Friday 21st October 2016

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Liberalism’s Deadly One-Two Punch

August 30, 2014 Frontpage No Comments


It has become the stock retort of secular leftists when it is pointed out to them that the wealth redistribution programs of liberal Democrats are doing more harm than good to the “beneficiaries”: Rather than deal with the proposition, they accuse the person making the argument of being misanthropic and cynical.
Sometimes racism gets thrown into the mix as well, with the contention that opposition to social spending would not be as intense if the beneficiaries were white. At other times, the accusation will be that the motive of critics of the welfare state is not a concern about destroying the initiative of the poor, as much as a selfish interest in keeping their taxes low.
I have in mind people like Fox News commentator Bob Beckel when he argues, “How can any right-minded person think that people would not prefer a job to welfare and unemployment payments? People who rely on these programs do so only because they have no choice.” Liberal Democrats in the Congress and the media can be found all over our television screens taking the same stance.
For anyone who finds himself hit with these accusations, there is a place to go for help in formulating a response: British author Theodore Dalrymple, the pen name of Dr. Anthony Daniels, a doctor and psychiatrist who worked for many years in a prison in Birmingham, England. In that assignment, Dalrymple got an up-close look at the attitudes that shape the thinking of the British underclass. He chronicled his experiences in a series of widely applauded books, including The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism and Our Culture, What’s Left of It.
An article by Dalrymple in the May/June issue of Imprimis (a publication of Hillsdale College, free upon request from the college at 33 E. College St., Hillsdale, MI 49242, or at brought Dalrymple’s thinking front and center for modern readers.
In it, he argues, “There has been an astonishing gestalt switch in my lifetime. When I started out as a doctor in the mid-1970s, those who received state benefits would say, ‘I received my check on Friday.’ Now people who receive such benefits say, ‘I get paid on Friday.’ This is an important change. To have said that they received their check on Friday was a neutral way of putting it; to say that they get paid on Friday is to imply that they are receiving money in return for something.”
He is describing the sense of entitlement that is destroying the moral fiber of many who live on welfare programs.
It must be stressed that race is not part of Dalrymple’s analysis. His focus is on the modern white British working class, the people whose forebears built the British empire and the industrial system that made Great Britain the world’s leading economic and military superpower in the late 19th century.
In his earlier writings, specifically Our Culture, What’s Left of It, he argued that a significantly large number of this segment of the British people has been transformed into a group no longer able to function as productive and moral members of society by “the idea that man should be freed from the shackles of social convention and self-control” and that the government should provide a “welfare system that protected people from some of…the economic consequences” of such a lifestyle.
Dalrymple does not deal in abstractions and generalities. He gives specific examples. He writes of a woman patient who “already had three children by three different men, by no means unusual among my patients.” She left the first husband because he was violent to her; the second died in an accident while driving a stolen car. The third left her, a week after her child was born because he “no longer wished to live with her. (The discovery of incompatibility a week after the birth of a child is now so common as to be statistically normal.)” Dalrymple insists he is not talking about a small segment of British society; that “nearly a quarter of British children are now brought up” in such families.
Dalrymple writes that this woman knew “perfectly well the consequences and meaning of what she was doing”; that the men she had chosen to have sex with “had evil written all over them,” often literally “in the form of tattoos” boasting of their antisocial behavior; that she knew her choice would “lead to the misery and suffering not only of herself, but — especially — of her own children.” Yet she continued with this way of life.
Why? And why do the men in her life behave so shamefully? Dalrymple charges it is a consequence of a devastating one-two punch: the welfare state and the counterculture mentality that came of age in the late 1960s, the combination of which makes it economically possible to live in such in an irresponsible manner — without the sense of shame that earlier generations had to contend with.
The implications are impossible to overstate: This woman is not an outlier. What modern liberalism has done is to convince large segments of the once Christian West to live lives that would have been seen as debauched by our ancestors — irresponsible, idle lives of sloth, drugs, and promiscuous sex — and then provided the social “safety net” to enable them to escape the consequences of that choice. All in the name of compassion and tolerance. His point, of course, is that it is neither compassionate nor tolerant to put in place social programs that do this to a society.
In Our Culture, What’s Left of It, Dalrymple asks, why “such conduct was once much less widespread than it is now (in a time of much less prosperity, be it remembered by those who think that poverty explains everything)?”
What has changed? “A necessary, though not sufficient, condition is the welfare state, which makes it possible, and sometimes advantageous, to behave like this.” The modern welfare state “guided by the apparently generous and humane philosophy that no child, whatever its origins, should suffer deprivation, gives assistance to any child, or rather the mother of any child, once it has come into being.” A woman with an illegitimate child, “without support from the fathers of the children” becomes “dependent on the state for income. She is then a priority; she won’t pay local taxes, rent, or utility bills.”
Beyond that, the fathers are absolved of responsibility. “The state is now father to the child. The biological father is therefore free to use whatever income he has as pocket money, for entertainment and little treats. He is thereby reduced to the status of a child, though a spoiled child with the physical capabilities of a man: petulant, demanding, querulous, self-centered, and violent if he doesn’t get his own way….A spoiled brat becomes an evil tyrant.”
The welfare state is the first punch. The second punch is the notion “peddled by the intellectual elite” that it is “morally permissible” to behave in the above fashion, a notion that has taken “a long march not only through the institutions but through the minds of the young. When young people want to praise themselves, they describe themselves as ‘nonjudgmental.’ For them, the highest form of morality is amorality.”
Dalrymple is showing us the consequences of modern liberalism: We live in a world where the elites devote themselves to providing cradle to grave security for those they have taught to believe that “amorality is morality.” It will take us a long time to find our way out of this mess, if indeed we ever do.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Live From New York Should a Catholic Vote for Hillary or Trump?

Almighty God has been very good  in giving us as the day’s Gospel passage that of Our Lord’s famous admonition to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s but to God what is God’s.” I say that in view of the…Continue Reading

Catholic university blasts ‘Unborn Lives Matter’ posters as ‘bigotry,’ bans them on campus

CHICAGO, Illinois, October 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – College Republicans at DePaul University were prohibited by the university president from displaying posters on campus advertising their group with the pro-life message, “Unborn Lives Matter.” Vincentian Father Dennis Holtschneider indicated to the…Continue Reading

For Archbishop Chaput, ‘Catholic Spring’ group did untold damage

Philadelphia, Pa., Oct 14, 2016 / 05:53 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput did not enjoy his first and only encounter with two leaders of Catholics United. “It was an interesting experience,” Archbishop Chaput recounted in his Oct. 13 column…Continue Reading

The anti-Catholic Catholics (and the bishops who support them)

Yesterday Ross Douthat of the New York Times embarked on a lengthy Tweetstorm —21 tweets in all—questioning whether it’s accurate to refer to the leaked emails from the Clinton campaign as evidence of “anti-Catholic” bigotry. Douthat—who is no friend of…Continue Reading

The next ‘deplorables’? Clinton campaign rips ‘backwards’ Catholic beliefs in leaked e-mails

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – “Conservative Catholics” are the latest Americans to be smeared by members of Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, leaked emails revealed on Tuesday show. Catholic beliefs are bashed as “backwards” and conservative Catholics…Continue Reading

German Bishop’s New Proposal: “There Exists More Than Man and Woman”

The Catholic Church in Germany seems to be becoming more and more unbounded in its proposals. In the recent past, for examples, the official website of the German Bishops’ Conference,, has reported about the idea to have women cardinals; about…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah presents counter-vision to Francis as he launches new book

After being reprimanded by Pope Francis over the summer for calling on priests to face east while saying Mass, Cardinal Robert Sarah is refusing to back down and is becoming a rallying point of opposition to this papacy.  The Vatican’s…Continue Reading

Massachusetts’ highest court grants full parental rights to unmarried gay woman

BOSTON – The Mass. court that paved the way for same-sex marriage in the United States ruled Tuesday that an unmarried gay woman whose former girlfriend gave birth to two children through artificial insemination has the same parental rights as…Continue Reading

Shunned for supporting natural marriage, former Mozilla CEO is back with new browser

SAN FRANCISCO, September 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The former CEO of Mozilla has released a new Internet browser called Brave. Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript, continues to lead the technological revolution with Brave, an innovative concept in Internet browsers.…Continue Reading

Lay Catholic Group: Tim Kaine’s Radical Views Stem From Embrace of Liberation Theology

An organization of committed lay Catholics is challenging Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, who’s invoking his Catholic faith and the words of Pope Francis as a basis for his radical positions on abortion and marriage, as well as his…Continue Reading

Quebec cardinal won’t refuse funerals for those choosing assisted suicide

Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec said he has no intention to follow in the steps of his fellow Canadian bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories in refusing funerals for those who asked to be euthanized. “I don’t plan specific…Continue Reading

Shocking Report Reveals Scientists Have Created the Word’s First Baby With Three-Parents

A shocking new report claims the world’s first three-parent baby (pictured above) has been born. Children born through ‘three-person IVF’ would contain some genetic material from each of three different people. There are about 50 known mitochondrial diseases (MCDs), which…Continue Reading


Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Kansas archbishop blasts Kaine: He’s an ‘orthodox’ Democrat but a ‘cafeteria Catholic’


KANSAS CITY, Kansas, October 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, has lambasted Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine for supporting abortion on demand while simultaneously touting his Catholic faith. Kaine is an “orthodox” Democrat but only a “cafeteria Catholic” who picks and chooses “the teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically convenient,” Archbishop Joseph Naumann wrote in a devastating critique of the Virginia senator. “It was painful to listen…Continue Reading

U.S. Catholics Under Attack

WikiLeaks did it again with another e-mail release, 1,200 of them, and this time exposing the deliberate attempts by the Clinton campaign to disrupt, undermine and, yes, try to destroy the Catholic Church. Their intent was (is) to plant the “seeds of the revolution” within the institution. Among the e-mails are communications between Clinton operatives that are clearly filled with bigotry. If anyone had any doubt that Hillary Clinton and the people around her have…Continue Reading

Fake Catholic Groups and the “Catholic Spring” Emails


It is now impossible to deny that Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United have worked for years to undermine and manipulate Catholic leadership Beginning in 2007, orthodox Catholic writers including myself wrote dozens of articles in an attempt to expose the funding and duplicitousness of two fake Catholic groups: the George Soros-funded Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United. (For example, see here and here and here.) Now,…Continue Reading

Archbishop Chaput’s Weekly Column: About Those Unthinking, Backward Catholics

Back in 2008, in the weeks leading up to the Obama-McCain presidential election, two young men visited me in Denver.  They were from Catholics United, a group describing itself as committed to social justice issues.  They voiced great concern at the manipulative skill of Catholic agents for the Republican Party.  And they hoped my brother bishops and I would resist identifying the Church with single-issue and partisan (read: abortion) politics. It was an interesting experience.…Continue Reading

Clinton campaign chair worked to create liberal Catholic revolt against bishops: leaked e-mails

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A new batch of leaked e-mails from within the Clinton campaign surfaced Wednesday, showing her campaign chair John Podesta admitting to helping launch a “progressive” group to infiltrate the Church, and taking an active role in provoking a liberal Catholic revolt against the U.S. Bishops. In the e-mail, Podesta responds to a leftist activist’s call for a “Catholic Spring” against the U.S. Bishops over their opposition to the…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Advance Medical Directives: The Living Will”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at + + + “Evil committed for a good cause remains evil.” “Even when it succeeds?” “Above all when…Continue Reading

The Joke’s On Us

By DONALD DeMARCO The definitive Jack Benny joke is well known. Originally aired in a March 28, 1948 episode, the legendary comedian is accosted by a mugger and given the option, “Your money or your life!” A long pause follows. The gunman reiterates, “Look, bud! I said your money or your life?” Benny replies, “I’m…Continue Reading

“Pope’s Day” . . … The Lost Tradition Of A November 5 Anti-Catholic Feast Day

By RAY CAVANAUGH In much of colonial America, November 5 was known as Pope’s Day. This was not a day of celebrating the Pontiff, however. In fact, violence would erupt over who got the privilege of burning the Pope’s effigy. Pope’s Day (also known as “Pope’s Night” or just “Pope Day”) was the colonial offshoot…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred . . . Words Of Timeless Faith And Truth From An Old Irish Hymnal

By JAMES MONTI Sacred music has been a fundamental component of the Church’s liturgy from Day One, as manifested by the hymn that the apostles sang when our Lord was about to leave the Cenacle for Gethsemane following the Last Supper (Matt. 26:30). Even earlier, music had been a key feature of Jewish worship for…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Channels Of Grace: Famous U.S. Converts

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Mississippi Flows Into the Tiber: A Guide to Notable American Converts to the Catholic Church, by John Beaumont (South Bend, Ind.: 2014), 1013 pages. Limited copies available through A collection of short biographies of American converts from colonial times to the 21st century, these accounts provide biographical information about each…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: J.H.T. of North Carolina, a deacon who has been a witness to the “liturgical wars” of the past half-century, has recommended an “extraordinary book” — Peter Kwasniewski’s Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church — that he says should be read by all Catholics, clergy and lay, who…Continue Reading

The Lover Of Souls

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Wisdom 11:22-12 2 Thess. 1:11-2:2 Luke 19:1-10 In the first reading today, we are given a good perspective on things: Before the Lord, the entire universe is less than a drop of morning dew on the Earth. When we consider one tiny drop of dew in comparison to…Continue Reading

The Clergy’s Silence, Ambiguity, And Dissent Are Destroying The Family

By FR. SHENAN BOQUET (Editor’s Note: Fr. Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International, and he travels around the world spreading the Gospel of Life in that role. He is a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese in Louisiana where he served before joining HLI in August 2011. (Fr. Boquet’s commentary below on the silence of the shepherds first…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… We Are All Lepers, Marred By Sin

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In the Rossellini film The Flowers of St. Francis, a series of black and white vignettes drawn from the saint’s life are strung together. In one of these St. Francis encounters a leper. He is repulsed by the man’s wounds, because he is human like the rest of us. Having come to love the Lord…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… God’s Knowledge And Love

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 7 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). It is impressive to realize that God’s knowledge is infinite, and His love is eternal. Before Jeremias was even conceived in his mother’s womb, God…Continue Reading

Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a society is riddled with evil and corruption, the worst thing we can do is to remain quiet. If we truly believe in God, then it is our obligation to do all we can to save the souls in danger of being lost in such a society. The threats and dangers of this world are not…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Gerard Majella

By CAROLE BRESLIN God works many miracles through the weakest persons so that their lives read like a fairy tale. Old or young, sick or poor, powerful or destitute, all are touched deeply by their encounters with such men of God. Such was the life of St. Gerard Majella, the patron saint of expectant mothers and young children. Domenica, a…Continue Reading