Thursday, December 22, 2005

Anti-Anti-Poor Rant

Alright, it's that time of year again -- not sure how frequent my posts will be over the next two weeks, but I do intend to try and I haven't packed this period as insanely full of activity as last year so trying might actually make a difference. In any case, I thought I'd leave you with a great rant about the way supposedly clever supposed irony by supposedly liberal middle-class folks can be a thin, thin veil for class supremacism and hatred of working-class people. It's an English post so the slang is different but the sentiment is often the same on this side of the pond -- perhaps Canadian myths of tolerance and politeness disguise it a little more, but then again, perhaps not, given that my first social occasion in our new city was a party at which I got to listen to a middle-class woman go on and on about how people on welfare just blow it all on smokes, junk food, and who knows what else as soon as they get it, so no wonder they can't feed their kids. But I'll bet she donates food to the food bank at Xmas to make herself feel all righteous and good, right?

Well, in that spirit, here's a seasonal quote from George Bernard Shaw:

The social friction set up by inequality of income is intense: society is like a machine designed to work smoothly with the oil of equality, into the bearings of which some malignant demon keeps pouring the sand of inequality. If it were not for the big pools of equality that exist at different levels, the machine would not work at all. As it is, the seizings-up, the smashings, the stoppages, the explosions, never cease... And to outface this miserable condition we bleat once a year about peace on earth and good-will to men: that is, among persons to whom we have distributed incomes ranging from a starvation dole to several thousands a day, piously exhorting the recipients to love one-another. Have you any patience with it? I have none.

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