Ball Hogs

Those who know Dalrymple’s inclinations might wonder why he would write a second piece in a few months on accusations of racism on the soccer field (er, that is, the football pitch). The intro to the essay, in City Journal, explains what’s at stake:

Whether racism or radical egalitarianism was responsible for more deaths in the twentieth century probably permits of no definitive answer. What is certain is that both acted as ideological justifications for mass murder carried out with unprecedented ruthlessness, efficiency, deliberation, and intellectual self-consciousness. As ideologies, however, racism and radical egalitarianism have had very different fates. Egalitarianism remains intellectually respectable, untainted by its bloody past and espoused by many decent people; racism is not tolerated even in its tiniest manifestations, and the term “decent racist” seems a contradiction in terms. It is perfectly acceptable today to utter slurs on the character of those born rich merely because they were born rich, but racial slurs are consigned to an infinitely worse moral category.
Unfortunately, sensitivity to slurs can become hypersensitivity to them, which in its own way can be as pathological as the insensitivity of those who utter them. A man who disregards others’ feelings becomes brutish by habit; a man who focuses too closely on his own feelings falls in love with grievance and constantly seeks a cause for it, becoming fragile in a way that lacks good faith. This insincere, self-aggravating fragility tends to confer great power on authority—which gladly assumes the duty to protect the feelings of the fragile, for then it will have the locus standi for almost infinite meddling. Two recent incidents in English professional soccer, a sport not known for the delicacy of its players’ feelings, illustrate this point perfectly.

2 thoughts on “Ball Hogs

  1. Jaxon

    On the subject of equality, I hope this isn’t too far off topic, just that I’ve been reading Sense and Sensibility, and I quote.

    “Lucy was naturally clever; her remarks were often just and amusing; and as a companion for half an hour Elinor frequently found her agreeable; but her powers had received no aid from education, she was ignorant and illiterate, and her deficiency of all mental improvement, her want of information in the most common particulars, could not be concealed from Miss Dashwood, in spite of her constant endeavour to appear to advantage.

    Elinor saw, and pitied her for, the neglect of abilities which education might have rendered so respectable; but she saw, with less tenderness of feeling, the thorough want of delicacy, of rectitude, and integrity of mind, which her attentions, her assiduities, her flatteries at the Park betrayed; and she could have no lasting satisfaction in the company of a person who joined insincerity with ignorance; whose want of instruction prevented their meeting in conversation on terms of equality, and whose conduct towards others, made every shew of attention and deference towards herself perfectly valueless.”

    Pompous, no doubt… but rather splendid I think. There’s only one thing for it of course, the Elinor’s of the world must be ‘equalized’.

    Reply
  2. Jaxon

    On the subject of equality, I hope this isn’t too far off topic, just that I’ve been reading Sense and Sensibility, and I quote.

    “Lucy was naturally clever; her remarks were often just and amusing; and as a companion for half an hour Elinor frequently found her agreeable; but her powers had received no aid from education, she was ignorant and illiterate, and her deficiency of all mental improvement, her want of information in the most common particulars, could not be concealed from Miss Dashwood, in spite of her constant endeavour to appear to advantage.

    Elinor saw, and pitied her for, the neglect of abilities which education might have rendered so respectable; but she saw, with less tenderness of feeling, the thorough want of delicacy, of rectitude, and integrity of mind, which her attentions, her assiduities, her flatteries at the Park betrayed; and she could have no lasting satisfaction in the company of a person who joined insincerity with ignorance; whose want of instruction prevented their meeting in conversation on terms of equality, and whose conduct towards others, made every shew of attention and deference towards herself perfectly valueless.”

    Pompous, no doubt… but rather splendid I think. There’s only one thing for it of course, the Elinor’s of the world must be ‘equalized’.

    Reply

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