Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Labour Party Advocates Buying Off the Barbarians: The Decline of the Welfare State Enters a New and Dangerous Phase

The world has watched the horrifying pictures from London the past few days of mostly black young people rioting. It looked amazingly similar to the mostly white young people rioting a few weeks ago in Vancouver. There were no chants or homemade signs and no leaders giving speeches, yet the BBC, in a classic example of media manipulation of public opinion, called them "protesters."

It was not a political event; it was post-political. The police don't know what to do because the politicians who give them orders don't know what to do. In fact, the politicians are basically irrelevant at this point. They certainly have contributed to the problem by enacting policies whose effects were to destroy the family, make an entire underclass dependent on the state and replace education in the classical sense with group therapy. But they are irrelevant because, although their policies can tear down and destroy public morality and family structures, what was destroyed cannot be replaced by public policies. As Christopher Dawson said with reference to the fragility of culture, what took 1000 years to build can be destroyed in a few days.

Nihilism is not pretty. When the masses take Bloomsbury moral relativism seriously the results are ugly. When religion is scorned, Christianity is oppressed, hedonism is celebrated and freedom redefined down as licentiousness, one simply has to expect riots like these ones.

There came a moment in the history of the Roman Empire when the Roman political elite knew that they could not afford to pay for enough legions in enough different points along the borders of the empire to defeat militarily the barbarian tribes because there were too many tribes in too many places. They then switched strategies and moved from trying to crush them with military might to trying to buy them off.

In the following clip, Harriet Harman, the deputy leader of Labour is on TV with Michael Gove of the Conservative Party. With the riots still going on she can't resist criticizing the coalition for spending cuts as if there was a link between the cuts and the riots. Gove is furious and doesn't let her get away with it. Now, he was legitimately angry at the way she sought to score cheap political points out of a human tragedy and appear to justify, at least in part, the actions of the mob. But there is a deeper point to be taken from her comments. I'd say she represents the political establishment that is frightened by the mob and wishes to do whatever has to be done to buy them off. She is the voice of the Generation of '68 that is all out of ideas and does not know what to do. She tries to come off as righteously indignant, but doesn't quite manage it.

I would suggest that Harman is the face of the liberal welfare state establishment that is now tottering precariously under the weight of its own contradictions. The European superstate is going broke and its leaders are desperately afraid of democracy lest the voting public demonstrate its disagreement with their Utopian statism.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the American Left couldn't have picked a less auspicious moment to try and sell voters on what a swell idea it would be for the US to undergo "fundamental transformation" in order to become a European-style social democracy. The next election will likely bury the Left for a generation in the US; whether or not it is too late for the UK remains to be seen but portents are ominous.

The problem with barbarians is that they cannot be bought off for long. Why in the world should they behave nicely in order to be paid by the State to sit on their hands when they can simply take what they want whenever they want it? Have they not been educated in school to indulge their sexual desires as soon as puberty hits? Is that not the point of liberal sex education? "Just use a condom dear and have a nice time." Having learned that delayed gratification is not cool, why not smash that window and take the wide screen TV right now? If you are taught that you are entitled, how do you know when to draw the line? Who knew that there were lines?

The supposedly liberal, (but really creeping socialist), big-government, high-tax and spend, welfare states of the modern West have created a dependent underclass of barbarians by policies that undercut the family, eviscerate education of discipline and promote moral relativism and an entitlement mentality. Now the problem is what to do with them.

What is truly sad is that left-wing politicians like Harriet Harman actually are shocked because after all they have done for young people, these young people act like this. But they are so trapped in their own, little worldview bubble that they have no way to make sense out of the world as it crumbles around them. They can give no rational account of the problem except to say: "We need to spend more, drive the country deeper in debt, double down on multicultural relativism and demonize Christianity, traditional morality and the inculcation of self-discipline even more." Any other ideas? Didn't think so.

It is apparent that President Obama is, like Harman, totally bereft of ideas. During the debt ceiling debate the purported "adult in the room" was reduced to preaching class warfare and making partisan speeches with an eye to his re-election campaign when the country teetered on the brink of a shutdown (it was never even close to default). In this clip, Republican congressman Lankford offers up a great quote. With reference to Obama's class warfare rhetoric in his debt ceiling speech carried live on national TV on July 29, Lankford said: "It felt like he was saying grab your pitchforks and run to a rich guy's house and take his stuff because he's the problem or she's the problem." It comes early in this clip.

In the UK there was almost 14 years of this same class warfare rhetoric from the party in power and the Coalition is only mildly more conservative; in many ways it carries on the same line. And of course the establishment of the British welfare state has been an on-going project for over 60 years. The US may a little way to go before its capital erupts in flames but if the anti-rich rhetoric continues it is inevitable that the same thing will happen in the US as has happened in Canada and the UK.

Lankford sounds prophetic; Obama sounds desperate. Harman sounds scared. There is the progression for you.

It is pitiful and tragic. We shall all pay the price for a half century of creating an entitlement mentality in young barbarians whether we were in favor of it or not.

1 comment:

S Masson said...

One of your best posts.