Dalrymple has a new essay for City Journal that discusses Stephen Griffiths, the violent British criminal and diagnosed psychopath who was accepted by the University of Bradford into its doctoral program in “homicide studies” (at taxpayer expense) and then became a serial killer. Dalrymple touches on the institutional and intellectual climate in which such a thing can occur, but his essay focuses more on the British media’s characterization of Griffith’s victims not as “prostitutes” (which they mostly were) but as “sex workers” who were supposedly not engaged in what everyone knows to be an inherently risky and sordid activity. In the process, Dalrymple offers one of his most concise descriptions of the modern liberal mind:
What lies behind these mental contortions? It is a form of sentimentality, a mask for a deeper indifference, according to which people who suffer or have led unhappy lives must be transformed into blameless victims so that we can pity them. It is as if, were they to have contributed in any way to their own situation, all sympathy for them would have to be withdrawn or abandoned. And since the liberal wants to be seen, particularly by his peers, as a man superior in compassion to everyone else, he uses all his powers of rationalization, generally increased by many years of education, to establish that such and such a group of people is without blame and thus suitably—indeed, necessarily—an object of his moral generosity. If, in the process, he comes to conclusions repugnant to common sense, so much the worse for common sense.
Read it here
Hat Tip: Mary C. and Shishir Y.