Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Reading Rainbow Hour

I think Serandez readers will appreciate this book, Our Culture, What's Left of It (by Theodore Dalrymple) whose essays include subjects such as what happens to a society when individuals stop being responsible for their own lives; when everything from the past is discarded just for being the past (PROGRESS!); what happens when people live entirely in pursuit of pleasure and hedonism; and the grave dangers of political correctness. He writes about his experinces in the UK, although it is a warning for the US of what might be. (It may not be so far off - I recently had to answer some questions on a government form and they wanted to know if I needed help with anything else - among them finding friends...)

Also, related - check out this Dennis Prager article from the JWR.


  1. Dennis Prager doesn't even define "socialist", and he confuses it with democratic liberalism, which makes it rather difficult to argue with him as he is a moving target. But I'll try.

    The most "socialist" country in Europe, outside of the Soviet Bloc, Yugoslavia, and Albania, was unquestionably Britain from 1945 to 1979. It did not have any of the societal problems he describes until the end of that period. It supported Israel (against the United States!) in the Suez War of 1956. It GRANTED freedom to almost all of its former colonies during that time. And during the 1950s it had one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

    I'll show one more counterexample from France itself. In its 1965 Presidential election, there were two candidates in the final round: Socialist Francois Mitterand, and Right Winger Charles De Gaulle. Miterrand was then and remained basically pro-Israel. Would that he had won, for De Gaulle encouraged the Arabs to instigate the six day war! Mitterand also supported the first Persian Gulf war (after initial hesitancy) when he later became President, sending French troops to fight with the United States.

    So much for Prager's thesis. On to the next bogeyman.

  2. While I actually wasn't a huge fan of this Prager article, there was one aspect of it, which I think was what he was really driving at, that was quite good:

    Socialism undermines the character of a nation and of its citizens. In simpler words, socialism makes people worse.

    These young people in France really believe that they should be able to be hired at their tender ages and that a company must not be allowed to fire them from their first day at work (except "for cause," which, as we are learning in America, is increasingly difficult to establish). In America, most of us would call the French young people's attitudes "spoiled."

    Socialism teaches its citizens to expect everything, even if they contribute nothing.

  3. It's good that your reading opinions that are different from your own; it's always nice to gain a new perspective.

    Oh, wait.

  4. :) As a note, I actually do. But that was funny, even though I didn't write this post.