Category Archives: social justice

Brexit bungled. Corbyn coming!

New red dawn

Britain braced for full socialisation

Thanks to the Brexit imbroglio, writes Dalrymple, England

could soon be Venezuela without the oil or the warm weather. The stunning incompetence of the last two Tory prime ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May, might result in a Labour government, one led by Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has long admired Hugo Chávez for having reminded him—though not the people of Venezuela—what governments can do for the poor and the achievement of social justice.

British culture: a form of ruminant grazing

The terrible deterioration in the character of the English

The decline of religious belief, writes Dalrymple,

which provided a basis for personal responsibility, occurred at the same time as a decline in Britain’s world power. Intellectuals, impotently enraged by this, mocked at every value and belief, without providing alternatives. Unlike France, which remained the standard-bearer of a language and a culture, Britain was turned into a province, a deep humiliation for a country which had been metropolitan for two centuries.

Young Britishers

have been deliberately deprived of any knowledge of British achievement: they know nothing of Shakespeare and Dickens, Newton and Darwin, Brunel and Lister. They know of nothing of which they can feel proud.

In the absence of a system of values, says Dalrymple, adolescent revolt

has become a permanent state of mind.

The lack of belief in anything

is compensated for by shrillness, as if noise could fill the void.

The trouble with Britain is not the government. It’s the people

The malaise, Dalrymple points out, is not confined to an underclass.

Every week I meet members of the middle classes who consider themselves victims of some injustice or other in order to lend significance to their lives. They are only victims in the sense that Marie Antoinette was a shepherdess.

The attempt to find transcendent meaning in social justice

destroys or perverts aesthetic appreciation: for how, it is asked, can beauty and injustice subsist in the same world? The aggressive ugliness (not mere lack of taste) of the mode of dress of many of my younger patients, especially those with intellectual pretensions, is intended to provoke the very rejection that will then be used to justify the resentment that gives meaning to otherwise meaningless life.

Essentially personal dissatisfactions (of the kind attendant upon life) are projected on to society as a whole. This

has its advantages: it absolves one of the often painful necessity of self-examination. But it breeds the angry passivity that is now almost a national characteristic.

The sullenness of many of Dalrymple’s young patients

is not mere adolescent rebellion, it is a permanent condition: they will not grow to courtesy. They do not have the dignity or self-respect of previous generations which have known suffering that is not self-inflicted.

Abominable Britons and their grievances

The ideal of social justice, writes Dalrymple, is

corrosive.

It has been

etched on to the psyche of the British. It has become the good that is the sine qua non of all other goods.

If society is unjust,

anything goes. The assumption of personal responsibility can be postponed until social justice (always defined by its absence, for defining it positively is rather difficult) has been attained.

Britain’s lumpenintelligentsia at play

The soul of modern British youth: half Jellyby, half Marie Antoinette

The Glastonbury Festival, writes Dalrymple,

is a mass gathering not of youthful idealists, but of moral and intellectual hybrids of Marie Antoinette and Mrs Jellyby.

The festival, Dalrymple explains, is

a large gathering of the British lumpenintelligentsia come to celebrate its appalling taste in music, in a place vaguely associated with druidism, the healing chakras of the earth, Hopi ear candles, that kind of thing: ideal for people who claim to be spiritual but not religious.

It often rains during the festival. Dalrymple comments:

Rain improves the behaviour of young British people: it discourages them from leaving their homes. (Rain is also almost the only prophylaxis nowadays in Britain against crime.)

This year at the festival, the lumpenintelligentsia

was addressed by Jeremy Corbyn. He enthused the massed ranks of youthful idealists by telling them that another world was possible. It was, for when they departed Glastonbury, they left behind them so much litter in this corner of rural England that it made a rubbish dump in Mexico City seem like Switzerland.

The Glastonbury mob contentedly wallowed in this rubbish

for days. Horrified by CO2 emissions and rising temperatures, they failed to notice what was about their very feet, and certainly did nothing about it. They slept contentedly among it, too exhausted by their idealism and labours of licentiousness to apply their minds to anything as lowly as the litter that they dropped, as cows defæcate in fields. It was for others to pick up their rubbish after them: that is what social justice required.

Dalrymple notes that among British youth,

mass concern for social justice and the fate of the planet is combined with indifference to immediate surroundings.

The lumpenintelligentsia also, Dalrymple points out,

plays at being prole, though never with the intention of remaining at the bottom rung of society for any length of time, let alone permanently (and certainly not economically).

British youth, says Dalrymple,

have gone further in self-proletarianisation than any other I know. In their imitation of the proles (which they think virtuous), they demonstrate how they really conceive of them: vulgar, dirty, coarse, and foulmouthed. Genuine proletarians are, or were, not at all like this—not en masse, not as the lumpenintelligentsia now is.

What’s in it for us?

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 14.23.35Much of the argument about whether to stay in the European Union turns, writes Dalrymple, on whether people

will be better or worse off if their country stays or leaves, and especially whether the country derives more benefit from its membership than it pays for.

This, he says, is undignified, since it implies that

if we get back in subsidies more than we put in, this is an argument for staying.

Perhaps this is not surprising in Western countries, where

social justice has come to mean a large proportion of the population living at the expense of the remainder of the population.

Modest proposal for addressing a grotesque disparity

Deaths from leukæmia in children have fallen by 38 per cent in boys but only by 20 per cent in girls, it is reported, underlining patriarchy’s utter callousness. How to tackle this intolerable situation? The answer, writes Dalrymple, is to

withhold treatment from a proportion of the boys with leukæmia, since the disease is now often curable. This will restore the balance, the status quo ante. Letting more boys die of leukæmia will serve the cause of equality and therefore of justice.

How to carry it out? Dalrymple says:

The most economical way, especially in these times of financial stringency, is to deny life-prolonging medicine and procedures to a proportion. This is obviously preferable to the alternative — compulsory euthanasia.

Léon Cogniet, Scène du massacre des Innocents, 1824. Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes

Equality, social justice and public health: Léon Cogniet, Scène du massacre des innocents, 1824. Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes

Growing might of Hindustan and Cathay

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 22.16.44Public life in the corrupt and decaying societies of the West, writes Dalrymple,

is frivolous without gaiety, earnest without seriousness.

Western economies such as Britain’s

cannot compete with India and China in cost of labour, of course.

But the success of India and China is based not just on cheap labour but on

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 22.27.21a powerful combination of cheap labour and an educational system that is far more serious than Britain’s.

While the British

are so obsessed with supposed social justice that they are prepared to tolerate any degree of mediocrity, India and China foster talent in a very Darwinian fashion, in the hope and expectation that everyone will benefit in the long run.

Michel Houellebecq's Les Particules élémentaires (1998) in English translation

Michel Houellebecq‘s Les Particules élémentaires (1998) in English translation

The stage has been reached where there is practically

nothing that the British can do better than the Indians and Chinese [other than binge-drinking].

At the same time Westerners, and especially Western Europeans,

have destroyed all forms of social solidarity other than handouts from the state.

Westerners are left with

an atomised society in which no one feels he has any duty to anyone else. Widespread social, or rather antisocial, disturbances are the result.

Brutal institutionalised sentimentality

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 09.12.52Dalrymple points out that

sentimentality and hardness of heart are two sides of the same coin.

Ersatz feeling and indifference

Dalrymple explains how when sentimentality

Hollywoodian ersatz feeling elevated over appreciation of reality, masking utter indifference

Hollywoodian ersatz feeling elevated over appreciation of reality, masking utter indifference

is made the basis of policy, its denial of reality and its elevation of ersatz feeling over appreciation of reality leads straight to bureaucratic indifference.

The ideology of assistance allocated by need irrespective of desert

This orthodoxy, writes Dalrymple, is a sentimental one that

empties life of meaning and is a pretext for hard-heartedness of pharaonic proportions.

The elimination of desert as a criterion of allocation of resources

Ani's heart weighed against a feather: judgment of the dead in the presence of Osiris, papyrus from the Book of the Dead of Ani. From Thebes, 19th Dynasty, c. 1275 BC

Ani’s heart weighed against a feather: judgment of the dead in the presence of Osiris, papyrus from the Book of the Dead of Ani. From Thebes, 19th Dynasty, c. 1275 BC. British Museum

destroys both compassion and empathy. Need can be measured by checklist, but the assessment of desert cannot. It requires judgment, moral and practical.

The demand for no compassion at all

To regard everyone as equally in need of compassion

is the same as regarding no one as in need of compassion, for it is not humanly possible to sympathise equally with the unfortunate and the villainous. The demand for equal compassion is the demand for no compassion.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 09.54.50At the heart of the sentimental doctrine lies

hardness of heart, as well as lack of realism.

Dehumanisation

The sentimental

dehumanise the objects of their supposed compassion by denying them agency or full membership of the human race.

Baroque age of self-harm

We live in

Leonardo da Vinci, Le proporzioni del corpo umano secondo Vitruvio, c. 1490. Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Leonardo da Vinci, Le proporzioni del corpo umano secondo Vitruvio, c. 1490. Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

the baroque or rococo age of self-infliction. One of the reasons for the growth of self-infliction is the failure to recognize its existence even as a possibility.

In the outlook that refuses in the name of compassion to make a judgment,

the villainous are victims of upbringing, social injustice, neurochemistry. Self-infliction cannot exist.

But Man is

not only a political animal, he is a judging animal. To pretend to make no judgments is to make a judgment, and one with bad consequences.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 10.07.11

Delirious joy of rioting and looting

Panama City

Panama City

A day out that combines the pleasures of destruction with those of moral indignation

Dalrymple recounts that while working as a journalist, he once reported on a riot in Panama City

in which I saw middle-class people throwing bricks through windows and making bonfires in the street. I recognised one of the rioters dining in an expensive restaurant that same night.

Baltimore

Baltimore

Rioters, writes Dalrymple, are

a self-selected group, who are fully aware of what rioters are likely to do.

He points out that in the London riots of 2011, rioters

smashed and looted every store in a street except the bookstore, the only one to remain with its windows and stock entirely intact. The rioters had no use or desire for books.

London

London

And when eventually the police,

who took a long time to intervene, arrested some of the rioters engaged in the gravest actions, it turned out that the majority had serious criminal records.

During the Parisian riots of 2005, the rioters

burned thousands of cars belonging to people very similar to themselves, and who lived in the same area as they.

Paris

Paris

This, Dalrymple points out, was hardly

the manifestation of an acute sense of injustice. If anything, it was a manifestation of wounded amour propre, for the rioters would never have rioted against the kind of injustices that people such as they committed every day.

The rioters

expect from the authorities a completely different standard of behaviour from that they exhibit themselves: they are children, the authorities parents.

 

 

Why you should want to be operated upon by a three-parts-drunk imbecile of a surgeon

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 21.12.04You may die as a result of the procedure, indeed you may die painfully, but you will have the consolation of knowing that you are part of a society that is appalled by the discrimination suffered daily by surgeon-cretins and other downtrodden groups, such as Islamists, a society prepared to act to correct these injustices. Dalrymple puts it this way:

Social justice is social justice, and not good surgery. The achievement of such justice requires that we all be prepared to make sacrifices for it: a botched operation is a small price to pay for the satisfaction of knowing that surgeons are demographically representative of the population as a whole.