The “Disgrace” of the Majority

For anyone who still believes that the modern European intelligentsia is committed to representative government, Dalrymple points to a new Guardian essay that demonstrates otherwise:

An editorial in the Guardian on October 25 exposed the nature of what often is called “the European project”: a goal that those pursuing it never state out loud. In brief, it is the construction of a huge power bloc under the domination of a self-perpetuating political class and its auxiliary nomenklatura, free of the most minimal democratic oversight or constitutional restraint.

Read the piece here

12 thoughts on “The “Disgrace” of the Majority

  1. Louise

    Maybe Western societies should remould themselves in China’s image.

    Of course, the first thing the citizens of these nations would have to relinquish is democracy.

    Good luck with that one.

  2. Jaxon

    Well, it would appear to me that China’s remoulding of itself in the modern Western image has been quite simply breathtaking.

    It is rich coming from someone who I, rightly or wrongly, pretty much assume to be something like a sexual deontologist (there’s certainly no shortage of them, and judging by the sentiments you have expressed on this blog.. well, you’re surely at the very least an apologist for them) the “good luck” suggestion that it is I, or likes of myself primarily, who is opting for a non democratic future.

    For the record, when I say Liqun seems reasonable, it is not a foregone conclusion (he did begin by making blatant claims about being neutral and non political, avoiding ‘sensitive issues’ etc) but more than that it’s relative, look at the bigger picture, and it is very big.

    Even if we take the cynical view that Chinese leaders would look upon the starvation of its people with indifference I ask you.
    What triggered the ‘Arab Spring’? As I understand it, it was largely the price of basic necessities that pushed them beyond endurance.

    Just how much unrest do you think some eight hundred million, or more, could cause, not least if their leaders are subsidising ‘subprime’ mass profligacy in other countries?

    You are given to compartmentalisation (and much of the bad faith it usually sevices I’m quite sure) this is why you say ‘Good luck with that one’ as if the consequences of bad life choices (the ‘moral hazard’) roughly proportionate to the national deficit can be isolated and arrogated away indefinitely. You’re wrong!

  3. Louise

    ‘It is rich coming from someone who I, rightly or wrongly, pretty much assume to be something like a sexual deontologist (there’s certainly no shortage of them, and judging by the sentiments you have expressed on this blog.. well, you’re surely at the very least an apologist for them) the “good luck” suggestion that it is I, or likes of myself primarily, who is opting for a non democratic future.’

    Please provide evidence for this.

    It seems that you know less about me than you know about China’s recent history.

  4. Henry Reardon

    Unfortunately, this is not the first article I’ve seen pf this kind.

    I read an article at the BBC website the other day criticizing Papandreou’s proposal to have a referendum in Greece about the austerity measures that would be inflicted on the public and seeking their consent. Apparently, most of the European media and elites were equally critical of having a referendum.

    That just stank of arrogance and elitism to me. I was left with the impression that the elites are simply contemptuous of having ordinary people have their say when their “betters” obviously believe they’ve got the problem of the Greek debt crisis well in hand.

    I thought it made great sense for Papandreou to go to the Greek electorate so that they could choose whether to support the austerity measures. It seemed like the kind of initiative that would help Greeks realize that the government either had to restrain its expenditures or prepare for a profound change in the way Greece relates to the world, such as leaving the Euro zone.

    By eliminating the involvement of the citizenry, the Greek leaders make it likely that the citizenry will become alienated from their governments and view them simply as a class that inflicts the will of the elites on the majority with the majority’s consent. It seems likely that ordinary Greeks will not feel as if they are all in this together but will simply operate in their own individual interests and remain indifferent to the fate of the citizenry or country in general.

  5. Jaxon

    Thank you for replying Louise; how do you feel about the following (from Tough Love by TD)?

    “This failure of recognition is almost universal among my violently abused women patients, but its function for them is somewhat different from what it is for the nurses. The nurses need to retain a certain positive regard for their patients in order to do their job. But for the abused women, the failure to perceive in advance the violence of their chosen men serves to absolve them of all responsibility for whatever happens thereafter, allowing them to think of themselves as victims alone rather than the victims and accomplices they are. Moreover, it licenses them to obey their impulses and whims, allowing them to suppose that sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things and that prudence in the selection of a male companion is neither possible nor desirable.”

    Feel free to enlighten me about China

  6. Jaxon

    I don’t really follow the news and it surely makes a lot of sense what you say about the danger of alienating the citizenry but consider what TD says here

    “When the crowd tried to storm the Greek parliament, shouting, “Thieves! Thieves!,” its anger was misdirected. It was a classic case of what Freudians call projection: the attribution to others of one’s own faults. It is true that the Greek politicians are much to blame for the current situation, and no doubt many of them are thieves; but their real crime was not stealing, but offering a substantial proportion of the Greek population a standard of living that was economically unjustified, maintained for a time by borrowing, and in the long run unsustainable, in return for votes. The crime of that substantial proportion of the Greek population was to accept the bribe that the politicians offered; they were only too prepared to live well at someone else’s expense. The thieves were not principally the politicians, but the demonstrators.”

    What alienates more than anything else is sexual selection, I think Rabbi Sacks wrote well on this in The Great Partnership, especially with the term Sexual Anomie.

    Anomie, if I’m not wrong, tends more to be associated with the dehumanising effects of mechanised labour, scientific management; and indeed I think there is genuine cause for concern here but the production line has been a great liberator to those who don’t use their leisure time to pursue expensive habits. I.e a man, say, getting into debt, pretending to be something he’s not, to impress a woman (women) – she has an exquisitely (though wrongly) calibrated sense of her sexual worth, if she has to settle for someone lower in the pyramid of desirable men than she ‘deserves’ much of her life will be devoted to exacting compensation for such a grievous evil; they will both do what they can to see that the government cooperates.

  7. Jaxon

    I do wonder just how much of the Euro ‘elite’ is something like a revenge of the Clerks… Berlusconi being something like a ‘Tarleton’.

    To quote John Carey (The Intellectuals And The Masses)

    “Despite these Nietzschean noises, all Shaw actually subscribed to was woolly-headed socialist mysticism of a perfectly harmless variety, according to which a benevolent power called variously the `Life Force’ or `Nature’ was at work in the universe, struggling to evolve a higher type of human being (Superman) who would be more intellectual and less obsessed by sex than the current model – in fact, remarkably like Shaw himself.

    It was the duty of humans, Shaw preached, to aid the efforts of the Life Force by practising eugenics, which would `eliminate the Yahoo’. The scientific and socio-legal details of this elimination, Shaw left vague. In practice his ‘Vitalism’ amounted to no more than admiration for forceful people and genial scorn for weaklings and failures.

    The clerk, Julius Baker, who bursts in on the wealthy Tarletons’ country-house weekend in Misalliance belongs to both of the last two categories. His mother was seduced years ago by the elder Tarleton, and he has come armed with a revolver to seek revenge. He gives Tarleton a lecture on the miseries of clerking -‘the most damnable waste of human life that was ever invented’ – and announces he is going to shoot him because, ‘I’ve had enough of being talked down to by hogs like you, and wearing my life out for a salary that wouldn’t keep you in cigars.’ However, Baker is easily disarmed by one of the women guests – ‘That’s a clerk all over’, he wails. `Beaten by a female.’- and the male Tarletons bully him into signing a confession, though he snivels that if he had eaten their food (‘grub’ in clerk’s slang) and had their lessons in boxing he would be able to withstand them. In the event his hand is shaking too much for him to sign anyway. By these means Shaw identifies Baker as lacking in the Life Force.”

    Hogs like Farage?

  8. Jaxon

    George Monbiot, is perhaps the Guardian’s most ‘successful’ blogger; to quote:

    “Academic research suggests a link between advertising and both consumer debt and the number of hours we work. People who watch a lot of advertisements appear to save less, spend more and use more of their time working to meet their rising material aspirations. All three outcomes can have terrible impacts on family life. They also change the character of the nation. Burdened by debt, without savings, we are less free, less resilient, less able to stand up to those who bully us.”

    “We are not born with our values: they are embedded and normalised by the messages we receive from our social environment. Most advertising appeals to and reinforces extrinsic values. It doesn’t matter what the product is: by celebrating image, beauty, wealth, power and status, it helps create an environment that shifts our value system. Some adverts appear to promote intrinsic values, associating their products with family life and strong communities. But they also create the impression that these values can be purchased, which demeans and undermines them. Even love is commingled with material aspiration, and those worthy of this love mostly conform to a narrow conception of beauty, lending greater weight to the importance of image.”

    But thinking of what TD has said about connotation; here’s GM (2004).

    “So when this bunch of johnny-come-lately foreigners arrives next month with their newfangled talk of “virginity” and “abstinence”, I urge you chaps to lock up your daughters and send them on their way. It’s up to the older generation to keep our young whippersnappers off the straight and narrow.”

    and what about this?

    Perhaps had Mr Cumming’s girls, whippersnappers, had the sort of sex education that GM is so keen on they could have thoroughly enjoyed themselves without the scourge of falling pregnant.

  9. Louise

    Ah, yes. This took place on the psychiatric ward devoid of any genuinely ill patients.

    How effective is the psychiatrist who refuses to grant his patient the luxury of being judged as an individual.

    I cannot see in the passage you have quoted any justification for this:

    ‘It is rich coming from someone who I, rightly or wrongly, pretty much assume to be something like a sexual deontologist (there’s certainly no shortage of them, and judging by the sentiments you have expressed on this blog.. well, you’re surely at the very least an apologist for them) the “good luck” suggestion that it is I, or likes of myself primarily, who is opting for a non democratic future.’

    Again, I would welcome clarification.

  10. Jaxon

    I think it is quite reasonable to ask me for clarification (maybe even at the best of times).

    There may be no justification for what I wrote – that is for your conscience, something (unlike a lot of people I believe) you’re presumably not so afraid of, seeing that you take at least some time to keep track of this blog – I wish more people would read TD, obviously.

    Clarification, well, perhaps you understand that by sexual deontology I’m referring, in essence, to this “…sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things”

    Oh… what the heck, and this

    “Taking the line of least resistance, as she had done throughout her life, she had consented to have a child by a man whom she knew to be thoroughly unsuitable as a parent. Indeed, she had known him to be violent and drunken even before she went to live with him, but she still found him attractive; and she lived in a society that promotes its own version of the Sermon on the Mount—Sufficient unto the day is the attraction thereof.”

    I think that’s a fair description of society (I could be more specific than suggesting the whole of society subscribes to such lunacy, but I don’t think society deserves it, not even on account of my virtue) the elevation (in the minds of most people anyway) of sexual attraction to the status of something like a categorical imperative. The notion that in such a society a psychiatrist doesn’t come into to contact with much of the human fallout from this is utterly untenable.

    Take Gaddafi – was he mentally ill when he was murdered? I would say actually he was pretty far gone. To say “genuinely ill” is to suggest that there are those who are not genuinely ill ergo, presumably, primarily responsible for their actions.

    Was Gaddafi such a man, say, twenty years ago? I know very little about him, but I’d guess yes, and twenty years before that? More so. I’d say that to the extent that he became genuinely ill… well, to quote TD

    He knows that Macbeth shall sleep no more. He has committed himself to such a treadmill by his initial act of evil…

    …Time’s arrow flies in one direction only. On several occasions, Macbeth makes reference to the unchangeability of what has already been done: a disconcerting thought when incontinent public confession is all the rage, as if mere words automatically undid harm and made bad good. Evil, once committed, has an inescapable logic of its own, as Macbeth famously discovers:

    I am in blood
    Stepped in so far that should I
    wade no more,
    Returning were as tedious as
    to go o’er.

    I’d say Gaddafi had a rather bad conscience – maybe a bad case of years of
    “Stop up th’access and passage
    to remorse”
    maybe he was psychopathic – couldn’t feel empathy, from the day he was born, I don’t know, I’m very wary of such notions

    ‘genuinely ill’ doesn’t automatically mean innocent – it maybe that a persons’ descent into madness can tell us much about the society in whic


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