For newcomers, three more items from the archives.
On the socialist pieties of Professor Zygmunt Bauman.
The professor claims that “the quality of a society should be measured by the quality of life of its weakest members.” My initial response to this was to think of a drunken woman I sometimes see not far from where I live. She’s a slightly incongruous sight around mid-morning: fag in one hand, can of cheap beer in the other, chugging away merrily and looking a little unsteady. I’m guessing she’s not a physicist or a brain surgeon, or even a professor of sociology. It’s unlikely, I think, that this woman can hold down a job and I’d guess the odds are good that her morning beers are paid for with state benefits. Now if Bauman wants us to judge the quality of society as a whole by the quality of this woman’s habits and decisions, or the decisions of others like her, that seems a tad unfair. It’s also unclear what, if anything, Professor Bauman would want to do to this woman - sorry, do for this woman - in the name of “social justice.”
Seumas Milne demands “social justice” and the right to take your stuff.
Note the phrases “naked class egotism” and “unchallengeable entitlement.” Now to whom might they apply? Those who wish to retain just under half of their own earnings, or those who feel entitled to confiscate even more from others in order to indulge their own moral sentiments, or pretensions thereof? Do notions of greed, presumption and selfishness apply only to people above a certain level of income? Or can they, for instance, be said of some recipients of welfare? Can such things be said of the state, or of the righteous Mr Milne? To how much of your income is the government morally entitled?
Eco-hippies weep for fallen trees. “I want you to know, trees, that we care.”
And feel free to skip barefoot through the greatest hits.