Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Falsity of Brown's Claims to a Moral Status for his Political 'Vision'

It has been a characteristic of New Labour, and particularly of their visionary and Leader, to claim a moral and ethical status for their acts while holding, howsowever gained, political power. Reading the illiterate drivel posing as a political speech to the TUC, Angels turned to civilised and educated discourse which calls to account the underlying falsities of much of New Labour's dishonest claim to economic and social propriety and widespread moral beliefs , particularly in the notion of the Third Sector and its unification with the welfare state.

"Charity is essentially the act of a person. The commandment of perfection, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, turns upon the verb ‘love’, which is meaningful only when applied to an individual human (or divine) being. It is a personal emotion; and self-sacrifice in which it results is something peculiar to individual persons: ‘Greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends’. Only a creature capable of dying individually can exhibit this love, and that is true of the lesser acts of self-sacrifice. Morality, religious or ethical, is about persons. Wherever the terms of morality are applied to collective or inanimate entities, they are either being used metaphorically, or they apply in fact to the individuals underlying the collective or inanimate entity.
Of course, persons can perform acts of charity in company. A group of people or the members of a religious order may each decide to give up his possessions and his career in order to heal the sick and teach the ignorant for no material or worldly reward. But the charity is still that of the individuals, and when we refer to the order or the institution as charitable, that is no more than an abbreviated mode of speaking. However widespread a voluntary charity may be, it retains always the characteristic that every individual who participates in it does so as a personal and deliberate act, which to that extent involves a personal deprivation for him.
The question is whether charity or altruism can have any meaning when applied to the act of a public authority, decided on and executed by an organ of that authority and financed with money raised by compulsion. Clearly a charitable act is not performed by the Cabinet Minister who resolves to make a present of public money to the government of India or the administration of St. Helena. So far from imposing a deprivation on himself (or herself) for the benefit of others, it appears that electoral advantage and party and personal credit is sought thereby. It might become an altruistic act perhaps if the Minister believed that the result would be to endanger his seat in the Cabinet or in Parliament. Meanwhile it will be necessary for the Minister concerned to give part of his salary or private means secretly to an underdeveloped country in order to qualify as charitable.
However, it may be said: ‘Surely we, the electorate, who have voted for a government which undertook to give away a lot of our money for no advantage to us – surely we are performing a charitable act?’ But in the first place, none of us had any choice, because in this respect there was no material difference between the prospectuses put before us. In any case our vote notoriously cannot convey affirmation of any specific item of policy; there was not a separate referendum: ‘Do you want £150 million of aid and an extra 6d. on your income tax standard rate, or not?’ Even if there had been such a referendum and it had been carried – otherwise than unanimously on a 100 per cent poll of those only who pay income tax at the standard rate or higher – it would still not have been a charitable act, except on the part of the ‘Ayes’ in respect of their own individual one contributions. Thus the act has to be converted back into an individual and voluntary one in order to acquire a charitable character.
Probably it is familiarity with what we call the Welfare State that has shielded us from perceiving the inherent absurdity and contradiction of a state or government purporting to behave charitably. The Welfare State does indeed perform some of the acts which are also, or would otherwise be, performed charitably; but that does not make its acts charitable, any more than the fact that some are also performed by entrepreneurs or companies makes the acts of the latter charitable. From the most rudimentary forms of society onwards, government has performed functions which the members of that society conceived it as performing on their behalf. It did so because the members of that society believed that upon the whole it was better for them that it should do so – better that it should make and enforce certain laws, better that it should arm and lead them against their enemies, better that it should make and keep promises to other governments. In our own society we have believed it better that the Government, directly or indirectly, should organize the education of the young, the care of the sick and the maintenance of the old. In all these activities it is possible to identify groups who are net losers in consequence but it is a collective advantage which, rightly or wrongly, is anticipated: we believe it will be better for us upon the whole, that ours will be a better society generally, if there is state education, a national health service, and a national insurance and assistance scheme. This is why we accept the reasonableness of arriving at these decisions by majority, the weight of numbers prevailing and enforcing their will upon the minority, who in turn accept it. There is no analogy here with a government deliberately incurring a public loss in order to perform a moral act of which the essence is to be voluntary and individual."

Brown and his henchmen can't even think straight, never mind act straight, as he demonstrates every time he is required to appear before the electorate, even an electorate as corrupted as the Labour TUC sycophancy, and open his mouth.

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