The Sound of Wringing (2)
August 30, 2010
There is no excuse for failing to feel liberal guilt about race and class.
There’s another one for the list. It’s the Guardian’s Theo Hobson. He’s embracing his inner sorrow and waving his credentials.
Liberal guilt is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s really just the political expression of that rather old-fashioned thing, conscience... To ‘suffer’ from liberal guilt means that you are somewhat uneasy about all sorts of awkward things that it is tempting to harden your heart against, like global injustice, global warming, racism... It means you sometimes worry that you might be prejudiced against all sorts of people.
All sorts of people. Well, not all sorts, obviously.
If this little parade of privileged anxiety fills you with derision, then you are a Tory. Rejection of liberal guilt is the very cornerstone of the Tory soul, the unofficial definition of Tory.
And hey, reducing those who disagree to a “Tory” caricature...
Well done, for turning up to banker school, or to that internship your uncle wangled
...in no way entails smugness or – God forbid – prejudice.
Despite Mr Hobson’s claims, rejecting “liberal guilt,” as manifest all but daily in the pages of the Guardian, doesn’t require an indifference to, or denial of, real injustice; merely a dislike of pretension and dishonesty, and a wariness of guilt being distorted into a pantomime and fetish – in which rhetorical self-harm is an assertion of superiority.
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