Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bah, Humbug.

I'm in a curmudgeonly mood tonight. I've had a bad day at work. Too many stupid people in the world.

I've been rather gloomy of late, reflecting on the decline of what was once the pre-eminent civilisation on this earth. And like others, I sense a profound unease about me. That something is wrong, that something malevolent lurks, and that our wealth, prosperity and comfort is all illusory. In the book of Ecclesiastes there is this comment:

5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: 6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

Today we had this article in the local paper; it reminded me of that passage. Typical union blackmail and thuggery. I know many professionals who have studied for years who will not be making that kind of money: ever. Scientists, engineers, teachers etc. It appears that in Australia at least, the benefits of an education certainly aren't material. The average "tradie" in Australia is apprenticed at 16 and on his own at 20. There is no educational debt and frequently much of the money they earn is undeclared.

Now it may appear that I'm just have a case of the sour grapes. Personally I couldn't care less how much these people earn. But in a society where this kind of thing happens it becomes a society that corrodes the value of an education. In the short term it really is no big deal but in the long term it kills the society. Taking a bigger picture view of things, across the board, our politicians have created a system of governance which rewards folly and in turn punishes virtue, not just here in Australia but in all of the West.

How did we get this way? The cause of the West's demise is multifactorial, but if I were to try to reduce it to its bare essence it would be as follows:

1)Bad philosophy or in other words the rejection of traditional morality and epistemology.
2)Uncritical Media: The transmission media of bad ideas. Philosphers influence the media which in turn influences the public.
3)Democracy: The granting of the vote to people by virtue of having a pulse. Take a look at this site. Although it mocks the average citizen who shops at Walmart it bears reflecting that each of these citizens (with such evident good judgement) is entitled to same share of political power as the most prudent and virtuous citizen. They vote like they dress. They are the voting block which bad philosophers rely on to bring their political ambitions to fruition. The left hand side of the Bell curve is the Devil's.

Thinking about it really gets a man down. I mean really down. So many stupid people It would appear that the odds of reversing the trend are insurmountable. Yet there is hope.

As Christopher Dawson once said, If we were to put ourselves in Ancient Rome and ask ourselves where the world's next big idea would come from, no one in their right mind would suggest that the next big thing was brewing in the far off province of Palestine. Still that's what happened. Everything was stacked up against the early Christians, and I mean everything.

Still in the end, they kicked arse. they took over Rome and produced the World's greatest civilisation. No one sane sitting in those Ancient Roman forums would have predicted it. I have this strange feeling, and though it is totally without any logical basis at all, that it will soon be time for round two of Christianity vs the world. And based on past performance I've got a pretty good hunch who s going to win.

With that in mind. I'd like to wish all of my small band of readers a Merry Christmas. Notice, I did not say Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings or any other crap. And note as well: Merry Christmas, not Xmas. I don't give a flying fig about the Greek Chi. Peace and Good Will to all men and if you get offended by these sentiments then piss off.


Hestia said...

I often lament the fact my husband and I were born just as "game over" began to flash on the screen that is the Great Game of Western Civilization. (I'm 23 and he's 27.) Troubling times we live, but we can rest assured that God is still great and His will shall be done. This is hope indeed.

A very merry Christmas to you, kind sir. May the Lord bless you richly in the coming year. :)

Von_Renke said...

Good article!

I just take issue with some stuff you said about Rome. Rome's greatness was already established well before Christianity too hold, and even when it was declared the "official" religion of the Empire, folk and pagan beliefs persisted for hundreds of years thereafter. So I don't think Christianity really "made Rome great", it was already great.

Also, since you are for tradition, wouldn't it only make sense foe us to want Rome to stay with its traditional civic religions and pagan beliefs to keep traditional order that people were used to?

Just some thoughts :)

I am not religious, but I will wish you a happy Christmas all the same. Stay safe!

Von_Renke said...



Sorry for the spelling errors.

sestamibi said...

I wouldn't be too quick to judge those WalMart people. Many of them don't vote the way you think they vote.

The Social Pathologist said...


Merry Christmas to you as well.

@Von Renke.

Rome wasn't the greatest civilisation. Belle Epoque Europe was, and the Belle Epoque was impossible without Christianity.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas.


A lot of those people are actually good natured but without any intellectual depth. Good citizenship(especially with regard to voting) is not just an exercise of good will, but an exercise of good prudence and good will. My problem with a lot of people who vote, is that they don't think things through. Their clothing choices are pretty much an indication of their thought processes. You judge a tree by its fruit.

Most of the critics of universal suffrage are not opposed to people having rights, they just recognise that a lot of people manage their own affairs quite badly and hence should not spread their "rot" into government. That's why your founding fathers chose to restrict suffrage.

Oh, and just in case people have misunderstood me, I'm not bagging the practice of shopping at Walmart. We have our local equivalent which I have no problem buying stuff from, and I know plenty of "salt of the Earth" type of people who shop there; it's just that Walmart seems the attract a fair amount of the good and disproportionate amount of the modern proletariat.

Will S. said...

And those proles who shop at Wal-Mart, are inadvertently hurting themselves...

Merry Christmas, Slumlord!

Achmetha said...

Hail. Great post.

Unknown said...

We're the same where I live with the 'tradies' getting the big bucks. I have to hire educated people to staff positions and then then pay them a pittance compared to construction trades.

Another thing I'd add to the sad state of affairs these days is how much money we pay our professional athletes. I mean come on. Why do our teachers, who shape our childrens' lives, make so little and athletes who simply entertain us make so damn much?

All in all it says to the young either be really really good at a sport or enter a trade right out of high school - gauranteed high wage earners - forget post secondary.

carpenter said...

How many office boys die on the job?
Construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. They earn it.

carpenter said...

btw, I'm a 26 yr old self employed carpenter. I've been self employed since i was 22.
University? ha!
Student Loan? fuck that
Maybe wage payers should look at the hands of the employees. If they are soft like a woman or childs, then they should be paid soft wages.
Hard, calloused, split and chapped hands should be paid hard wages. Cold hard cash.

The Social Pathologist said...


You are quite right, the professionals who usually take responsibility for a job are frequently paid far less than those who execute(usually quite poorly) the job. Still while the moneys not good their is a qualitative difference between the university educated and not.


I worked as an ER doctor for many years in an area where there were a high incidence of industrial accidents. Yes, you are quite right an office worker is less likely to die at the job than a construction worker. But then again a lot of construction accidents happen out of sheer stupidity of the workers.

Still, there is a massive unseen epidemic of work related stress injury, that is so difficult to prove.

Years ago I had a union representative come to see me because of the typical stress symptoms. He had moved from being on "the tools" to an "organiser" in the union. His job was to co-ordinate union activity, strikes etc. He longed for the day he could go back on the job because it was so much easier than what he was currently doing.

Tom said...

In the end, it is good old supply and demand that will determine wages. The "tradies" earn those wages because someone is willing to pay them.

More to the point, I'm actually thrilled at the idea that a decent middle class living is to be made by the non-college oriented.

It has been a perennial worry for me for the last 35 years (and I'm not yet 50) that 3/4 of the world is not academically inclined, and yet there seem to be fewer and fewer opportunities for them to become a productive member of the middle class. I've been convinced that *that* is the biggest challenge Western civilization faces.

Thus I consider 'tradies' making a decent living the best sort of news :-). Different perspectives, I guess.

(Not that I don't sympathize with the difficulties of the college educated, but they're often an order of magnitude more employable than high school graduates.)

Tom said...

And as regards to decline and fall of civilization - isn't this an inevitable outcome of wealth?

The whole point of wealth is to be able to work less and buy security. Otherwise why work hard to be wealthy?

But of course, working less means that the hungry will catch up and a desire to buy security (especially on the part of one's children) means protecting oneself against the failures that provide incentive to work hard.

And Hestia, consider the blessing that you will live only a small fraction of your life wondering if the end was to come in the form of a nuclear holocaust. It's not impossible now, but a *whole* lot less likely than 40 years ago.

Happy New Year to all.

Unknown said...

Seems like you might be in the mood for John Derbyshire's latest work.

The Social Pathologist said...

Will S.

My apologies for not replying to you. I hope you had a Merry Christmas.

Yes the proles are hurting themselves. But not doing it willingly. The average man is trying to do the best that he can with the money that he has got. When your budget is squeeze your going to try to get the most out of every dollar. No, the people I blame are the government, who allow unbalanced free trade, cheap imports bought on credit.