Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Poor are Animals

Here is a post from an earlier thread and my reply (my reply is edited from the original to fix the grammar):

"This probably means that the poor have more children than they can feed. Clearly reducing access to abortion and birth control was unbelievably stupid and short-sighted."

I see that you're favorite character in Dickens is Scrooge.
"If the poor are going to die then they should be quick about it!"

It strikes me in the discussions over social issues that libertarians always expect someone else to take the hit and make the sacrifice, and that right wing solutions to social problems are always punitive. The poor are always seen as lazy animals who should be punished and sterilized, people who are definitely "not like me."

It also strikes me that the poor are the last population expected to be thrifty. I suppose it would be too much to ask to hold The Masters of the Universe and the bankers to the same standard.


rick allen said...

Your remarks remind me of some of the closing words of Chesterton's "What's Wrong with the World":

"A little while ago certain doctors and other persons permitted
by modern law to dictate to their shabbier fellow-citizens, sent
out an order that all little girls should have their hair cut short.
I mean, of course, all little girls whose parents were poor.
Many very unhealthy habits are common among rich little girls,
but it will be long before any doctors interfere forcibly with them. Now, the case for this particular interference was this,
that the poor are pressed down from above into such stinking
and suffocating underworlds of squalor, that poor people must not
be allowed to have hair, because in their case it must mean lice
in the hair. Therefore, the doctors propose to abolish the hair. It never seems to have occurred to them to abolish the lice. Yet it could be done. As is common in most modern discussions the unmentionable thing is the pivot of the whole discussion. It is obvious to any Christian man (that is, to any man with a free soul) that any coercion applied to a cabman's daughter ought, if possible, to be applied to a Cabinet Minister's daughter. I will not ask why the doctors do not, as a matter of fact
apply their rule to a Cabinet Minister's daughter. I will not ask, because I know. They do not because they dare not....
When a crapulous tyranny crushes men down into the dirt, so that their very hair is dirty, the scientific course is clear. It would be long and laborious to cut off the heads of the tyrants; it is easier to cut off the hair of the slaves."

Counterlight said...

Thanks for the Chesterton quote. I enjoyed it immensely.

It calls to mind this line from Anatole France:
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich and well as the poor from sleeping under bridges."

I think about that every time I walk through Foley Square in Manhattan past all the courthouses. I shall now think of Chesterton when I stroll through the Financial District.

JCF said...

Tonight, a web series I've been looking forward to for MONTHS premieres. But just *yesterday* it was announced that, after tonight's premiere, the rest of the season (11 episodes, 6 min per) will cost $9.99.

When I complained about this SUDDEN development on a discussion site (I've been a member of for 6 months), I was told "If you can't afford $9.99, you don't belong here" [Other people told me of things I should give up, in order to pay: things I either gave up long ago, or never partook of in the first place].

It's one thing to be poor (because unemployed). It's another thing to be EXCORIATED and shamed for being poor. (Among one's supposed "peers", of a fan base).

It makes me both sad, and sick.

Counterlight said...

As far as I know, only in the USA is misfortune a sin.

Meanwhile, the wealthy are shameless.