Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Today I came across a man named Charles Murray. Maybe I should have heard of him before, but I had not. If you are not familiar with his work, I will do my best to illuminate you, but be warned - it's strong stuff.
He is (please feel free to skip this part if you do know about him) an American social 'scientist', famous for a book he co-wrote on the role of IQ in determining the social standing of individuals, who now gives evidence at Senate hearings in the US, writes op-ed pieces for various publications and generally gets his old face around the place a lot. As far as Mr Murray goes, my cherry was bust reading this unbelievable piece of shit (thanks to user 'Klang' btw) published in the (London) Times. I found out about the piece via the Guardian CiF comments, and it has genuinely scared me. I would urge you (Murdoch and all) to read it, if only to believe it.
The discussion was all around the new Coalition austerity measures in relation to Housing Benefit; how the new - unavoidable of course - steps announced by the Coalition will only mean (oh, really...?) increased poverty for the already poor. I am always shocked (though I really shouldn't be) by the vitriolic outbursts of some of the commenters on the Graun boards, as if I ought to expect something a little more refined in this particular arena, and that the real nasty shit should be reserved for the Daily Mail, but that's free speech (as well as ideological Coalition implanting) for you I suppose. But, amidst all the fucking bullshit around 'I don't get any help, so why should you?' and 'immigrants are living in Mayfair mansions' was a link to the Charles Murray piece in the Times.
Effectively - and I will get there - Charlie is saying that an underclass exists, and this is a fact of nature. An underclass will always exist, but we (as a civilised society) have to learn to deal with it in the most effective way. For him, this means three things:
1) Make life as hard as hell for the 'deviants';
2) Move 'em out!
2) Lock 'em up! (if they don't conform to the rules or move out)
The (some would say significant) social and (nobody can argue with this) financial cost of imprisonment is worth the net effect of removing from the sight of decent achievers the unedifying images of single mothers, low level crime and graffiti.
Now for the scary part. This would seem to be the driving force behind most of the Coalition policies.
Amiright? I may be, but who gives a fuck about me?