Tuesday, January 29, 2008

[cry inequality] or else do something about it

Dave J quotes M.N.Marger:

The power of a dominant class or ethnic group is not simply the power of force but also the power to propound and sustain an ideology that legitimizes the system of inequality.

In reality, however, the opportunity structure is hardly equal, and the dominant values of individualism, competition, and achievement favor those who are wealthy and can easily avail themselves of the opportunities for success.

This simplistic analysis is very much that of my student days when, at 20, I looked around, saw inequality everywhere and wanted it all swept away and a new utopia put in its place. We were young, we could do whatever we wanted if we all banded together. The analysis suited a mind susceptible to simple solutions but considered itself to be sophisticated and all-seeing - that was me at 20.

A detractor the other day called me "adolescent" and he might have been close to the truth because I do still think we can change some things. Some, in a limited way and for some time.

My initial comment at Dave's was:

There's an element of truth on both sides. The inequality is so ancient that the central decision makers are better educated, housed, clothed and fed and operate at a higher level in all ways except spiritually. This is wrong but intergenerationally perpetuated.


The spiritual nature of much of the leadership, itself a subset of the old and new money, is atrophied - there is no need to exercise the spirit when the primary purpose is to protect wealth - and pragmatic people tend to be the most unspiritual and therefore tend, by degrees, to the level of the beast.

Beautiful example here in our town is of a porcine wheeler-dealer, [so he projects himself], living in my friend's housing block, who parks his car in the middle of the lane and conducts aggressive deals by mobile phone, blocking everyone around, before going up to his flat for a vodka. Zero concern for anyone else whatsoever - voice harsh, cruel piggy eyes and so on.

On the other hand there are most certainly groups and ethnicities that when they do have the opportunity, do not grasp it with open arms and work their butts off to escape their plight but instead adopt a lazy, handout mentality, a carping "everyone discriminates against me so I'll sit on my butt and watch TV, then go out later and mug someone because nobody give's a rat's a-s- about me" approach to life.

So yes, it does quite often come down to individuals but also to a mentality which feels sorry for itself without actively seeking solutions, a mentality which leans on the state as the provider without understanding how that state sustains itself in the first place - by taking earnings from people who work for those earnings, give or take a few hundred thousand criminals.

Moving tangentially into the world of sport, there is a piece in Cricinfo which sums it up:

"What they needed was a solid innings from Lara. What they got was someone who seemed not to care."
By way of explanation, this was offered:

A story broke in India's Outlook magazine claiming that immediately after the game Lara had told the Kenyans that losing to them was not as bad as losing to a team like South Africa. An unnamed source was quoted as hearing him say: "You know, this white thing comes into the picture. We can't stand losing to them."

From the Koori to the PAC, it's the same story. Utilize the fashionable catchcry "racism" [others use feminism, ageism, every -ism under the sun] to justify your own failure when the truth is that there are people who are simply lackadaisical and expect handouts, on one hand and there are people with a Calvinistic work ethic who actually succeed, on the other.

It is possible to succeed in western societies like Britain and the U.S.

We had Ugandans and Kenyans at our London school and they were not sons of rich princes - they grew up in New Cross and Brixton but their parents and ultimately themselves, wanted to be lifted out of the mire and into a mentality of hard-working success. It's rubbish that, in these societies, a person can't succeed.

Admittedly, most will never grasp the reins of power but that's our plight too because power is all tied up by cabalists like Common Purpose, the CFR, the Bilderbergers and so on but that's hardly the issue mooted in the first quote in this post.

In the end, it comes down to another simplistic rule:

The moment you start moaning is the moment you stop succeeding.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree there are groups, but not ethnicities, who do not have a work ethic. Ageism certainly does exist in the UK.

Dave J. said...

It may be dumbed down to a generic level, but there is much in that text that resonates with me. In my thinking, a great deal circulates around the question of ethics.

Certainly the world is far too complicated to make hard and fast generalizations; and also we do have our unfair share of necessary evils.

The one question I find myself asking more often than any other, is why are we so morally bereft that we are willing to sacrifice our ethics in order to maintain convenience?

I don't expect there to be some magic solution, or waving of a wand that will instantly solve all our woes, but I do expect there to be a stronger, more compassionate stance directed towards actual progress.

That you mention these class issues are "ancient" only further emphasizes the reality that after thousands of years, we still refuse to get it right.

I say refuse, because we know what needs to be done, we're just too selfish and privileged to do it.

And, naive as they may be, maybe what this world needs a little more of are youthful notions.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Thanks Welsh.

Dave - that's what makes you a decent person and many others - not.