Feeling like a bit of a rant (you have been warned...)
At a discussion group in the other night, I received an incredulous response to my semi-flippant comment that the rioters on British streets were the Blair generation at play, fulfilling the inevitable outcomes of New Labour policies.
Now I said is it in a sense of fun, and to provoke some sort of response, but I was a bit shocked to hear some people suggest that New Labour bore no responsibility for the decay into a situation where we had an entire generation who were schooled to believe they were all rights with no responsibilities. What I found particularly stunning about this, was that some of the youths who were interviewed used Labour Party election slogans such as “give respect, get respect” to justify their desire to smash anything representing authority figures, or indeed anyone in their own community who could anyway be considered slightly better off than they were.
The problem with the ideologues who constantly propound further and further expansion of the welfare state mentality, is that their very ideology blinds them to the incredibly overwhelming evidence of the failure of their programs. There are people on the radio every day trying to suggest that families in a downward spiral because they have been welfare dependent for multiple generations will magically have their problem solved if the government provides yet more welfare. Considering that many African l leaders are screaming for a dimunition of the aid/welfare cancer that is destroying whole societies, it is hard to fathom how such fantasist’s can keep banging their head against such an obvious wall. The more hard-nosed ideologues have quietly abandoned such pathetic excuses for political programs as Marxism and Communism (and in that category I include Nazism – as I have never understood how a Nationalist Socialist People’s Party can be any different from any other form of socialist ideologue party regardless of whether they are supposedly left or right wing), and snuck into the new traps for gullible voters such as the equally nihilistic Greens movement. But the truly stupidly idealogical stick with the unrestricted Welfare State and governemnt control of everything.
The problem is that any absolute solution will absolutely fail. Absolute monarchy, absolute democracy, absolute socialism, absolute welfarism, and even absolute anarchy, are all theoretically advantagous in some circumstances… at least in principle. But all are ideological positions that will be hoisted by their own petard. Black and white simplistic solutions lead to misery and chaos and horror. End of story.
In reality all human interaction is in shades of grey, and any structure that will allow humans to participate, express themselves, and evolve, will be a compromise of different elements.
Now I have nothing against the ideals of limited socialism. I certainly believe that there should be a safety net for basic items such as education and health. But it should be a safety net, set at the minimal necessary standards, and with as many inducements to escape out of it as it is possible to devise.
By contrast of the morons who believe that the safety net should be the one and only standard that must apply in every case, are actively attempting to destroy their own society. I constantly read idiots claiming that the state education system should be as good as any private school, or at least that all private schools should be forced to be as bad as your average state school, as if this will improve the human condition. Apart from destroying diversity, and dragging everything down to the lowest possible common denominator that can be easily controlled by central bureaucratic structure, this is simply a recipe for dis-engaging as many people as possible. It is appalling for instance, that the teachers unions who push this cretinous concept have slowly dismantled all the technical schools, and trade schools, and agricultural institutes, and elite academic selection schools, that actually catered to diversity and allowed young people to follow a path that fit their capacaties and which (horror) they might even enjoy: and replaced them with a lowest common denominator one size fits nobody solution. And some of them actually do believe that this will help people!
In Australia the most surreal version of this is what our ideologues have done to Aboriginal communities. First, in the name of better conditions for workers, they destroyed the preferred casual employment of Aboriginal workers, throwing entire generations out of work in their own communities. Their solution to this created problem was then to give these same people “sit down money” to ensure that they did not try and find any alternatives. Simultaneously, in the name of ethnic diversity, they gutted the school system, forcing much teaching into obsolete languages and skills, to ensure that the sad remnants of ancient cultures could have no place in the modern workforce. Then, in the name of fighting racism, they set up socialist ‘communities’, supposedly run by tribal elders, which reflect both the worst elements of Communistic Collectivism, and the worst elements of barbaric political thuggery. Naturally many of the political aparatchik's who run the system, mostly to their own benefit, shout loudly and often for more and more money: but the real independent leaders and forward thinkers in the community’s are desperate to escape this socialist ideal world.
I was teaching ancient culture at a school recently, and used to the examples of Australian Aboriginal tribes to compare warmer climate and cold climate survival techniques. I was amazed and fascinated to have a couple of students comment that many Australian politicians seem intent on trying to force modern Aborigines into a sort of historical zoo where the supposed elegance of the noble savage lifestyle can be theoretically protected. The scathing disdain expressed by 13-year-olds for what was being done to Aborigines in the name of socialist ideology gave me a momentary hope for future generations.
I am now is somewhat more convinced on them when I originally made a flippant comment, that the riots in Britain are representative of what the British Labour Party has been trying to achieve for so long. Despite the apologists who parade around pretending that these people have no stake in the society and therefore no hope, this is not a case of a political movement by Blacks, or Asians, or Muslims. This is in fact a social movement by everybody who has been told for so long that their lives are all about rights, and that they have no responsibilities, because they are outsiders: that even university educated teachers and social workers are participating.
It is simply not correct to suggest that these people are in any way united by race, or religion, or class, or income. But I think would be fairly safe to suggest that the vast majority of them, from the 11-year-old girls, to the 30-year-old civil servants, are safe Labour voters from safe Labour seats. And certainly the overwhelming majority of them are in the age group that did its schooling at the time when New Labour was force feeding them the anti-social self-righteous claptrap that has been such a hallmark of the destruction of a functional school system.
They are indeed the Blair generation.