As I’ve written about before, there is something profoundly lacking in the world today – namely men and women with the courage of their convictions and the will to act on them.
Sometime in the last century it went out of fashion for men to act on their own independent judgment. Group-think is in and the group says that no one can act alone, whether right or wrong, without facing the wrath of the multitude.
Ironically, the multitude does not care, of course, about much of anything that’s not on the boob tube and their wrath is implemented via proxy by the media and in the vacuous dead zone of “the system”.
My earlier post about Katy ISD sentencing a 12 year old girl to a semester in an alternative school for writing “I love Alex” on a school wall. Hello? Anyone home? A school principal is supposed to be a leader capable of making good decisions on his/her own. So where did Katy’s nuclear overkill come from? Blindly following the rules.
Possibly the principal in question was simply not competent enough to realize the crime warranted something along the lines of a day’s suspension and the opportunity to re-paint the wall or sweep up classrooms. But it’s far more likely that the principal knew a wrong decision was being made and made it or let it happen anyway. As described, district officials certainly acted no better.
A somewhat similar case was decided in London recently when the England’s High Court denied a teenage girl the right to wear a “purity ring” to school because school rules do not permit the wearing of jewelry unless the ornaments are integral to a pupil’s religion.
While the positions of the school and the court make a certain sort of sense, it’s also true that a logical system can be completely flawless and still be utterly wrong. So it is in this case. Lydia Playfoot, the young plaintiff says:
“I am very disappointed by the decision this morning by the High Court not to allow me to wear my purity ring to school as an expression of my Christian faith not to have sex outside marriage,” Playfoot said in a statement.
“I believe that the judge’s decision will mean that slowly, over time, people such as school governors, employers, political organisations and others will be allowed to stop Christians from publicly expressing and practising their faith.”
She is right, of course, for this has been happening for some time as personal rights have been eroded by a culture of all-inclusive political correctness. But that erosion is a symptom of a greater problem every bit as much as it is a problem itself.
Is a purity pledge such as Lydia’s wrong? Clearly not. What about its outward manifestation in the form of a simple silver band? Again, clearly this is not wrong. And yet we have the injustice of the decision made and re-made up to the highest levels.
In our current, overly-sensitive environment, the school’s headmaster must have been unable to think for him/herself for fear of experiencing what I think of as “100% personal unemployment” for daring to do what is right. One can hardly blame him or her. But who will stand on principles if not leading educators? And if they fail in this charge, how will the generation under their instruction learn to do so?
All of this to avoid giving vociferous minority groups something to claim to be offended about. That, in the final analysis, is what the non-decision in the Playfoot case is all about. The Brits don’t want Muslim women parading about in full-body costumes with only eye-slits exposed so they ban plain silver bands from the hands of the one set of teenage girls who won’t end up pregnant before their time. It’s sheer genius!
Consider: Why is it a problem to simply state that in Britain purity rings are allowed and burkas are not?
As I have said previously, it’s the foolish notion that laws, rules, and policies must be followed at the expense of doing what is right that sickens me even as it poisons the world at large.
I’ve written about only two relatively trivial cases here, the barest beginning when it comes to exposing the folly of trying to include and be fair to everyone at the expense of justice. More occur every day and these are hardly unique. But why must it be so? And who is responsible?
A good share of blame belongs to those who see and understand what is wrong with the insipid policoes of non-judgment, “everything is relative”, “there is no right or wrong, only feelings”, and “I need what you have and I’ll take it because I’m entitled to it” and who fail to speak out and act against it.
It’s been said that democracy only works until the people figure out that they can vote themselves a disproportionate share of the public pork pie. Where are Western democracies now, relative to that statement? And who is to blame for it, the non-contributors who moan for more, hands out toward the dole, or the best of us who recognize that only strength, hard work, and difficult decisions make democracy work and fail to act accordingly?
But now Britain’s social fabric is crumbling round the edges with shockingly high rates of crime, drug and alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy. Far from meeting need, the state is either ignoring it or even actively making things worse.
In our advanced, spoiled consumer society, we no longer have mere poverty. Shamefully, we have created an entire class apart — people who are permanently trapped in an economic, cultural and social limbo-land which lies outside the mainstream of our society.
Tomorrow, Mr Duncan Smith will attempt to change all that when he publishes the final report of his Social Justice Commission. His interim report, last year, laid out the enormous scale of the social collapse which has resulted from a steep decline in traditional values. Now he is providing no fewer than 190 recommendations to tackle it.
Where Beveridge identified the five giant social problems of want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness, Mr Duncan Smith lists the five giants that the welfare state has helped create instead — family breakdown, serious personal debt, drug and alcohol addiction, failed education and worklessness.
Grasping the key point that morality has all but collapsed into the free-for-all of ‘lifestyle choice’ and ‘non-judgmentalism’, he is effectively drawing a line in the sand to end the culture of dependency and the appeasement of wrongdoing that the welfare state has fostered, and to restore the notion of individual responsibility that it has so badly undermined.
Social justice is the great domestic issue of our time. For too long, this terrain has been commandeered by the Left, which claims the moral high ground of conscience.
On the contrary, the sorry truth is that under the banner of tackling poverty, social exclusion and all the rest of it, they have actively encouraged social fragmentation and the abandonment of the most vulnerable — particularly children — to serial disadvantage, illness and harm.
The essence of social justice is that while true need must be met, irresponsible or harmful behaviour must be discouraged and responsible behaviour should be rewarded. Instead, irresponsible behaviour is incentivised — as everyone’s ‘rights’ — while responsible behaviour is penalised. This is the essence of injustice. It is also socially suicidal.
Mr Duncan Smith’s great insight is that the kind of poverty that exists in Britain — the fourth-largest economy in the world — is not at root an economic issue. It is a moral issue. It is all about behaviour, and the choices we all make. Now our political leaders themselves have a choice — to accept or reject this analysis. On which side they decide to come down, Britain’s social and moral health now depends.
That is quite right – poverty, both economic and spiritual, is all about the behaviors we choose. This is true for all men but all the more so for our leaders who, being too intelligent to miss the obvious, must surely understand this critical point.
Why then have men and women of good faith ceded the right to make decisions, to act on their own independent judgment according to what is good and true and right, and take action simply because it is best to do so? Why, when to leave the decisions in the hands of the takers is to surrender the West to human vultures? That is the great mystery of our time.
To paraphrase the brilliant Ayn Rand, perhaps it is because they simply don’t think the misguided fools are worth opposing. If true, that is a grave mistake.