In the all-new Bible for the 21st century, the good Samaritan is a naive and foolish leftie who falls for a scam.
The problem with scepticism is it becomes easier to exercise the further away the evidence is from your own favoured position.
I, Daniel Blake has become a very successful and award-winning film that also highlights major flaws in a government’s ideas of how to treat human beings. That government’s supporters must discredit it otherwise it will force them to undertake the tiring and unpleasant duty of rethinking their own position.
Compassion must be redefined as weakness. What was once seen as a strength has to be seem as an act of negligence, even stupidity.
It seems many spokespeople on the right wish to persuade us all that it is pull yourself up by the bootstraps, even if the straps wore away many years ago, or nothing. I find this odd as I am the product of a right wing family who also believe in a caring society.
Some of them do still exist. For whatever reasons the people I know are right wing, it does not seem to be led by an overwhelming desire to say, “To hell with everyone except me”. I presume this group will soon be no more.
To believe that humans should be fed and lived comfortably does not immediately mean you desire a perpetual benefits society where a jobless future is acceptable, even desired.
It may mean some reordering and rethinking though.
Cruelty is becoming a common sense position. If you don’t doubt stories of poverty or oppression based purely on your desire to doubt them, then you must be weak.
Find one overage refugee and they are all overage refugees.
Everyone is trying to cheat you, to take something away from you.
The desire for an improvement for those disenfranchised by war or genocide or poverty is some Lala land position.
What if you are not always in the top set? What if one day, through some misfortune or other, you lose it all? And then you turn to seek succour or kindness, but you can’t have any now, because you encouraged a world that means now they look at you and say, “you must have brought it on yourself, you pustulous wretch. I have read about people like you.”
And as they spit at you, you try to explain that what they read was written by you, and it’s all changed now, and you didn’t realise and… you’re bundled into the back of a van and you dream of smashing open a soup tin with a flint and drinking it cold.
And we find ourselves at Kurt Vonnegut yet again
“On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’”
And I think about Rawls’ Theory of Justice…
and someone tells me that Abraham Lincoln said that he’d rather trust and be disappointed than distrust and be miserable all the time.
And I think I better donate to The Trussell Trust even though maybe one of the people getting a bag of pasta may have spent their money on booze or be cruel, because maybe that person getting the tin of beans really has no other way having a full stomach.
Or maybe I’ll just stay in my house, twitching the curtains and feeding on spite, it’s all the rage. I am sure spite will soon be modelling on the cover of Vogue…
(as well as The Trussell Trust, you may want to look at The Equality Trust)