Monday, July 28, 2008

A double dose of Wat

The estimable Wat Tyler lays out the difference between Left and Right.
As we all understand, the fundamental divide between left and right is the issue of personal responsibility.

We on the right believe that the world is a better place if individuals - or more specifically families - take responsibility for themselves. Economics is all about how self-interest not only drives our lives, but underpins stable and mutually beneficial relationships between us (eg see this blog). From the economy, to education, to health, to welfare, the right believes when governments get involved beyond law and war, the long-term consequences are almost always dire.

The left believes the exact opposite. They believe the world is better if planned and managed by a benevolent dictator who goes by the name of "Society". For the left, the apparent randomness of markets is the law of the jungle, and individual differences in talent and interest a monstrous inequity. They believe that markets are an indulgence, or as the late John Smith put it to Tyler on a City lunch tour, "markets where possible, government where necessary". They believe "equity" trumps growth, and they believe there is no such thing as individual failure, only social failure.

Of course, to go along with the left you have to believe that government can actually deliver what it promises. And as we document on BOM every day, there is precious little evidence of that. Indeed, even if you accept markets fail from time to time (eg the current credit crunch), government failure is a whole lot worse: lack of competition, one-size-fits-all, producer capture, lack of innovation, perverse incentives... we blog it all right here.

Of course. And, equally, all but the most hopelessly naive know that we are going to continue to blog such failures, with very little variation other than the names of the major players, once the slightly-less-statist-but-not-in-any-meaningful-way Tories take over.


A few months back we looked at Moorside Road Dewsbury, the road where "kidnapped" Shannon Matthews lived. Some of the neighbours are pictured above celebrating Shannon's return. We surmise one or two of them might be suitable candidates for our moral duty.

As we discovered, the residents of Moorside Road have some serious issues: high crime, poor education, high unemployment/incapacity/lone parent welfare dependency, and family dysfunction. Looking at the pic, I'm guessing life expectancy is also low.

The left's response is more welfare and more government support. But in truth, money is not the issue. As we discovered, the average household income is getting on for £30 grand pa, and is within 20% of the national average.

The issue is the people, and how they choose to live their lives. And the 60 years of welfare state which has clearly failed them so badly (cf Glasgow East).

So what is our real moral duty?

It's surely to help them take responsibility for themselves. And for Moorside Road, that means above all else, increasing the financial incentive to work, and cutting the financial incentive to doss around drinking 22p lager and producing stacks of no-hope kids.

The point being, you see, that we should not pay over enormous amounts of money to people who will then exacerbate the problems in their society.

So, do we see the parallels between socialism's disastrous intervention in places such as Glasgow East and Dewsbury, and our intervention in Africa?
Have we all read Irish journo Kevin Myers' teeth-grinding articles on aid to Africa (HTP DTH)? If not, you really should, and you can do so here, here, and here.

In summary—and treading a non-PC path few dare to venture along—Myers argues that Western aid to Africa is condemning that tragic continent to a demographic disaster. Highlighting the case of Ethiopia, where he was a reporter during the great 1980s "Feed the World" famine, he says:
By 2050, the population of Ethiopia will be 177 million: The equivalent of France, Germany and Benelux today, but located on the parched and increasingly protein-free wastelands of the Great Rift Valley.

So, how much sense does it make for us actively to increase the adult population of what is already a vastly over-populated, environmentally devastated and economically dependent country? How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation today, for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty, hunger, violence and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen such wide-eyed children, with comparably jolly little lives ahead of them? Of course, it might make you feel better, which is a prime reason for so much charity. But that is not good enough.

For self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa. It has sustained political systems which would otherwise have collapsed. It prolonged the Eritrean-Ethiopian war by nearly a decade. It is inspiring Bill Gates' programme to rid the continent of malaria, when, in the almost complete absence of personal self-discipline, that disease is one of the most efficacious forms of population-control now operating. If his programme is successful, tens of millions of children who would otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts. Oh good: then what?

I know. Let them all come here. Yes, that's an idea.

It's the Heart of Darkness, made infinitely worse by hundreds of billions of guilt money poured in by Western governments. It's truly sick.

So, in Africa we hand over billions of pounds of aid, which ensures that the feckless and downright evil can continue to oppress, terrorise and exploit the productive, whilst popping out thousands of kids whom they are unable to support and who will live lives with no more meaning than their parents'...

... and in places like Dewsbury and Glasgow East we hand over billions of pounds of aid, which ensures that the feckless and downright evil can continue to oppress, terrorise and exploit the productive, whilst popping out thousands of kids whom they are unable to support and who will live lives with no more meaning than their parents'.

As Wat says, it is a sick system—though motivated by kindly ideals—and helps to condemn millions to lives of misery and both financial and intellectual poverty.

Socialism is evil. And the frustrating thing about socialists is that most of them mean well, but they refuse to look at the actual disastrous results of their creed or, if they do, they refuse to see it as evil.

17 comments:

TheFatBigot said...

"Socialism is evil. And the frustrating thing about socialists is that most of them mean well, but they refuse to look at the actual disastrous results of their creed or, if they do, they refuse to see it as evil."

Ah, Mr Kitchen, you have missed out the vital line of their thinking. They do not look at Glasgow East and see a product of Socialism, they see a product of not enough Socialism.

Trixy said...

Giving overweight, drunk unemployed people money is like giving a 17 year old kid cash and a car and expecting him to get off the sofa and get a job.

Tomrat said...

Trixy,

Giving overweight, drunk unemployed people money is like giving a 17 year old kid cash and a car and expecting him to get off the sofa and get a job.

Surely they would need to get off the sofa in order to enjoy the ownership of the car? ;-)

Of course they could always loiter about in their new motor, as happens frequently around my parts...

The blame for all of this lies at the states feet - I work with societies rejected children and know that in most cases the money has never been the issue; their parents will abandon, abuse or downright not care for them because they've never been allowed to realise their own worth or the worth of anything else, all down to the fact that many of them have never had to dip into their pockets for anything.

Roger Thornhill said...

If a Socialist means well, then they are a useful idiot to the cause.

Socialism wants a lumpen clay to patronise. That is why they hate the working classes, for true working classes want to become middle class, if only their kids.

The concept of Chav can only thrive in an environment where being a waster is a viable "lifestyle choice". Only Socialism and its bastard spawn the Welfare State can allow that to occur.

pagar said...

"Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell will propose a Welfare Green Paper expected to force those unemployed for more than two years to work full-time in the community. He says that these plans would "transform lives"."

Devil, I agree with you entirely on the above article but I'd have thought that in the interests of balance you would have mentioned this welcome initiative from last week.

Reading between the lines, they are even proposing the first steps towards privatising the ugly megalith that is the DWP.

And I'm not interested in where they got the idea from- give them credit where it's due and let's encourage them to make it (and the parasites) work.

Bobsheadrevisited said...

"It is inspiring Bill Gates' programme to rid the continent of malaria, … If his programme is successful, tens of millions of children who would otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts. Oh good: then what?"

I can't help thinking that this chap's a bit of a wanker.

Why does he think African women have so many kids? Because they're stupid? Because they are each trying to start their own football team? Because they just like fucking?

Or is it because infant life-expectancy is so ridiculously low because of things like, er… Malaria?

Control Malaria, and other diseases, and Africa's birthrate will gradually decrease, just like it has done in many other developed countries over the centuries, because they won't need to have so many.

Surely?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Well, yes and no.

The main driver of declining birthrates does tend to be affluence. The trouble is that, in Africa, people are not becoming more affluent.

As a graph at Wat's shows, the growth rate in Africa is scarily high: and accelerating.

A great part of this population growth is essentially sustained by foreign aid, not by any increase in the intrinsic affluence of Africans...

DK

Roger Thornhill said...

pagar,

I see the "reforms" as another means to rope in more chunks of the private sector into running de-facto monopolies "on our behalf" even though we have no choice in the matter.

Any upside for the hapless citizen will be purely coincidental AFAICT.

pagar said...

Roger

I accept what you say- it is my experience also that private sector monpolies working for the state have been pretty appaling.

But provided they are properly targeted and paid according to the results they can achieve, the private sector can hardly be worse than the bungling beaurocratic nightmare we have now.

Of course, I favour the nuclear option- stop all benefits and open a few soup kitchens so nobody starves- but that is not going to happen. So to have any chance of success in transforming the culture in our sink estates you need to enthuse the recruits and that requires a level of drive and detemination that will never come from the stunted civil servants of the DWP who are mostly more brain dead than their clients.

The Government don't often make any move in the right direction so let's not be churlish when they do.

laurence said...

Mr. Kitchen,
I couldn't agree more with this piece. In fact it should be blazoned in letters 10 feet high on billboards nationwide! Sadly, even then, the message would still not get through to our rulers and their many supporters among the Guardian-reading classes, as their minds have been addled from infancy by socialist propaganda and are closed to all rational debate.
So the alternative is for people like yourself to keep bashing away. I admire your energy, though I have to say I am not optimistic for the future of our society.
Incidentally, the other difference between left and right is that the left, as in Dr. Johnson's famous dictum on re-marriage, represent 'the triumph of optimism over experience', whereas the right comes from a position of realistic pessimism about human nature and its endless failings.
Thank you,
Mr. Hughes.

Roger Thornhill said...

pagar But provided they are properly targeted and paid according to the results they can achieve, the private sector can hardly be worse than the bungling beaurocratic nightmare we have now.

If only the State were not such a simple shopper and an appalling target setter. The State has now committed to doing it and the providers are ALWAYS committed to increasing margins and reducing risk. They will get a defacto monopoly and this is funamentally WRONG. If you cannot arrange the Wisconsin style approach around a plurality of competing providers (day by day, not once every 4 years!) then to me that says the model is dysfunctional and needs to be reviewed.

Roger Thornhill said...

EDIT: I mean "when the State has committed to doing it", as in they will not back down. This is like walking into the only car showroom in town and saying "I must buy a car today". Fat chance of a good deal.

berenike said...

"If his programme is successful, tens of millions of children who would otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts. Oh good: what then?"

Well, they won't be dead. I don't think stopping people from starving is quite the same thing as sponsoring the lager and daytime telly habits of wasters.

Moreover, I would have thought he'd love Mr Gates. Gates does in fact help make sure there aren't too many hungry black babies around in the first place, before looking after the ones that survive - he's one of the IPPF's biggest sponsors, and the IPPF goes about promoting and providing abortion all over the place. What more could you want, if you are worried, UNFPA-style, about there being too many poor people?

berenike said...

and "what then"? Well, if resourcefulness is the greatest asset of mankind, I suppose some way of letting this kids grow up and utilise that resourcefulness is "then". If these kids dont' survive, what should their parents do in thirty or forty years' time? No more aid, right? I suppose they should be thinking of a pension plan now. Oh hang on, perhaps that's on reason why they had kids...

FlyingRodent said...

Bullshite from the get-go - benevolent dictators, indeed.

Why,if I was to apply the same rigorous standard of fairness and sanity, the obvious split between left and right is that the left believes in ponies and Christmas, while the right believes children should be sold into sex-slavery to teach them self-reliance.

Nathaniel Tapley said...

"As we all understand, the fundamental divide between left and right is the issue of personal responsibility."

No - as people with a wilfully small frame of historical reference understand. As people who have never heard of Proudhon, or read Murray Rothbard's 'A New History of Leviathan' understand. As someone who might not see the irony in calling themselves Wat Tyler and describing themselves as 'right-wing' when the two bodies to try to institute poll taxes have been the monarchy and a Conservative government, might understand...

Roger Thornhill said...

laurence: Incidentally, the other difference between left and right is that the left, as in Dr. Johnson's famous dictum on re-marriage, represent 'the triumph of optimism over experience', whereas the right comes from a position of realistic pessimism about human nature and its endless failings.

I would disagree. The Left is optimistic over the success of its dream, but not of people. The Right, I feel, thinks that everyone can be good, but if you are not it is your own fault and you must shoulder the consequences for your action. The Left is all about infantilisation and thus making people abdicate their personal sovereignty and then the responsibility for the consequences of their actions.