Sunday, June 26, 2005

Life at the Bottom, the Worldview that make the Underclass by Theodore Dalrymple

Dr Daylrymple served for years in "inner city" London, and wrote these essays over the years about the horrors he saw, and the reason for the horrors--a deadly sickness of the soul. Why does a girl shack up with a succession of men she knows will beat her? One such asked the doctor for advice, and he offered to--provided she let him veto potential boyfriends. She laughed--they both knew how easy it was to identify unsuitable men, with their violent messages literally tattooed on them--but she'd ignored it before, and she ignored it still.

Once the underclass had some pride, had some rules, took care of their own. This isn't rose-colored history, but a matter of record. Now in the name of charity they are pushed into idleness; in the name of social justice they are given irresponsibility; in the name of sensitive education they are left to ignorance and illiteracy; in the name of liberty encouraged in sexual license and to ignore family; and enticed by the endless glamour of the ads to feel that pleasure is their birthright.

One third of the population of Britain lives in this hell. They've no skills (amazingly few even know how to cook anymore), they're perpetually aggrieved, and they have no sense of family obligations--the government takes care of children, right? The dole provides a bigger house than their ancestors dreamed of, but the lives inside are hideous.

And so Brittish society reverses H.G. Wells' vision from The Time Machine--the idle, carefree ones become the Morlocks.

Read the book. The same forces are at work in our country too. And yes, Dr. Dalrymple is a very good writer.

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