Friday 27th March 2015

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Liberalism’s Deadly One-Two Punch

August 30, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

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 https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/subscriber/new) 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

Comment on this Article:

Cardinal Burke says confusion spreading among Catholics ‘in an alarming way’

LifeSiteNews: Since the extraordinary synod on the family, we have entered a period of uncertainty and confusion over several “hot-button” issues: communion for divorced and “remarried” couples, a change of attitude towards homosexual unions and an apparent relaxing of attitudes…Continue Reading

Bishop backs Catholic school’s removal of teacher over pro-marriage Facebook comments: cites Pope Francis

SOMERVILLE, NJ, March 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Catholic school has decided not to rehire a theology teacher who rejected the argument in favor of gay “marriage” on her private Facebook page, her family has announced. The controversy began last…Continue Reading

Creepy Catholicism.

Martin O’Malley is the latest Catholic politician to come out as a duplicitous “Catholic.” Deacon Kandra posts an excerpt here from an interview in which O’Malley displays some amazingly twisted thinking to support homosexual marriage–even though he’s a Catholic. As far…Continue Reading

Polish Bishops’ Conference rejects Holy Communion for divorced and “remarried”

The Polish Bishops’ Conference has issued a communiqué firmly rejecting the proposals that divorced and “remarried” Catholics should be admitted to Holy Communion without amendment of life. The communiqué, published on 12th March, includes the following statement: “In view of the…Continue Reading

Celtic Catholic priest and friends pile on archbishop

On Monday March 16, KALW radio’s City Visions will host a program “Can Bay Area Catholics and Archbishop Cordileone find Common Ground?” Scheduled guests are the Reverend Vincent Pizzuto; Most Holy Redeemer parishioner and teachers’ union representative Ted DeSaulnier; and…Continue Reading

The Traditional Case for Capital Punishment

A group of Catholic publishers recently issued a joint statement urging an end to capital punishment. I have great respect for all of them – I have written for all of them at one point or another. I disagree with…Continue Reading

Cardinal Müller: Pope Is Not Above the Word of God and the Catholic Faith

Edit: Rorate tends to understate things.  They want a sober response.  We’d like to offer this translation of Giuseppe Nardi’s appreciation of their take on Cardinal Müller’s recent letter appearing in the Osservatore Romano and additional commentary from other important Italian…Continue Reading

Is the Synod Secretariat Stacking the Deck Again?

The Vatican today announced that the vice president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family will be a consulter to the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. Professor José Granados‘ appointment,…Continue Reading

Gay activist: Of course our goal is to ‘indoctrinate children into LGBTQ agenda’

TORONTO, March 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A homosexual activist has candidly admitted that gay-themed materials and policies pushed in grade schools across North America are for the sake of “indoctrinating” children into an unquestioning acceptance of homosexuality. “I am here…Continue Reading

Pope . . . giving holy Communion to remarried divorcees “won’t solve anything”

On the second anniversary of his pontificate, the Holy Father gave a lengthy interview to a Mexican television journalist. – CNA/Bohumil Petrik VATICAN CITY — In a new, wide-ranging interview published Friday on the second anniversary of his election, Pope…Continue Reading

Cardinal rebukes head of German bishops: We can’t ignore Christ’s teaching on marriage

German Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, who headed the Papal Council Cor Unum until 2010 and was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, has publicly opposed the words and direction of the German Bishops’ Conference. In a Letter to the…Continue Reading

Catholic dissenters’ convention keynoter: A pornographic sex columnist?

Seattle, Wash., Mar 12, 2015 / 02:31 am (CNA).- Dan Savage coordinates an annual pornography festival. He has made obscene tirades about Pope Benedict XVI, denigrated the practice of monogamy, insulted high school students and publicly harassed politicians he opposes.…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 subscribe 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

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

The exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin

pope741

(Vatican Radio/VIS) A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office on Wednesday to present the upcoming exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin (Turin, 19 April – 24 June 2015), on the occasion of the second centenary of the birth of St. John Bosco, which will be specially dedicated to the young and to those who suffer. The Pope will also make a pilgrimage to Turin from 21 to 22 June. The…Continue Reading

Pope calls for renewed prayers for Synod on the Family

(Vatican Radio) At a rain-soaked General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis called for renewed prayers for the upcoming Synod of Bishops in the Family. After meeting briefly with a group of sick people gathered in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis greeted pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square. The Pope began his reflection by noting that March 25th, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, marks a special stage in the journey of catechesis on the family, a…Continue Reading

Pope: “Where There Is No Mercy There Is No Justice”

pope740

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday warned against righteous hypocrisy and urged Christians to be merciful. During his homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, the Pope reflected on the Gospel readings of the day and on another Gospel passage pointing out that “where there is no mercy there is no justice”. Referring to three women in the Bible, Pope Francis said they represent three allegorical figures of the Church. The women he…Continue Reading

Pope calls on Christians to express their faith in action

pope512

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says the lives of Christians must be coherent and express faith in action. Speaking to the crowds gathered in a rainy St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope invited all believers to always bear in mind the message of the Gospel, the image of the Crucified Lord, and the need to be witnesses of faith. Calling on Christians to express their faith in action, the Pope also turned to…Continue Reading

What If Hillary Doesn’t Care?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if Hillary Clinton’s emails were hacked by foreign agents when she was the secretary of state? What if persons claiming to have done so are boasting about their alleged feats on Internet websites and in chat rooms traditionally associated with illegal or undercover activities? What if this is the sore…Continue Reading

In Defense Of Economic Freedom

By JOHN YOUNG I believe in complete economic freedom. An extreme position, it will be said, and one not only against Catholic social teaching, but also against common sense. It implies, surely, that I have a heartless disregard for the vulnerable, or at least a naive trust in capitalism — the unrestrained capitalism that Pope…Continue Reading

Some Thoughts About Catholic Care Homes . . . The Old, Weak, And Suffering Are In The Forefront Of Our Spiritual Battle

By PHILIP TROWER (Editor’s Note: Philip Trower, The Wanderer’s longtime correspondent from the United Kingdom, recently moved into a care home. The home’s superior, Sr. Hannah, asked him to write about why he chose to move into Nazareth House. Below is his letter to her.) + + + Dear Sr. Hannah, As I understand it,…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… “What Does The Church Teach About Sterilization?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995.) + + + Some people refer to sexual sterilization as “Catholic birth control.” This erroneous term, and the misguided assertions of a number of well-known dissenters, has led to significant confusion regarding the Catholic Church’s…Continue Reading

Will The GOP Kick It Away?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN With Hillary Clinton scrambling to explain her missing emails, much of America is wailing, “Please don’t make us watch this movie again!” Why, then, would the Republican Party, with a chance to sweep it all in 2016, want to return us to the nightmare days of George W., which caused America…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Message From Cardinal Burke

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

We Have Been Raised With Christ

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Easter Sunday (YR B) Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Col. 3:1-4 John 20:1-9 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about Peter and John entering the Lord’s grave after they had been informed by St. Mary Magdalen that Jesus had been taken away. We are told that when the Beloved Disciple saw the burial cloths there and…Continue Reading

Nothing To Toast Between China And The Vatican

By FR. BERNARDO CERVELLERA (Editor’s Note: Fr. Bernardo Cervellera is a member of PIME [Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere], a society of apostolic life. He is the editor-in-chief of AsiaNews, a news service of PIME. (In the essay below, Fr. Cervellera noted China’s willingness, at least in words, “to enter into dialogue with the Vatican,” but decried its refusal “to compromise…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Why My Parish Is Facing “East” Together This Lent

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The futile closed circle of therapeutic naval-gazing hangs on like an overused joke in a few places still, one of them being the Church. The priest and people facing each other during the entire liturgy is a vestige of the illegitimate seizure and subjection of 2,000-year-old liturgical development by primitivist vandals in the post-Vatican period.…Continue Reading

Is Mary The Mother Of God . . . Or Only The Mother Of Jesus?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Responding to a common misconception among separated brethren and ill-informed Catholics: On the day of the Annunciation and the Incarnation, the Archangel St. Gabriel, “who stands in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19), inspired by the Holy Spirit, said to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with…Continue Reading

God Comes To Meet Man

By DON FIER Last week, a topic was taken up that was immediately addressed in the first chapter of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC): man’s capacity to know God by reason alone. It was demonstrated in two basic, commonsense ways that “by natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of His works” (CCC, n.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Faustina And Divine Mercy

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Divine Mercy Chaplet had never been one of my favorite devotions until my aunt died. As she lay in the hospital during her final hours, I sat in the room, visiting with the endless stream of visitors who stopped in to see their fellow volunteer. By six o’clock, the room was quiet. I decided to read…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of God

By CAROLE BRESLIN In our time, it is common to hear parents bemoan the fact that their child is impulsive, or strong-willed, or irresponsible. Even the Holy Family suffered when our Lord, at the age of twelve, stayed behind in the Temple. How Mary and Joseph must have agonized over the missing Child Jesus. How do you tell God you…Continue Reading