I was writing this as a reply to Glad, but it became so long that I thought it worth writing a bit more as post in its own right. My gaff, my rules!
So the reply to this comment by gladiolys – http://www.annaraccoon.com/reflections/not-the-same/#comment-58374 and incorporating a replies to some of the other comments in the post.
Hmmm…. yes, variety is essential to any community, but surely you don’t want people to be greedy, spiteful, hateful, rude, mean or arrogant (amongst many others)?
Do I want greedy people? Well actually yes. Because greedy people have a purpose, to get more. How they go about being greedy is a different matter. They can do it illegally by stealing or they can do it legally by working. All other emotions are valid too. Rude people for instance. It’s just a facet of someone’s personality. That personality might have many other facets too. They might be rude because they are socially awkward but have a brilliant mind for a particular task.
I’d differ on your definition of progressives – for me, that’s about “from each, according to their abilities, for each, according to their needs”. I think being progressive is more about seeing people as individuals and not expecting everyone to want to be go-getting Apprentice types, which means, yes, some people will not be able to be as “productive” as others, so how do you ensure their basic needs are met? Just because they don’t produce economically, does not mean they are not good parents, partners, friends, carers or thinkers.
The mantra of progressives of “from each to each” can just as easily be catered for in a capitalist market driven society. Probably better than a socialist authoritarian society, but just my opinion. In a capitalist society giving from each is part of the process business carries out in paying a salary to it’s workers. Any left over is given to shareholders. The needs of the consumer is satisfied by the businesses providing goods. All during this giving and taking ever equality is being driven upwards. Businesses grow, more workers employed, more products produced and more consumers buying.
Some people aren’t as productive as others. So they get paid less. They will therefore do jobs which are valued less. That doesn’t mean that the jobs they do are not important. Think of cleaners. Not a greatly valued job so not paid well, but very important that they do the job otherwise the place becomes a pigsty. Others could do it, but is it worth having a nuclear engineer emptying out the bins of the office.
How do such low paid people survive? Because they can take on such jobs knowing that the rest of the family or local community supports them. They might be retired from full time work, they might have children, they might be disabled. But they will probably live with others who can help provide other income to allow them to live comfortably. Will it mean that they can afford a 40″ LCD TV? Probably not. That’s life. But they can afford a fridge and cooker and some form of entertainment which just 50 years ago they wouldn’t have. 50 years ago a holiday to Europe was only enjoyed by the few, now look at.
Charity still has a place in such society, but it’s down to the individual not the state. Charity can fill the gaps. Either through religion or other societal groupings such as the Scouts. Watch the Secret Millionaire and you realise that the people at the top are human to and actually quite enjoy giving their money away when they see the pleasure it gives to others. OK, so not all millionaires are so philanthropic, but it’s more than zero.
And in your desire to be celebrate difference, where does that leave your views on multiculturalism? I’m one of those who actually still believes in it. We are one world, with many cultures, They are always going to butt up against each other. Unless we get off the planet, the issue will become more acute. Cultures, or specific populations, should not be walled off in separate geographies. Yes, there are problems now in this country, but if we look at how Caribbean, African and Hindus and Sikhs have integrated, those problems diminish with time and patience. The same will happen with Muslim communities.
Multiculturalism. A bad word. A better term would by multiple cultures. Even in the white Anglo Saxon protestant world there are many cultures. You have Scotland in the north and Cornwall in the south. They are pretty much separate cultures with different ways of doing things. One likes deep fried mars bars, the other meat and veg inside a pastry crust. What they do have is a common identity of belonging to the UK. That means the monarchy, crap summers, tea, Christian values, and English.
Immigrants can come to the UK and keep their culture. They can either use it or forget it. That’s why the number one food in the UK is curry. But it’s also why we don’t have sharia law. Integration takes time. Pakistanis arrived in the UK in the 50s. It’s taken nearly 50 years for curry to become the top food. But it’s become the top food because the host culture saw it and liked it, not because it was imposed on them through multiculturalism which demands that Diwali is noted even if no one is Hindu. As you say, time and patience, something in seemingly short supply from certain sections of society.
Look at the Chinese. Their values aren’t being imposed on the rest of the UK society. They have their areas like in Manchester. But people go there because they want to enjoy the culture not have it imposed on them.
For some reason Muslims have stared acting all impatient and demanding that they culture be assimilated at a very fast rate. That just does not work. Human society is a slow moving beast and trying to get it to move faster just ends in disaster.
Whats the reason? In my view they’ve been goaded and helped by the progressive multiculturalists (and they aren’t Muslims) who rather than celebrate that there is a different culture think that they have to bend over backwards to adapt the host society to the needs of the immigrant society. That’s the problem, it’s the wrong way round. The host society can accept the immigrants or it can reject them. Which happens cannot be decided by some central authority or planned by any group. It just happens.
Why do they bend over backwards? An attempt to apologise for the evils of the British Empire. The same Empire that gave India a civil service which is better than ours. The same Empire that created America. Yes, it had it’s faults but it also had many benefits.
And finally, why do I use term progressives? I use it as a derogatory term. Because of things like progressive taxes act less on the poor and more on the rich whilst it’s called regressive to tax the poor. But excessively taxing the rich is also regressive. Because progressives are also authoritarian in that their methods only work when they demand everyone follows it.
Progressive is a word that has been twisted out of it’s real meaning just like the word gay doesn’t mean joyful anymore. It implies progress when in actual fact progressive ideas tend to be very conservative (small c). Progressive ideas about education do not use feedback to learn how best to teach but to impose a set method on everyone. Progressive work practises mean that the worker is in charge and demands the business owner to adapt to their needs even if it means the company makes a loss.
Right rant over (and my lunch break wasted). Feel free to rip into it. Point out my mistakes, strawmen, ad homs, etc. I won’t take offence as much as I hope you don’t take offence at my rant. Tell me where I am wrong and why and I will listen and probably learn.