Saturday, 15 February 2014

A short history of blame

It’s getting hard to work out whom to blame for what these days.

Based on the Ten Commandments, Christian teachings about the value of the individual and our Anglo-Saxon and Viking notions of personal value (weregild and all that jazz), and though it was  occasionally marred or broken by notions of collective responsibility (see our brutal Norman ancestors’ massacres of everyone even suspected of being able to rebel again in Yorkshire and the earlier massacre of Norse settlers throughout England), throughout much off our history individuals tended to be held responsible for their perceived crimes. Naughty kings and other rulers were held to high standards of not messing with the powers that be and even the commonality by frequent rebellions – except again, when the institution of kingship was held to be too valuable to blame the king himself – in which case his government of over-mighty subjects was held to account.   
But otherwise, if you did the crime you did the time – in the stocks if not in prison. And it worked throughout society -kinda - through private perceptions of individual guilt and responsibility. You could punish people, deter people, take them off the streets or out of the picture altogether – and when you did that they often didn't re-offend. Simples.
Habits of law like this eventually wiped out the very popular barbarian Germanic culture of blood feud – a horribly brutal and expensive vice.

But where would the human race be today without the dear old Enlightenment?

First, there came that old progressive masochism catechism that, for example, the huge and ancient institution of  slavery was somehow caused even by some of the Abolitionists themselves and thus “we are all guilty” allowed ‘us’ all to be – ahem - tarred with the same shivery-exciting brush of lovely guilt, while at the same time feeling superior to the benighted souls who haven’t yet admitted their guilt fulsomely enough.

Today, ‘we,’ the witting and/or ignorant tolerators of all of Progressivism’s menu of evils are expected to kneel before our liberal betters and abase ourselves and give up whatever unsustainable luxury it is the progs want solely for themselves.   

This attitude has metastasised away from merely hurting our fellow creatures and recently led us into a surreal steam-punk alternative history in which the early Lords of the Air took upon themselves the typical Enlightenment task of promising to ration Progress at the then-height of its achievement; intercontinental aviation.
So you get this Zen-master scatology right out of Jules Verne Goes All Verdigris:

“While rejecting suggestions that flying is wrong and should be stopped, Cameron nevertheless argued that the rapid predicted future growth of aircraft emissions must be cut if Britain and the rest of the world are to meet national and international targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
 He naturally followed this pronouncement by attending all future international jamborees by tea-clipper, horse-and-buggy and a stout pair of brogues. Because collective responsibility is so back in fashion.

It gets better. Not only have we been stiffing our fellow Englishmen for centuries by running the Industrial Revolution scam on them at home via the domestic exploitation of labour and then exporting the whole shell game to the Empire and Colonies (all bow, scrape, rend hair shirts, etc), but right now at this end of the hockey stick we’re sticking it to Mother Nature herself: That’ll be $147,000,000,000 please, dear sir, madam, or civilisation.

Which perhaps explains the cats cradle Gordian Knot of progressive guilt-mongering that blames everyone on Earth who happens to be wearing trousers with a fly for causing Man-made Global Warming, which in turn induced man-made regional flooding, but which for some reason can’t be cured by man-made local dredging.
Thanks for clearing that one up, Dumb Jon.

So, to recap.

Breaking with centuries-old Judeo-Christian (and barbarian Germanic) teachings about personal responsibility, Progress slipped the blame for awfulness onto those who didn’t abolish active human evil quickly enough, and then neatly segued into an ethical world where merely by having nice things (say by possessing any technology more advanced than that used by the Clovis Culture) we jointly and severally become the Destroyer of Worlds. Except if it’s manufactured by Apple, ‘natch, which is so cool and little more unsustainable than the nests constructed by weaver ants. So.

It must be pretty easy again to go right back to blaming someone for actually going out and deliberately hurting someone, right?...

Luke Batty is believed to have been struck across the head before being knifed by his father Greg, who was shot by police after threatening paramedics with a knife.

Now this is clearly one of those random human tragedies that even my ever-more reactionary soul can’t somehow blame on Islam or the Progressive infection. The killer seems to have been insane and inherently irresponsible and so where can we lay the guilt for this awful crime, if not the natural human instinct to blame the perpetrator?

Why, it’s down to impersonal forces that fall on otherwise innocent human beings like rain – and no even man-made rain. At least nobody’s blamed common people enjoying the petrol engine or aviation fuel to date as far as I know.

Luke's mother Rosie Batty, who is originally from England, was at the cricket ground when her son was killed. Note the passive voice. There will be more. She told reporters in Australia that Luke, who was a keen footballer as well as a cricket player, had begged for a few more minutes with his father who he rarely saw at the end of the training session. Well, we already know that the late Greg wasn’t Father of the Year…"What triggered this was a case of his dad having mental health issues," Ms Batty told Channel Nine. "He was in a homelessness situation for many years,…which clearly implies that he did not get kicked out of any and all accommodation made available to him because he behaved irresponsibly, or something. A homelessness situation is just, well, external to our control somehow like gravity or being a Sagittarian or something, yeah?….his life was failing,… so it’s not that he failed to do whatever simple things a responsible person might do to avoid being homeless. Australia’s a socially conservative place in general but I don’t think they actually chuck you out to freeze/swelter/be bitten by spiders without trying to house you… everything was becoming worse in his life,…like snowflakes falling onto his karma and stuff… and Luke was the only bright light in his life.
Which he then snuffed out.
"No one loved Luke more than his father…Which was why he had to die, apparently.  No one loved Luke more than meso it’s a dead heat at the tape, okay? - we both loved him."… And that’s why they did such a great job? ‘Love’ is passive too – something you feel, but don’t have to act on in any responsible way by, as a randomly chosen example, keeping him away from the deranged homeless Greg.  

Later, in an interview outside her home, she told the Herald Sun she was in "shock, disbelief",.. Whereas she did believe with all her heart, like Tinkerbell, that letting the deranged homeless father meet the ‘bright light in his life’ was a good idea and something that love bids you do… but was being supported by family and friends, and her family were on their way over to Australia from England. Land of personal irresponsibility and people with issues, like measles.
She said: "What I want to share with you is: I'm the victim of family violence,… as yo can tell by remembering my unexpectedly murdered son… and if anything come out of this, I want it to be a lesson to everybody. Goes like: ‘Let’s all keep the deranged homeless guys away from their children, or indeed anyone’s children?
"Luke was at cricket practice and I believed he was safe."
"I don't think anyone really understood or understands what someone is able to do. Nobody ever heard of deranged, homeless people hurting anyone, or nutso parents extinguishing their kids. I mean, it just doesn’t happen. And so, as a sane person, or as a caring parent, you trust the very person who killed him,..Despite his life ‘failing’ and having ‘homeless issues,’ of course… loved him, and they did love him, they loved him more than anyone else." Though this might not be quite what she had in mind.
She told how she had initially believed Luke had been accidentally injured in a "bowling accident" by his father, and it was only later she was told by police and paramedics that he had been deliberately injured.

She went on to say it was a "tragic situation that no one could see was going to happen." It’s a mystery.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen: even infanticide by the insane is an impersonal, unprecedented, unpredictable thing. Though it might come to be public policy here in dear old Blighty if the Progressives have their way. We can only hope.
Indeed, infanticide may not actually be ‘a thing’ as the kids say these days at all. It might just be nothing. Nothing at all: it just happens because of a lawless, totally unpredictable, capricious Universe.

As a footnote I’d like to point out that I for one am glad that I’m not in any kind of authority in Australia.

Picture from here.

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