Not PC has a link to Darren Cauthon who explains a scene in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged where a number of people on a train die in a tunnel. The book is at pains to describe each persons partial responsibility for the accident, due in summary to their support to silly policies.
To quote from the book:
It is said that catastrophes are a matter of pure chance, and there
were those who would have said that the passengers of the Comet were
not guilty or responsible for the thing that happened to them.
The man in Roomette 7, Car No. 2, was a journalist who wrote that it is
proper and moral to use compulsion “for a good cause,” who believed
that he had the right to unleash physical force upon others—to wreck
lives, throttle ambitions, strangle desires, violate convictions….
These passengers were awake; there was not a man aboard the train who
did not share one or more of their ideas. As the train went into the
tunnel, the flame of Wyatt’s Torch [a landmark] was the last thing they saw on earth.
Sounds a bit harsh, do you think? Darren explains:
One could look at the Comet wreck and blame the conductor. If he had
stopped, there would have been no wreck, right? But why was he there?
Who was responsible for that? And who was responsible for that person?
If you want to get a full accounting of everything that lead to that
wreck, you have to start following the chain. It’s not too hard:
The conductor drove the train. But why?
The railroad company was forced to hire him. But why?
The government passed a law that said they couldn’t. But why?
The government was full of politicians who wanted to take control over business and people’s lives. But why?
That’s what they were elected to do. But why?
That’s what people wanted. But why?
In telling the stories of the passengers, Ayn Rand showed us their
part in the mess. She showed how their actionas, as minor as they might
seem, ultimately played a part in the wreck. It showed that your ideas,
what you promote, how you raise your kids, who you vote for, how you
live your life, etc. really do matter. And if you want to make things
better you have to do more than just vote for the lesser-of-two-evils
every four years.
If you turn to the Daily Mail (and just about any other paper or blog in the UK), you find the story of Karen Matthews, who apparently had seven children by six fathers, without much regard for their welfare, and relied on welfare payments for income. The Mail is not known for mincing its words:
Whenever we dare suggest more should be done to promote stable
family life, a single mother such as BBC economics editor Stephanie
Flanders – the public school educated, nanny-employing daughter of a
millionaire entertainer – tries to silence debate by pretending that
it's all an attack on her.
Meanwhile on council estates, children
who have never known their fathers are being brought up in an
ever-growing subculture of neglect, violence, drugs, pornography, crime
Consider that brutal, filthy, feckless woman
Karen Matthews, churning out seven children by six fathers and
subjecting her daughter Shannon to years of abuse before kidnapping her
in the hope of cash for more drink and drugs. The more children she
had, the more money she got from the state.
How much longer can the bien-pensant Left shut their eyes to the truth
that behind the overwhelming majority of cases of child abuse, crime,
educational failure, drug addiction and teenage pregnancy lies a
pattern of wantonly irresponsible parents and broken homes?
How much longer can they pretend – after the catastrophic failures of
Haringey and Kirklees councils [failures to save abused children] – that the social services can ever be
an adequate substitute for a loving, two-parent family?
My first question would be why is it the council's job to house these people and rescue their children? How do they find the time? Isn't the council too busy filling the roads up with humps and other obstructions so we can't get to work?
In the UK, councils have taken over much of the welfare, health and education spending of the state. Perhaps due to the low enthusiansm which which votes present themselves at local body elections, this has not been an unmitigated success. Councils have been taken over by the less able, and those with an anti-human agenda. To take just one example, Councils simultaneously ban new land development (with green belts), and deal with the resulting house price affordability crisis by creating more social housing.
My second question is 'Is it happening here?'. There are enough child abuse cases in New Zealand to suggest that it is. I don't read about these cases since they would severely affect my shining faith in human-kind (I am The Optimist after all), but even I am aware that all is not well in New Zealand families. I say 'families', but perhaps 'convenient-for-the-moment groupings' would be a better term given the transient and dysfunctional nature of many of these families.
My third question is 'What can we do?'
This process of family breakdown and growing welfare-dependent underclass has been going on for years. It seems to get worse and worse. But we have a new government, presumably with new ideas, so can things be turned around?
Sadly I think the answer is at best 'maybe'. So many many people rely on the underclass for their living. There are about 60,000 people who class themselves as social worker, caregiver, parole office and related occupations. Te Manatu Whakahiato Ora employs about 10,000 people. Dealing with the underclass takes increasing time and energy from teachers, doctors, nurses and of course the police. I suspect the number of people who service the underclass is around 100,000.
Apart from all the people who rely on the underclass for their income, there are those who are the underclass, or rely on the money intended for the underclass. TMWO for example says:
Our work touches the lives of more than one million New Zealanders. In 2007 we provided:
- retirement income support to over 500,000 older people
- financial support to about 261,000 working age people unable to work through health family or employment circumstances
- help with living expenses for the 1.1 million people receiving a Community Services Card
- Student Loans to some 134,000 people to help with their full time study costs
- Student allowances to around 52,000 students to help with their living costs.
If we add the 100,000 underclass-servers to the 200,000 (say) underclass, we have 300,000 people, plus their families and children who need the system to continue. Any government which decided that reform was needed would need to have balls of steel.
Still, if nothing is done, the only way is down: more misery, more abuse, more crime and more suffering. We are all responsible for this. We all carry some responsibility for child abuse and murder in New Zealand. I am not saying this in the John Minto 'child abuse is caused by poverty' way. Mr Minto is utterly wrong - the issue is not income but work. But child abuse is to some extent a function of circumstances, and to the extent that the New Zealand government allows these circumstances to exist, grow and even flourish, we as voters are partly to blame.
Keep away from tunnels is my advice.