Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The measure of society

One of the things that annoys me most about progressive liberals is the way they claim that the old traditional ways of doing things had to be dismantled in the interests of society.

They readily admit that - yes, it is true that Britain before progressive liberalism was a more law-abiding society with safer streets, but there was also all that grinding poverty, domestic violence, low educational achievement and child abuse going on too - and that is what progressive liberalism was about eradicating.

My argument is that - even supposing the tales of grinding poverty, domestic violence and child abuse were true (more about that in a bit) - after 50 years of progressive liberalism they are at least as bad if not worse. In addition to which we now have dangerous streets and lawlessness. So clearly, if the true intention of social liberalism was to eradicate these things, it didn't work - not only that, but it made society generally worse overall.

If society has been made worse, then how can they claim that it was done in the interest of society? It just doesn't make sense. I've also had social liberals complain that although a socially conservative Britain had an ordered and law-abiding society, it also had polio - as if this had anything to do with social conservatism or liberalism!

The poverty claim is one of the most commonly applied misconceptions of pre-social liberal Britain. Of course poverty existed - as it still does - but compared to the poverty of Victorian Britain fifty years earlier the poor of fifties Britain were positively affluent. Progress - real measured and sustainable progress - had been made on alleviating the problems associated with being poor - far more than has been made in the fifty years since.

The biggest difference between then and now is that, although the poor of today have more "things", they are blighted by a moral poverty which largely did not exist fifty years ago - primarily brought about by social liberalism. We may not have had the latest pair of trainers, but we had the love and comfort of a married mum and dad and knew the difference between right and wrong.

Domestic violence is another one of their favourite anthems - although there is little evidence that domestic violence was any where near as prevalent as the progressives claim it was (most evidence to support the claim is anecdotal - i.e. some social liberal feminist tells how her mum used to be browbeaten and whipped by their dad when they were growing up).

Despite all that, and fifty years of progressive liberalism, feminism and social reforms designed to favour women the evidence suggests that domestic violence is far more prevalent now than it has ever been. No one is suggesting that domestic violence didn't exist - but the idea that progressive liberalism has solved it is patently ludicrous.

The same for child abuse - it is at least as prevalent today as it has always been - quite possibly more so given that so many children end up in single mother households where they then have to watch mummy go through several "boyfriends" who might occasionally kick, hit or otherwise abuse the kids in one of their periodic drug enhanced rages.

By every valid measure, society is worse or no better now than it was when Britain was socially conservative. Fifty years of progressive liberalism has not solved the problems it claims to have been interested in solving - and in many cases has actually made it worse.

But still our politicians insist that social liberalism is the panacea! Can anything be more obviously wrong? Why can't they see it?

I'm not advocating returning to 1950's Britain in terms of material or medical progress - just a return to the social conservatism and values that were once the foundations of our stable and much admired society. Society was far from perfect then, but it was considerably more ordered and law-abiding than it is today - and the problems of those times are still as much a problem today if not more so.

As the old saying goes - when you're in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.


JuliaM said...

"...blighted by a moral poverty which largely did not exist fifty years ago..."Spot on!

Anonymous said...

"They readily admit that... Britain before progressive liberalism was a more law-abiding society with safer streets,"

Actually, they don't admit it at all.

Mention those facts and they start wibbling about a "mythical golden age that never existed", perhaps just because they're too young to remember it, but more likely because it doesn't fit their worldview and so clearly it cannot possibly ever have existed.

Anonymous said...

They won't stop digging though, that's the thing! What we can see as digging a hole is "progress" to them.

Stan, here's a link to a video I found on youtube. It's a speech made by a Conservative called Evan Sayet. It's a long video, but you'll get the gist in the first 10 minutes. Everything he says is so true, it makes you want to find the Hilary Clinton's of this world and give them a bloody good shake.

- Lawrence

Stan said...

Actually, they don't admit it at all.

Maybe they won't admit it, Lawrence - but they can't deny it. The statistics prove that pre-social liberal Britain ctime was a 10th of what it is today and society was considerably more law-abiding. It's not something they can dispute - so generally they use distraction techniques by discussing their assertions that domestic violence and child abuse often went unreported. The fact that there is no hard evidence to support that - added to the fact that anecdotally and statistically both are far worse now - tends to negate that argument.

I'll check out the You Tube link later.