old age.

But of course, there was a moral dimension to all this - apart from addle-pated Fabian Society utopianist intellectuals and vicious, class war-preaching communist agitators eager to exterminate the boss class and the hated bourgeoisie, many British socialists were essentially puritans who dreamed of the lower orders leading decent, respectable, dignified Christian lives full of quiet devotion, family and community togetherness, and lots of intellectual and moral self-improvement.

But the Polly Toynbee tendency and student radicals (i.e The Enlightened) had no interest in any of that moralistic nonsense, because, ultimately, they didn't really care about the working classes as human beings - they were merely weapons in The Enlightened's war against the greedy rich and, more importantly, the complacent, uncompassionate, well-off middle classes. As long as the state confiscated money from the better-off and gave it to members of The Enlightened's pet victim groups, that was all that mattered - the aim was not to allow the working classes to lead orderly, industrious, fulfilling lives free from want, but to spread discomfort and guilt amongst The Unenlightened, thus reinforcing the Toynbeeites' sense of their own moral superiority. Essentially, what had started as a crusade to improve the lives of the poor had become an excuse for upper-middle class intellectuals to punish the unintellectual middle and lower-middle classes - in other words, the real motivation was snobbery.

Then, in the 1980s, a significant section of the working class in the east and south-east of  England got fed up with the socialist elite casting them as victims and decided they'd be far better off voting for someone who was genuinely interested in helping them improve their lot: Margaret Thatcher, who was neither upper middle-class nor particularly intellectual, and who thus earned herself the undying hatred of the left-liberal elite. The Enlightened turned their attention to creating a whole host of new victim groups to slobber over: the LGBT community, Muslims, blacks, the disabled, etc. There was no longer the slightest thought given to bettering working class lives: their role was to keep voting Labour (at least, in the North, and in Wales and Scotland), to provide employment for caring, middle-class public sector "workers" (ah, bless!), and to drain money from the productive sectors of society. As a result of all this, a small underclass grew into a large one, and ennervated millions who might have led useful lives were consigned to the  dependency scraphead. Very sad.

So, if a left-liberal ever suggestes to you that a large, semi-criminal, workless underclass is a price worth paying in order that no one should be in want, do feel free to slap their silly, smug, selfish face.


  1. Any book subtitled "A Mean - Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion" is worthy of investigation.

    Review here :

    1. I hadn't heard of it, but it sounds absolutely spot-on - and it's available on Amazon UK as a Kindle download. I'll save it for January, when I'll no doubt be feeling mean-spirited again. As Theodore Dalrymple is always pointing out, galloping left-liberal sentimentality is at the heart of most of our social and political troubles these days.