Category Archives: prigs

There’s no prig like a little prig

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 09.04.55An unpleasant 10-year-old is monkey-trained by her parents before appearing on TV to read out, from a page in front of her, politically correct fatuities.

Dalrymple’s reaction:

I was appalled by her. She had the air of a prig, a know-all and a robot all at the same time. Clearly she had been tutored, for I do not believe any 10-year-old would have found the date of the introduction of compulsory seatbelts by herself. She was put up to it.

Dalrymple is reminded of

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 09.06.28Pavlik Morozov, the Soviet boy who, according to legend, was killed in 1932 by his grandparents after he denounced his father to the authorities. He was reputed to be a fervent supporter of the collectivisation of agriculture. The story was a fabrication, but at least Pavlik was supposed to be 13 at the time of his death.

Little Charlotte’s

head had been filled with ideology about health and something called wellbeing. One could easily imagine her denouncing her parents to the health police for having given her a chocolate biscuit.

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The world is rotten but I am not

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The student prig’s moral grandiosity has a coercive quality, for he has liberated his inner totalitarian

Such, writes Dalrymple, is what the student prig, in his self-importance and complacency, wishes to communicate.

The student prig’s chief aim is to convey

the militant purity of his heart and soul. The world is rotten, he is saying—but I am not. I am pure. If the rottenness continues, it won’t be because of me.

Awareness of his virtue shines from the student prig’s face.

He glows with it, virtue for him consisting of the public expression of the correct sentiments. Virtue requires no discipline, no sacrifice other than of a little time and energy, instantly rewarded by the exhibition of his goodness.

The painlessness of virtue as the expression of correct sentiment is its chief attraction for the student prig.

Who would not wish to achieve goodness merely by means of a few gestures, verbal or otherwise? In that way, you can avoid genuine self-examination.

The student prig

feels a youthful impatience with the intractability of the world, hence a desire that its problems should be solved by symbolic means. This desire partakes of magical thinking: incantations will bend reality in the desired direction.

The student prig’s

moral grandiosity has a coercive quality. His virtue gives him the locus standi to dictate to others for the good of humanity. The expression he wears is that of someone who has liberated his inner totalitarian.

Well, much may be forgiven youth, says Dalrymple. But what is craven is

for older people in positions of responsibility to surrender to youth, even if the once in their lives that they were young happened to be in the 1960s.