But what about democracy Mr. Murphy?

That is what is happening. A diet of abuse of the poor, and of praise for the rewards of materialism has diminished us as people, undermined our empathy, destroyed our compassion and left us not caring for our neighbours.

We don’t ask why there are no jobs. We blame those who do not have them.

We don’t even seem to care about those who really cannot work. That apparently is their own fault.

I could say that this is the result of the decline of faith in our society. But I’m not even sure it is that. The logic of these attitudes has been embraced by some of faith, at least in the US but no doubt it’s creeping here too. Prosperity is seen as a reward for virtuousness and poverty as the wages of sin, to use language not all will feel comfortable with.

And that’s just wrong. Poverty exists because we permit it. Because we tolerate it. Because we ignore it. Because we pretend it could never happen to us or anyone we know. Because we’d rather watch the television. Because we want whatever next is advertised. Because we’re told having is what matters and those that do not have do not matter as a result.

And yes, that makes me sad.

And angry.

But why would this make anyone angry? Least of all The Murph?

I thought democracy was our highest value? That the views of the populace should be reflected in what government does?

After all, we keep being told that the movement of capital must be restricted so that it can be forced to pay the democratically correct amount of tax. Why shouldn\’t the democratic idea that there are people taking advantage of the welfare system similarly be reflected in what government does?

14 thoughts on “But what about democracy Mr. Murphy?”

  1. Indeed.

    He himself wrote a would-be template for the Courageous State. A state that unashamedly claims confisctory rights over individuals’ income and property. A state that would deny the individual the right to take his/her own property to another state and would still claim ownership over its people (not the other way around) wherever in the world they were. A state that in short doesn’t believe the individual has any right that isn’t subordinate to the State’s view of the greater good.

    Well, if the State, as represented by the majority, decides that a small group is responsible for its ills, then Ritchie more than anybody else should understand that this is the Courageous State’s divine right.

    I personally am not at all comfortable with the developing narrative that those receiving benefits are to blame for their own position. But then, I’ve always believed in the rights of the individual and the restricition of the rights of the State. So I am entitled to be angry about it if I wish; he isn’t.

  2. His assumption appears to be that people everywhere are naturally wealthy, and that poverty is caused by rich people’s actions.
    My assumption is that people everywhere are naturally poor, and that wealth is caused by rich people’s actions.
    In support of my assumption as against his I would point out that our stone age ancestors lacked for example motor cars, whereas we have them and can even point out the individuals who contributed to their creation.

  3. Ritchie believes that democracy is good when people vote for things he likes.

    Democracy is bad when people have been corrupted by things like other people’s opinions.

    He’d put a stop to that kind of thing.

  4. OK, so we have no compassion, don’t care for our neighbours, don’t help those who can’t work and ignore poverty?
    So the £330 billion we spend on Health, Pensions and Benefits can’t be helping people or reducing poverty?
    Great, that’s £330 billion of spending we can cancel then.

  5. Democracy is not about listening to people and doing what most of them want to do. Democracy is about doing things which are good for the majority of people (and thus by extension bad for the privileged minority), whether they think they want them or not.

  6. “Decline in faith”? They have plenty of faith in Pakistan, which leads to lynching of anyone who disagrees.

    And in Europe it least, ISTM that the more religious nations are the one’s unable to keep their own house in order.

    Murphy can believe in the greta sky-pixie if he wants to, but he should keep it to himself.

  7. Having proved rubbish at economics, he’s now able to prove himself rubbish at philosophy. Is there no end to his rubbish?

  8. What Eddy and Alex said. We’ve solved the age-old problem of absolute poverty in our society. Nearly everyone in our society has food, clothing, a roof over their heads, healthcare, entertainment, and education even though millions of them will spend their entire lives contributing little or nothing to the costs of these things.

    These aren’t Dickensian times. Our poor aren’t underfed sickly waifs, they’re fat and boisterous.

    We know there’s no shortage of jobs in this country because foreigners keep coming here to fill them. Blaming Mrs Thatcher for unemployment in certain regions wore thin a couple of decades ago.

    We’re such a horrible, poor-slapping society that our poor often have Sky TV. And mobile phones. And spending money for booze and fags and scratchcards.

  9. Nautical [email protected]

    1. Murphy backtracked on his faith comment the moment it was pointed out he was guty of lefty heresy.
    2. Speaking as someone who has been moderated away from his blog, I can tell you he shares your view that anyone who disagrees with him should “keep it to himself”. It’s one of my chief objections to him.
    3. My faith underpins my objection to him; what’s your basis?

  10. This just reminds us again that Ritchie is just an old fashioned Christian moralist. Quaker, if I recall correctly.

  11. @ Ian B
    There is actually debate about whether Quaker are Christians. But NO Murphy is not an old-fashioned ot any other sort of Christian moralist because he exempts himself from the duties that he wishes to impose on others. When I suggested that he should tithe and ask his readers to tithe, he simply deleted my post.

  12. It is apposite to point out that this is Christian Aid Week (for those unaware, I should explain that this is not aid to Christians but aid by Christians and those sympathise with the objective to those in need – the first year or so the largest single part was helping surviving holocaust victims and Muslims probably outnumber Christians among the beneficiaries). Let’s wait and see whether Murphy has the guts to publish my “It would be nice…”
    For avoidance of doubt I have found, when knocking on doors, Jews to be, on average, far more generous than Gentiles, whether or not one adjusts for relative wealth.

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