Category Archives: Puritanism

Grim smug Leftist performing animal

Self-righteous guru: hell is being preached at eternally by this humourless puritan

Greta Thunberg, writes Dalrymple,

is to self-righteousness and self-satisfaction what Mozart was to music — a prodigy.

But unlike Mozart,

she is an unattractive child, the grimness of her humourless puritanism being inscribed on her face. She has added a vision of hell: being preached at by her for eternity.

Thunberg’s

awfulness (of which she is unaware) is not really her fault. Her transformation into a celebrity is the work of adults.

The exaggerated respect with which her pronouncements have been received

will be a matter of wonder to future generations. She has addressed not only crowds but parliaments, where she has been accorded a mixed status:

  • guru because she has uttered the tenets of a powerful doxa that so many thirst to believe
  • performing animal because she is so young to perform so unexpectedly well

Thunberg’s humourlessness

is a great asset in the modern world, for when earnestness is mistaken for seriousness and gaiety for frivolity, a sense of humour is not only unlikely to flourish, it is likely to be reprehended. Literal-mindedness has become so general a psychological phenomenon that jokes, most of which are directed against someone, are sure to be taken in their most literal meaning.

Humour has become dangerous. But Thunberg is safe; Dalrymple notes that

the very idea of a joke seems alien to her. I suspect that she is one of those persons who is puzzled when people laugh.

The suicide bomber bears no mark of Cain

Ideology makes all the difference

It is unlikely, writes Dalrymple,

that any characteristic or group of characteristics will prove to be pathognomonic of the condition of being a suicide bomber.

Certainly, says Dalrymple,

there are characteristics that appear in quite a proportion. We think of such bombers as second-generation immigrants in search of a cultural identity, who may have led a life of modern dissipation until, in a fit of self-disgust, they give up that life in favour of violent, arrogant and self-important puritanism.

The trouble is that

any characteristic that is found among suicide bombers is likely to be found among many people who are not suicide bombers. The number of dissipated young men who turn arrogantly pious is likely to be a hundred times greater than that of suicide bombers.

Nevertheless,

a religious ideology, vile and impoverished as it might be, is an important cause. Whatever the travails of Moslem immigrants to Europe, they are not objectively different in kind from those of other immigrants from far-off lands. It is ideology that makes the difference.

Dalrymple adds that discrimination between asylum-seekers is very much

in accordance with that unspeakable thing, the national interest.

No such thing as an honest Nigerian

Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 23.56.45There is no such thing as an honest Nigerian is a common Nigerian saying, Dalrymple explains.

I did not find this to be so,

he says (in the course of a discussion of Boko Haram),

at least in the dealings of Nigerians with me. But where there is gross corruption, there are people foolish enough to think that puritanism of one horrible kind or another is the solution.

Age of the puritanical libertines

These chauvinists, who uphold cottaging, for instance, as one of the highest goods and an absolutely fundamental and basic human right,

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Britain’s most celebrated cottaging expert (left). He was to discontinue his practices, which were in any case thoroughly hushed up

want to send to Coventry all those who think that the removal of restraints on conduct is not necessarily a good thing. It brands them ipso facto bigots (as, of course, some but not all of them will be), and is prepared to punish them, so far as is possible, for holding the wrong opinions. Thus are created what one might call microclimates of totalitarianism in which people live in fear: fear of losing their jobs, fear of social ostracism for having said or even thought the wrong thing.

The problem lies

in the human heart — in its lust for power and thirst for domination, in its pride in its own goodness.

Tolerance

is a habit of the heart that is acquired by self-restraint and not merely through a set of political arrangements. If we are not tolerant of those with whom we disagree, we are not tolerant.

We puritanical Gomorrahns

Dalrymple points out that some of the groping of children perpetrated by Jimmy Savile* was visible on television.

These, he says, are

very peculiar times, when on the one hand we are extremely puritanical and on the other we live in a sort of Gomorrah.

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* Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Knight Commander of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory the Great, favourite of the British establishment, beloved of the British state broadcaster.

The lost joys of bear-baiting

Dalrymple believes Macaulay was only partly right when he said the Puritans objected to the sport

not because it gave pain to the bear but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.

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