June 26, 2014
Theodore Dalrymple on the values and inversions of the British underclass:
Certainly the notions of dependence and independence have changed. I remember a population that was terrified of falling into dependence on the state, because such dependence, apart from being unpleasant in itself, signified personal failure and humiliation. But there has been an astonishing gestalt switch in my lifetime. Independence has now come to mean independence of the people to whom one is related and dependence on the state.
Mothers would say to me that they were pleased to be independent, by which they meant independent of the fathers of their children — usually more than one — who in general were violent swine. Of course, the mothers knew them to be violent swine before they had children by them, but the question of whether a man would be a suitable father is no longer a question because there are no fathers: At best, though often also at worst, there are only stepfathers. The state would provide. In the new dispensation the state, as well as television, is father to the child.
See also this, especially the last two paragraphs.
Ed Driscoll quotes Daniel Henninger:
The IRS tea-party audit story isn’t Watergate; it’s worse than Watergate. The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power. The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable.
See also Roger Kimball on de-unionising the IRS. Paul Caron’s exhaustive archive covering the scandal is of course still growing.
And somewhat related to this, Christina Hoff Sommers on sporting gender quotas and law gone bad:
Because of pressure from women’s groups like the National Women’s Law Centre and the Women’s Sports Foundation, Title IX evolved into a rigid quota regime that dictates equal participation in sports by both sexes regardless of interest… Schools are cutting back on male teams and creating new women’s teams, not because of demand, but because they are afraid of a federal investigation. [Feminist advocates] have persuaded courts that if there are fewer women than men on college varsity teams the only explanation is discrimination. [But] the evidence that women taken as a group are less interested than men in competitive sports is overwhelming.
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