Thursday, 15 June 2017
Nice, but dim?
In the past twenty-four hours I have been told I am a moron. I am also a disgusting person, as it happens. If both are true I plead ignorance; only following orders, etc. I’ve always found it curious how quick people are to label others as somehow beneath contempt while simultaneously providing an excuse for their lack of wisdom or morals. There is generally no point in disputing the charges and especially not in hurling back equally intemperate epithets, but it’s interesting sometimes to examine the claims.
Moron /ˈmɔːrɒn/ early 20th century (as a medical term denoting an adult with a mental age of about 8–12): from Greek mōron, neuter of mōros ‘foolish’. Well, most of this is refutable holding, as I do, several higher education awards and having lived a varied life of independence from the assistance of others. The foolishness, I grant you; I have made poor choices and endured their consequences, but who among us can claim otherwise? But, on balance, I’m not sure my being a moron would hold up in court as defence for my disgustingness. But wherewith comes that?
I admit, somewhat, a lack of general empathy for my supposed fellow humans, but then I have never been an advocate of equality at any cost and while I clearly see difference, I see no reason to pretend that diversity is an unalloyed good, especially where it also brings such obvious strife. The news media recently celebrating the diversity of the dead, whether by knife or truck or fire, are hardly covering themselves in glory as they simultaneously fuel the prurience and exploit the biddability of the masses, but, lest we forget, I’m the disgusting one here.
Yet I have killed nobody, threatened nobody and – while some may wish to tell themselves otherwise – I have refrained from hurling the spitting abuse which comes so readily to my detractors. This is the burden of pragmatism; I accept human frailty and see no reason to hide that acceptance. Why should I dress up my observations of humans reverting to the animal type they are just to meet some arbitrary notion of how kinder, gentler political minds think we ought to behave?
For instance I think that, yes, we should have subsidised housing to allow lower paid workers a decent place to live near where they toil. But I know that corruption would create favouritism in allocation, sub-letting would let in private renters or high earners in public office would seek to take advantage, as Bob Crow did. I would love to raise wages so that a working couple could afford bring up a family on a single wage; but I know that this will put millions out of work as industry seeks cheaper labour elsewhere. I’d like to cap fuel and food prices but I know that this would create shortages as providers decline to meet a demand which would not pay them for their effort.
Shiny happy people... and all of them broke.
The dream of plenty for all is just that, a dream. Maybe in some throwback commune where small numbers of people live in tribal harmony such equitable division of wealth is possible... but somehow every example of communal living is also an example of people eschewing much of the trappings of modernity. Maybe you can be nice but not rich, or else rich but not nice? Or, maybe, you can be both rich and nice as long as don’t openly enjoy the fruits of your success? When the left decide what they want and realise what we can afford maybe we could come to an arrangement other than what we have now. Failing that, keep pissing on those chips.