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Dalrymple’s justification…UPDATED

August 9, 2011

From WSJ in June 2011

Theodore Dalrymple worked as a prison doctor and psychiatrist in Britain for 15 years. He’s known serial killers, petty thieves and everything in between. As he puts it, with a mischievous grin, “I’ve probably spent more time in prison than the average murderer.”

To ask [garden variety convicts] why they steal, he says, “is like asking you why you have lunch.” They want something, so they take it. “And since in Britain,” he adds with a smirk, “the state does very little to discourage [thieves],” or to incarcerate them when they are caught, “the question is not why there are so many burglars, but why there are so few.”

The writers angst over why there are riots in London really should be shock that there haven’t been more of them, sooner

I’ve been reading Dalrymple for over a year, and so the riots in London were not a surprise to me. His writings are chilling in what happens to a society that has been neutered from protecting itself and criminals know ‘help is not on the way’

Brendan O Neil, a self-proclaimed British liberal author writes

This is not a political rebellion; it is a mollycoddled mob,….[in the vein of the mob on which Napoleon]  cynically built his power base among parts of the bourgeoisie and sections of the lumpenproletariat, so that “ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie rubbed shoulders with vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, brothel-keepers, organ-grinders, ragpickers, knife-grinders, tinkers, beggars and from this kindred element Boneparte formed the core of his [constituency], where all its members felt the need to benefit themselves at the expense of the labouring nation”. In very different circumstances, we have something similar today …

We know the plot lines over history that have repeated themselves – alliances like these at some point rip themselves to pieces, turning back first on the idealists, next on potential threats to someones’ power from within, finally on the leaders in the movement themselves. Whether the Reign of Terror or what played out under Lenin and Stalin…academically excused brutality is a genie very difficult to put back in the bottle once released….witness “A Tale of Two Cities” or “Les Miserables” …

Dalrymple continues:

Having a purpose is usually a good thing. “One of the problems of our society,” Dr. Dalrymple says, “is that many people don’t have a transcendent purpose. … Dr. Dalrymple argues that the welfare state, Europe’s form of civic religion, deprives its citizens even of the “struggle for existence” as a possible purpose in life.

Back to Brenden O’Neil:

The youth who are shattering their own communities represent a generation that has been suckled by the state more than any generation before … in these riots, looting and smashing stuff up is all there is. It is childish nihilism….Many older members of the urban communities rocked by violence have been shocked by the level of self-destruction exhibited by the rioters…

Not if they were paying attention …

UPDATE: The autosave and posted versions got inverted. Mea culpa for re-editing

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2011 8:06 am

    Pascvaks – agree. “Man is basically good” (since when? what history are you reading?!?) or “there is no God but you should be good to others” or my personal favorite “survival of the fittest, but humans don’t deserve anymore than any other species” (um, if they’re not ‘as fit’, aren’t we doing our preordained evolutionary job?) or “survival of the fittest, but be nice to people because it’s the right thing to do…although I’m not sure by what code it’s right or wrong because ther’es no universal truth”
    these are intellectuals?

  2. Anonymous permalink
    August 10, 2011 6:07 am

    Spock to Kirk regarding the machine planet V-ger, “Jim, V-ger is asking ‘Is this all that I am? Is this all that there is?'”

    Humans really are very simple minded, at least we usually think so. Consider a moment the age old question, why did we create God out of nothing? Was it, perhaps, the age old problem of not having all the answers and instinctively knowing that someone must? But, on the other hand, if God wasn’t our invention and we were actually his and we don’t have very many answers to very much at all, why do we think there’s a simple answer to everything?

    To place all our faith in the State is stupid. Guess we’ll just have to invent God all over again. Ain’t life a beach? Nooooooo.. it couldn’t be that simple, could it?

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 10, 2011 6:26 am

      Thought I was still logged on, mea culpa.

      Pascvaks

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