Themes and Thoughts
Food From Thought

The Tyranny of Selfishness

Recently I read an article that suggested that it was not so much the fact of living under a culture of death that causes the bad things in our world (though obviously we do, and it does) so much as living under a culture of self. The causes of the evil, behind two recent events in Britain, is ultimately the culture of self, selfishness or self-interest, albeit, perhaps operating in slightly different ways. Perhaps when we hear Individualism deplored – an idea, truly understood, which should be applauded – what is often meant is simply selfishness.

The first event is the series of riots that took place in English towns and cities in August 2011; the second is the rejection, by Parliament, of an amendment put forward by the courageous Nadine Dorries, by which possible-aborting mothers might be required to seek independent counselling before taking irrevocable life-or-death decisions.

The rioters and looters were in the main motivated, it seems fairly clear, by the wish to acquire “free stuff”, things that are normally beyond their financial reach, but which are constantly paraded before them as the inevitable and necessary ornaments of any “lifestyle” that goes with having “made it”, as with the celebrities and the awful celebrity culture. Of course, this does not explain why the rioters burned and wrecked buildings (including peoples’ homes), and destroyed businesses (such as a long-established furniture shop in Croydon, a shop from which they would surely not have been able to carry anything off, nor would have found anything they sought there). This – destruction for its own sake – is an inevitable result of a desire to be free, at least for a while, from the already-tenuous restraints of a culture that asks for conformity to a set of rules (the governors of which have lost sight of the reasons and sources behind moral rules). Either way, the conduct of the rioters was to put self before community (and individuals – most painful of all to watch, perhaps, was the interview with the woman in Tottenham whose home and possessions had all burned; I well remember individuals losing everything they had, to rioters’ arson, when living in the middle of the Brixton riots, in 1981).

The selfishness of the aborting mothers is far greater, however, for their actions destroy the entire lives of individual people before any life in the world has begun. This is the evil beyond all evils, because even the holocuasts of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot – and many others – found victims who had had at least some experience of normal life, as their societies’ understood it, before the work of the political monsters was started. Such women put themselves, and their own perceived needs and interests, before the very existence of others; the only fair description is Concenience Killing. But just as the rioters’ actions have been ultimately caused by the destruction of morality in our society (an evil, like most, that has come from the “top” down, not the other way around), and from the materialism of the culture which has resulted from it (when the rulership is committed to materialist values/world-view, the valuing of individual human life will unravel). And so the evil decisions of the aborting mothers have been encouraged and promoted by a host of official and semi official bodies – governments, media, so-called “charities”, trades unions, and political bodies of all kinds, many of which are claiming – totally duplicitously – to be motivated by a desire to serve interests of women.

Perhaps the only way to struggle against this badness in our culture is to confront society with its individual selfishness, not to attempt to expose the extent to which morality has ceased to exist.


November 2011