Book Reviews, British History, Charles, Ethnography, Left-Liberalism, Political Discussion & Analysis, Political Economy, Post-Liberalism, Social Behavior
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Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass (Theodore Dalrymple)

When I am dictator, which hopefully will be any day now, I am going to bring back what was once a crucial distinction.  Namely, the sharp separation between the deserving and the undeserving poor.  Theodore Dalrymple’s book shows both why that distinction is necessary, indeed absolutely essential, and why it has fallen from favor among those who decide society’s rules.  Moreover, Life at the Bottom offers a wide range of food for related thoughts, so many that I am afraid, beginning this review, that it is likely to go on for a very long time.  But at the end, I will solve all the problems for you.  Strap in.

This book is a compilation of short articles written by Dalrymple for the London City Journal between 1994 and 2001.  All of them take as their theme the condition of the British underclass, something to which the author was (he recently retired) exposed directly to for decades, working as a physician in a slum hospital and in a nearby prison.  From his tens of thousands of patients, the life of each of whom he explored (he was a psychiatrist, not that the vast majority of his patients had any mental illness), he extracted a clear view of their lives, and the lives of all those around them.  As a result, this book is not so much a compilation of anecdotes, but the grasping of a pattern, offering heft equal to books that rely more on statistical social science, such as Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, and more heft than books relying on news stories and abstract moralizing.

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In fact, Dalrymple offers almost no moralizing at all.  An atheist, he sometimes shifts uneasily in his seat when talking about morality, since he has nothing except utilitarian impact and unmoored societal consensus on which to base claims of morality.  On balance, though, that perhaps makes his book more accessible, in these post-Christian days, though it is surely true that only with a recovery of morality, and enforced moral judgment, will any of the problems he bemoans actually be addressed.  His lack of a moral frame is, perhaps, also why Dalrymple too often offers preemptive apologies, such as approving the laughable idea that today’s forced nonjudgmentalism is largely a reaction to “the cruel or unthinking application of moral codes in the past,” or sagely chanting the required overt falsehood that recent European immigration from inferior cultures is generally a good thing.  The reader is best off just ignoring such apologies, which, as always, merely weaken strong arguments and serve no purpose other than corrupting the truth and surrendering to one’s enemies.

While the book’s stories blur into an endless round of squalor, violence, and every type of vice, several major themes run through the whole book, which collectively characterize the “worldview” of the underclass.  The chief one is that all of British society, and the underclass most of all, has wholly absorbed to its detriment the philosophy of nonjudgmentalism.  Everyone, except benighted reactionary outcasts, recoils from the idea of that one thing or action is or can be better, more worthwhile, or more moral than another.  From that flow, directly or indirectly, most of the underclass’s problems—while the classes above them have retained, to some degree, the structures that permit them to avoid the price of nonjudgmentalism (this is, of course, Charles Murray’s point about America).  Another is that the underclass has been taught to ignore reality—when Dalrymple points out to a young girl that, being weaker than them, she can always be physically battered by her boyfriends, and she should avoid situations that lead to her being beaten, she denies that she is physically weaker, chanting “That’s sexist!”, and goes back to get beaten some more.  And along the same lines, healthy and reality-based views of masculinity and femininity have disappeared entirely.

A third is that the underclass denies any and all personal responsibility.  When a man stabs someone, he says “The knife went in.”  Jordan Peterson would be appalled (actually, he is appalled—I noticed after reading this book that it is on his list of recommended reading).  A fourth is that they give no thought for the future, living in the eternal present; concomitantly, they have no aspirations to do or be something better.  A fifth is that the underclass expects government handouts, that is, theft from the productive members of the society for their benefit, as an absolute, irrevocable, and non-discussable birthright.  A sixth is their total ignorance—of all the thousands of Dalrymple’s patients, he says, only a few had more than the vaguest idea of when the Second World War took place.  This is because teachers have abdicated their responsibility, plus any student who shows drive is torn down by his peers.  A seventh is the fear that all the underclass lives in, a fear of crime committed by the most criminal among them, about which the police will do little or nothing.  An eighth is that they have wholly absorbed the religion of emancipation, that they have no personal limits, but they instead have unfettered freedom to do exactly as they please, to be funded by others if that freedom needs money.  A corollary to this is that no hierarchy of persons or values can be permitted, since everybody is aggressively and always equal (which reinforces lack of aspiration).

I use the term “underclass,” rather than “the poor,” deliberately, and for two reasons.  One is that  some people with limited income and assets are not part of the underclass, though they usually suffer as a result of their physical proximity to the underclass.  The second is that no member of the underclass is actually poor at all.  They may be “below the poverty line,” but since that line is set as a percentage of all incomes, we will always have the poor with us in that sense (which is not the sense in which Jesus used it).  By any rational standard, every member of the underclass is wealthy, having, even without any source of earned income, free food, healthcare, cash, housing, transportation, and appliances.  True, the incentives created by the programs that provide these handouts to the underclass are often perverse, such as encouraging the underclass to stay jobless (not that most of them need any encouragement) or encouraging them to stay unmarried and to have multiple children out of wedlock.  But that does not change that, viewed objectively and historically, the British underclass is actually prosperous.

And where does the underclass get these habits of thought?  Why, from their rulers, naturally, who have been feeding leftist claptrap to them through news and entertainment, and through the minions of government, for decades.  Most of these habits are the liquid in the poisoned chalice of the modern Left, the nasty fruit of the Frankfurt School.  Whether it is their teachers, the hundreds of thousands of social workers who live equally parasitically off government handouts, television, newspapers, or slippery politicians like Tony Blair, none of these habits of thought are called out as bad and requiring immediate correction by harsh means.  The other classes don’t pay the penalty for these ideologically driven ideas, but they do get to feel smugly superior and righteous, though they keep well away from where the underclass lives.  To be sure, there’s just as much, if not more, rot throughout the rest of British society, also requiring immediate correction through harsh measures.  It’s just a different type of rot.  But when an entire society requires a hugely unpleasant reset, it’s no surprise that Lotos-eating gets the nod as a preferred alternative.

Americans like me can’t really believe it’s this bad in England.  Certainly, what the author describes is similar to some areas of America (just read J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, though the underclass there is not quite as degraded as the one Dalrymple portrays).  The reader wonders if the author is exaggerating.  Not to mention that, if it was this bad in England twenty years ago, how long could this go on?  What’s it like today?  Dalrymple, though now retired, is still prolifically writing for the City Journal.  Few recent writings of his touch directly on the British underclass, though those that do, don’t suggest things have changed for the better.  Have things gotten worse?  Have things settled down to a permanent state of having X% of English citizens live in crime-ridden blob-like squalor?  Is it just that polite society ignores and stays out of the areas where the poor live, such that areas of Britain are like certain suburbs of Paris, out of sight and out of mind except when the rioting begins?  It’s essentially impossible to get straight answers to questions like this, unfortunately, at least as an American.

Because this book focuses purely on Britain, and never mentions the United States, it offers other interesting comparisons to matters here.  Most of all it shows that, whatever our local racists may say, who is in the underclass has nothing at all to do with race.  The majority of the British underclass is white, and its pathologies are a purely cultural phenomenon, since none of these people, or their ancestors, suffered any type of persecution they could claim explains their lot—in fact, they were offered all the benefits of the greatest civilization the world has ever seen, the pre-late modern West.  Further proving that culture is all, Dalyrmple points out that some Indian subcontinent groups (notably Sikhs) largely avoid falling into the underclass; others plummet rapidly into it.  Immigrants from Jamaica dwell (metaphorically) largely in the cellar; those from Barbados do not.  The author narrates with grim amusement how doctors come from Mumbai and Manila, brimming with great sympathy for the poor and hugely impressed with how well the British government provides for the poor, and are quickly disillusioned by the underclass’s total ingratitude and failure to take advantage of what they are offered, ultimately concluding that those living in the slums of the Third World are better off, overall, than the English underclass.

Another point of comparison is crime.  It is very hard for a casual observer to get coherent data on crime in the United Kingdom.  Not only does the government not present it longitudinally in any form easily available to the public, there are different sets (is Scotland included, for example?), and widespread consensus that a great many crimes are simply not reported because the police don’t care and can’t be bothered (a theme that recurs repeatedly in this book).  However, the left-wing Guardian newspaper noted in 2017 that “Police-recorded crime has risen by 10% across England and Wales—the largest annual rise for a decade—according to the Office for National Statistics.  The latest crime figures for [March 2016 to March 2017] also show an 18% rise in violent crime, including a 20% surge in gun and knife crime. The official figures also show a 26% rise in the homicide rate.  More alarmingly, the statisticians say the rise in crime is accelerating, with a 3% increase recorded in the year to March 2015, followed by an 8% rise in the following year, and now a 10% increase in the 12 months to this March. . . . [T]he country is becoming increasingly violent in nature, with gun crime rising 23% to 6,375 offences, largely driven by an increase in the use of handguns.”  From other data, it’s quite clear that all violent and property crimes are much higher in England than America, except for homicide (which is especially relatively under-reported in England for multiple reasons), and that the UK has not experienced the massive drop in crime that America has in the past three decades, at least not to nearly the same degree.

But these statistics don’t capture a related qualitative difference between crime in  England and America.  It’s hard for people like me to grasp the oppression of the British underclass by crime, something Dalrymple emphasizes.  They can do nothing to defend themselves or to preserve their dignity; they must just sit there and take it.  If they defend themselves in any way, they go to jail, as numerous recent cases have shown.  When, having disarmed the law-abiding populace, the British elite now shriek that knives are evil and that kitchen knives should only be sold with blunted points, it’s hard to imagine the oppressive feeling of powerlessness and fear that must confine the British underclass.  In most of free America, where I live, if I am afraid I may be exposed to crime, to prevent it, I simply carry a Glock.  I carry it concealed for discretion, or on my side, visible to all, if I think that trouble may be walking the street, and, as a result, there is no trouble.   Many others do as well, and as a result street crime and home invasions in free America are practically nonexistent.  Aside from its practical benefit, that I and my family are safer, I can tell you from personal experience that the ability to be armed empowers us and adds dignity to our lives, real dignity, not the fake kind of dignity that Anthony Kennedy parades through Supreme Court opinions.  That’s something the English underclass is denied.

There are other cultural lessons in this book for those of us outside the underclass, which is probably one hundred percent of the people reading this.  Dalrymple often notes the unpleasant habit today of lower-class culture percolating upwards to infect other classes, a reversal of every society prior to the Western late modern.  Tattoos are one example of this, but more generally, when rappers and seedy entertainers are taken as fashion and role models by the middle and upper classes, the culture is degraded, not enriched.  All the habits of the underclass reinforce this rot, such as the canard that everyone is equal and thus we must believe that doggerel is poetry.  But it’s not just body modification and ugly music that’s caught on among the upper classes—it’s loutish, drunken behavior in public, the casual use of obscene language, wife beating, and generally what used to be correctly called “lower class behavior.”  (Contrary to feminist myth, wife beating, or to call it by its sanitized term, “domestic violence,” was not at all common outside the lower classes, until quite recently, because of social disapproval.  Although, it is true that there are now precious few wives among the lower classes, so maybe the old term is now inaccurate.)  Needless to say, voluntary degradation is not the way to build a society that is going anyplace good, though almost nobody dares to say so.

Another cultural lesson, with historical aspects, applicable to the United States, is that the destruction of communities by forcing the poor into planned, Le Corbusier-type Brutalist concrete hellholes was driven exclusively by left-wing ideology.  Nobody disputes this in Britain, which is why Dalyrmple just states the fact as obvious and undisputed.  The same ideology drove similar destruction and construction in America, which is no surprise.  But in recent decades, because of the total failure of such housing in America and the harm it caused the underclass, the Left has taken to lying and saying that it was racist conservatives who pushed building Cabrini-Green, the Robert Taylor homes, and other fantastically pernicious housing projects.  No doubt racists (many, or mostly, left-wing) have negatively affected housing patterns for African Americans, but high-rise public housing is not an example of that; in both Britain and America, it was and is solely the responsibility of the reality-unmoored, utopian Left.  This book performs the service of exposing the lies of the American Left on this topic, since there was indisputably no racial element in this forced migration in the United Kingdom.

I also found it interesting that the term “Asians” as a general term for those from the Indian subcontinent does not appear once in this book.  That suggests the usage is of quite recent vintage.  My 1989 copy of the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary does not list that use of the term; nor do the printed Additions through 1997.  Like all politically chosen terms, it is also subject to ongoing forced change.  In recent years, Sikhs and Hindus, annoyed that Muslim crimes such as terror and rape are characterized as being committed by “Asians,” have petitioned that the term not be used, although it is not clear what they want to substitute.  (It’s not like the press is going to start calling Muslim crimes, “Muslim crimes.”)  I’m not sure why the new term “Asians” was forced into common use, or what came before.  I am told, by the shocked look on my English cousin’s face when I use it, that “Paki” is regarded now as a slur, so presumably “Asian” was brought in as a euphemism, which, like most euphemisms, clouded communication.  So maybe the Sikhs now prefer to be called “Pakis” again, a slightly more accurate term, certainly, than “Asian,” and one which does not get them lumped in with child rapists.

Muslims don’t show up much in this book causing the problems they cause in Britain in the twenty-first century.  Dalrymple wrote before a toxic brew of Muslim aggression and triumphalism, government fecklessness, and Left ideology, really started to poison Britain.  Rumors and echoes of this show up occasionally, though, especially when the author notes that the police deliberately ignore crimes so as to avoid any possible claim of racism, demanding “Zero Intolerance.”  (I wonder what Dalrymple thinks of the Yorkshire police’s current campaign to encourage reporting to the police of any non-criminal behavior that constitutes “hate,” while they ignore their actual job of fighting crime.)  Part of the poison is terrorism, supported by a significant percentage of British Muslims.  In 2017, a large survey showed that 25% of British Muslims were willing to openly support wholly replacing all British law with sharia law, and 33% supported killing anyone who insulted Muhammad.  But far worse is the cultural poison of the Muslim underclass not related to terrorism, with the tip of the iceberg revealed by the Rotherham crimes (in Yorkshire), where Muslim men groomed more than a thousand non-Muslim girls for mass rape over many years, ignored by the police who were terrified of being called “racist.”  (Such treatment of infidel women is both permitted and celebrated by mainstream, though not by any means exclusive, interpretations of Muslim law.)  I suspect that even now Dalrymple doesn’t touch too much on these matters, since it is forbidden in Britain and you will be arrested if you say these things (I would be if I said the preceding paragraph on the street near a policeman).  A recent column of Dalrymple’s noted that he keeps his mouth shut on certain topics, not because of fear of arrest (though maybe that too), but because if he talked about them “everyone I know would cut me dead.”  The Muslim underclass is, though, at root just a specialized underclass problem, and ultimately all of these problems need a common solution; they cannot be addressed piecemeal.

If there is one overarching political lesson to be learned from this book, it is that democracy should be sharply limited.  As long as the underclass has political power, it will be used to reinforce their pathologies (even though the source is not of the underclass).  Only a fool or an ideologue would think that it is a good idea that any of the people who appear in this book be allowed to vote, or to have any say whatsoever in the governance of society.  (Their interests could be protected by their betters, in the form of an institution such as the Roman plebeian tribunate, an underappreciated alternative to democracy.)  The only plausible argument for allowing such a thing is that once you start limiting who can vote, where do you end?  Well, I’ll be happy to supply an answer to that question—in brief, anyone who does not both stand on his own two feet and who does not have a defined, strong stake in society should not be allowed to vote.  So anyone who receives individualized handouts from the government of any type, beyond purely incidental ones, including all government employees and contractors (with the exception of combat-likely military and combat veterans) should be immediately disenfranchised.  And anyone without fixed assets of some type, which could include monetary instruments restricted to not be able to leave the country, should not be able to vote either.  This would all be purely voluntary—you can work for the government, or own only fungible liquid assets.  But then you just can’t vote.  Naturally, those with more children, or grandchildren, who otherwise are eligible to vote would be given substantial additional voting power, as well.

Beyond stripping the franchise from the underclass, we would need to combat all  the habits of thought that constitute the worldview of the underclass, whose ultimate source and cause is the dominant cultural Marxists in the classes above them, who alone have caused all this human suffering.   Therefore, the necessary first step is crushing the Left and destroying their power, totally erasing the false gods of “emancipation” and of imaginary equality of ability.  That won’t be easy or pleasant, but as the recent Brett Kavanaugh circus showed us, the wars to come are emerging from the mist, no longer over the horizon.  After that is successfully concluded, and the equivalent of denazification completed with the Left, we should rigorously re-impose moral judgments and enforce resulting standards, starting with the distinction between the deserving and undeserving poor.  The former will get necessary support, with guardrails against moral hazard.  The latter will be detoxed and made to work at hard manual labor, make-work if necessary.  Any and all crime (which will not include “hate crimes” as a special category, and will most definitely not include wrong-thought, as the Yorkshire police would have it) will be punished severely and publicly, up to and including swift capital punishment (this book makes one realize the absolute need for it, whatever that odious little troll Jorge Bergoglio may say, and a little goes a long way).  That’ll also take care of reintroducing reality as a guiding principle for the underclass, as well as personal responsibility, since lack of the latter will lead to, depending on its locus, rapid punishment or literal starvation.

So much for negative reinforcement.  But there should be plenty of positive reinforcement, too.  The goal here is to help members of the underclass flourish to the extent it is within their talents, not to simply make them orderly, secure, and productive.  Excellent old-style education will be provided for free to the underclass, with early identification of the most deserving, who will be given all the education they can handle, in social capital-building subjects.  (Other students found to be discouraging learning by others will be publicly whipped, solving that barrier to advancement.)  Thereby, aspiration will also be brought back, and students will quickly grasp that aspirations can be made real.  That’ll take care of people being ignorant and having a short time horizon.  Rapid advancement in all areas of life will be possible for the talented, who will be rewarded by earning the best jobs in government (shades of Ottoman government service, or rather of much of high Muslim culture, though since that culture is very long gone, no more Muslims, from anywhere, or any other immigrants from other inferior cultures, except for maybe their rich and educated, will be allowed to enter Britain, at least until Islamic high culture rises again, which is entirely possible).  Resources wasted on gender studies and a huge range of similar upper class stupidities and frivolities will be re-allocated to rebuild the infrastructure of the no-longer underclass (and purveyors of and participants in those stupidities and frivolities will find productive labor or starve).

Certainly, when all this is accomplished, along with much more along the same lines, there will still be poor people, because some people just don’t have talents that are worth anything to anyone else, and when you produce nothing, you earn nothing.  But they won’t be degraded poor people, and a society run on sane and just principles will make adequate provisions for deserving poor people.  Justice, after all, is giving to each his due (whatever creepy John Rawls may have imagined), and this reworked society will have justice in abundance.  What it won’t have is an underclass.  You’re welcome.

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  1. Forgive me if you’ve answered this before Charles, but how do you manage to read and review these books so fast. Do you speed-read? Skim? Read 6 hours a day?

    • Charles says

      Well, it’s a few things:

      1) I do read fairly fast, but I don’t speed-read, at least in a reasonable definition. For a non-fiction book of reasonable density (say history, rather than econometrics), it’s probably a minute a page. Fiction I can read much faster, but detail of appreciation suffers in proportion, so it’s not really faster reading, just a tradeoff.

      I do not skim. If I have to skim, I just stop reading the book. I strongly dislike giving up on books, but sometimes I have to, and I do it more as I get older.

      2) I have a lot of spare time, since my day job has a lot of time flexibility and my income does not vary in proportion to hours worked (as would, e.g., a professional service business). I also don’t watch TV hardly at all, and stay off Twitter and other time-frittering devices.

      3) I do speed-write by most people’s standards. This review, for example, probably took 3.5 hours start to finish (plus, say, 4 hours to read the book, which I did on the StairMaster). Sure, if I polished it for another two hours it’d be somewhat better, but it’s pretty good for the time.

      This is probably a function of thinking extremely quickly. I don’t have the highest-quality thoughts; I will never make a philosopher. But I think fantastically quickly, and can think disparate thoughts on parallel tracks, to some degree, as well.

      4) As I read, I make minor notations as I read that highlight matters that will possibly show up in the review. That said, the reviews largely write themselves–I don’t usually know what I’m going to say, except at a high level, until I actually start writing. Thus, no time outlining and so forth.

      So there you go! Hope that’s adequately responsive.

      • Matt says

        Quite! Thanks. The output is very impressive, and I certainly appreciate the thorough reviews and synopses of so many interesting books. It’s not easy to find intelligent and original reviews that hold nothing back. The way you describe your fast thinking and approach reminds me of Chesterton–don’t let it go to your head! Come to think it, your style does too: somewhat free-flowing but lucid, provocative, and challenging, even when I disagree wildly on various points. Keep up the good work.

        • Charles says

          Thank you! Part of writing these for myself (as I say elsewhere, my main point in writing these is to develop my own thoughts) is that they tend to have no length limit. I could tighten them up, but then it would defeat my main purpose. Still, I may be flattering myself, but I can keep them less “free-flowing,” if I have to.

    • Charles says

      Ha ha. What does that even mean in this context? George Orwell would not be proud of you.

      • Anonymized Commenter says

        Now that I’ve actually read your review, I see there’s even less to comment on, because your examples and conclusions are so completely lunatic. But I know you don’t see it that way so here goes: you believe in grouping people based on an arbitrary understanding of worth into categories of greater, lesser, and zero enfranchisement. Many people (say 40%?) are simply not worthy of making any decisions in a given society. Since these people are the most disenfranchised anyway, it takes an insane egotism and desperate misunderstanding (a misunderstanding encouraged by disproportionate advantage, i.e. luck, or necessitated by psychopathy) to accord to them the “decline of society” which you obviously find many places evident. The policy prescriptions stemming from your beliefs are anti-human: swift execution by the state, public whippings, the closing of national ports of entry to those of a certain religion or class. People don’t like being treated this way. The inevitable result of these policies are pogroms and genocide. You claim to revere culture, but you have no regard or interest in individual worth. You don’t espouse a belief in the inherent worth of a given human being. You hide behind the idea of a certain utilitarianism and need for survival necessitating a discrimination between those profitable beings (us) and the fiscally worthless (them). But this is a claim resting on false premises. You in fact do not care about the human as an individual. For the most part, you despise him and think he should be snuffed out. As I think Orwell would have agreed, fascism need not be nationalistic–and nationalism isn’t an interest of yours here–though the authoritarian power of the state is clearly appealing to you. Nor need fascism be predicated on what you would consider racism–which really holds no meaning for you, because you’ve descended to an iniquity beneath racism, the regimentation and purging of ethnicities. Fascism also need not include a rash jingoism and, in particular, a great focus on war. But you’re perfectly happy to privilege “combat-likely military” in your hierarchy of worth. So you’re a fascist, eh? I wouldn’t apply euphemistic terms to your ideology: anarcho-Jesus-capitalism just sounds too sweet.

        • Charles says

          1) Usually, when I throw around summary responses such as “You’re a fascist,” I try to read the entire review first. If I don’t, I certainly don’t admit it after the fact, as if it were some kind of virtue. But I suppose honesty is the best policy.

          2) I am glad that you have gotten around to reading the review now, and become better educated. You may want to check out more of my writings.

          3) If there is less to comment on, why is your second response so much longer? Weird how that works.

          4) You apparently missed the substance of my Orwell reference. He said, in 1946, in one of his essays (you should read them, to educate yourself further, after absorbing my entire blog first, of course), “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’ ” Orwell had earlier similarly complained, in 1944, that “It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.” Orwell would be appalled at you. Bad you.

          5) In fairness, though, you do give a rambling diatribe of specific things you dislike about my review, though you don’t try to tie any of them to fascism. I will try to separate them out and address each in turn.

          6) I do believe in grouping people. But certainly not on, as you claim “an arbitrary understanding of worth.” In fact, I offer very specific and precise understandings, not of worth, but of why certain people should have a greater or lesser (or zero) participation in the franchise. You do not address those. You might try.

          7) You claim that I accord to the underclass the “decline of society.” In fact, as I make clear, the abysmal state of the underclass is a symptom, not the cause, of the decline of society. The cause is people like you. More precisely, fifty years or more of people like you being in charge. Not only should you lose the franchise, you and all your political ilk should be forced to undergo a denazification program, starting with a Fragebogen equivalent (look it up).

          8) My policy prescriptions are exactly the opposite of anti-human. (It is the prescriptions of the Left, that is, you, that have resulted in the murder of hundreds of millions over the past century.) My policy prescriptions will result in human flourishing, of all classes, though the underclass is the focus here. (The underclass is enslaved, in the original, Aristotelian sense, by unfettered freedom leading to destruction of virtue. I am here to set the people in the underclass free, that they may flourish.) Reliable, even-handed justice, including punishment, is essential. Lack of those things is what is anti-human. I’m sure the guilty don’t like being treated this way, but everyone else does, and you would be surprised how often the guilty themselves, in a well-run system, do not complain of the injustice of their punishment, knowing it to be just. Similarly, I’m sure that people desperate to move to England don’t like the “national ports” being closed to them. So what? And you make no attempt to actually show any even conceptual or hypothetical link to “pogroms and genocide,” which, may I remind you, are the responsibility of people like you for the past century. If you do, though, I’ll be happy to opine on it.

          9) Some of what you say makes no sense at all, including the idea that I am “hid[ing] behind the idea of a certain utilitarianism . . . .” Then you use your nonsensical windup to conclude, without reasoning or evidence, that “you despise [the human as individual] and think he should be snuffed out.” If you rework that, I might be able to address it, but since it is directly contrary to the statements and tenor of the review, as well as my other writings, I can’t say much to it now. (I suspect it is just your fevered imagination working overtime, where you think that all conservatives hate human beings, so I must too, reasoning be damned.)

          10) I am not sure if the admission that I am not racist in any way, coupled with the (unsupported) claim that I am worse than a racist, is pleasing or not. Half a loaf, I guess. For the record, I said nothing about “regimenting and purging” ethnicities. Islam is not an ethnicity. The focus in that section is inferior cultures, which tend to, but don’t always, overlap some set of ethnicity.

          11) Combat-likely military get to vote not because of inherent worth of the military, but because they are government employees who would normally be barred from voting, but they have a stake in society, and a contribution to society, of a totally different type than any other government employees. On the other hand, I am still working this out. There is a strong argument solders, active services ones at least, should not be allowed to vote at all, for different reasons.

          12) All that said, “anarcho-Jesus-capitalism” is a great term. I like it. It’s not wholly accurate—I think anarchism is silly, and no human society will tolerate it. But if anarchism is a synonym for a radically shrunken government, I’m all for it. Capitalism, or rather the free market, has much to recommend it, though it is not a panacea. And Jesus, of course, is 100% awesome, and makes any political system better. I think I will use the term you offer in the future.

        • max says

          Many people (say 40%?) are simply not worthy of making any decisions in a given society.

          at the moment we can go with Pareto principle which say 80% are free riders.
          it that is true than yes 20% should make all decisions, they are one who pay for everything.

    • max says

      “The problems we face today are there because the people who “work” for a living are outnumbered by those who “vote” for a living”.
      “Democracy dies as soon as people realize they can vote themselves money”.

      Suffrage Debate, N.Y. Constitutional Convention of 1821
      Chancellor James Kent
      The tendency of universal suffrage, is to jeopardize the rights of property, and the principles of liberty. There is a constant tendency in human society, and the history of every age proves it; there is a tendency in the poor to covet and to share the plunder of the rich; in the debtor to relax or avoid the obligation of contracts; in the majority to tyrannize over the minority, and trample down their rights; in the indolent and the profligate, to cast the whole burthens of society upon the industrious and the virtuous; and there is a tendency in ambitious and wicked men, to inflame these combustible materials.
      Thou shalt not covet; thou shalt not steal; are divine injunctions induced by this miserable depravity of our nature.

      The notion that every man that works a day on the road, or serves an idle hour in the militia, is entitled as of right to an equal participation in the whole power of the government, is most unreasonable, and has no foundation in justice.

      the individual who contributes only one cent to the common stock, ought not to have the same power and influence in directing the property concerns of the partnership, as he who contributes his thousands. He will not have the same inducements to care, and diligence, and fidelity. His inducements and his temptation would be to divide the whole capital

      Gary North:
      Because modern humanism’s theories of government self-consciously exclude a public religious confession as the basis of civil government, the West has broken with its past.
      In the modern world, this covenantal basis of civil jurisdiction has changed drastically. Because citizenship is based on blood (birth), or passing an examination (written or verbal test), or some other non-theological characteristic, the modern world has been threatened by the rise of mass democracy, the politics of “one man, one vote.” For instance, mass democracy and the tax financed welfare State have combined to make immigrants a threat to the citizens of a prosperous nation. Immigration barriers were the product of the so-called Progressive movement in the United States, which flourished from the late 1800’s until about 1920. Each new resident is viewed by taxpayers as a potential drain on tax-supported welfare services. Taxpayers want only potential taxpayers to enter the nation. Public goods create a fear of immigrants.
      If citizenship were by Christian confession, immigrants would be welcomed as potential converts to the faith, just as visitors to a church are welcomed. They could join the civil covenant through covenantal adoption by God.
      Since immigrants could not vote—meaning “vote themselves into our pocketbooks”—until joining the civil covenant, they would not be a threat economically. Because they would work, they would be an asset. Because citizenship in the United States is automatic through birth inside the national borders (U.S. Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment), immigrants have become an economic and political threat, for their children will become citizens upon reaching adulthood and become eligible to vote.
      Because of compulsory tax-financed education, their children drain our school budgets. The welfare State, coupled with citizenship by birth, has made immigrants a liability. This situation is radically anti-Biblical and immoral, yet it is the politically inevitable outcome of mass democracy, socialist ideas, and citizenship by birth. A century ago, a liberal was a person who favored open borders—free trade, free immigration—and a minimal State. Today, he favors restricted immigration, high tariffs, and a maximum State.
      Freedom of movement has steadily been sacrificed on the altar of the welfare State. In ancient Israel, citizenship was by covenant and family, so strangers could live in the cities and share God’s blessings on the whole society.
      Christian civil citizenship must be confessional, but with open borders. To screen civil citizenship in terms of anything other than Christian confession is to make “undesirable” foreign residents a threat.
      There were no passports in the West before 1914. Few Western nations had rigorous immigration laws. There was also no mass democracy or socialism. People who would obey the laws and work hard were seen as a benefit. But mass democracy and the rise of socialist ideology changed all that. With the progressive income tax came immigration barriers in every nation. The welfare State is illiberal with regard to work-oriented immigrants. To the extent that welfare State thinking has become common among Christians, they too have adopted the closed-border mentality.

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