A few days ago at a crowded bus-stop in the city of Nottingham, a fat youth of about 13 started to throw food at a friend. Some of it nearly hit me and landed on the ground just beyond me, making a mess.”Excuse me,” I said to the youth, “could you pick that up?”“Shut the f— up!” he snarled, with real hatred contorting his face.Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, in England, come—obscenities. No one at the bus stop dared say, much less do, anything. For increasingly, the English are a people who know neither inner nor outer restraint. They turn to aggression, if not to violence, the moment they are thwarted, even in trifles. And those who are neither aggressive nor violent are by no means sure that the law will take their side in the event of a fracas. It is better, or easier, for them to pretend not to notice anything, even if it means living in constant fear.
Under the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that, according to a survey recently conducted by Lloyds Bank, a fifth of all people with assets of more than $640,000 are thinking of leaving the country. Personally I am surprised it is so few. Other surveys have shown that at least 50% of the population wants to leave, in the main to flee the other 50% of the population.
It is difficult to overstate the deleterious effect on the quality of life in modern Britain of incivility and bad behavior. One small manifestation is the littering of the country. No hedgerow, even in the most beautiful countryside, is without its discarded plastic bottles of soft drinks and wrappings of take-away food. In the matter of litter, the British are now by far the dirtiest people in the Western world, a sign of their unsocial mindset.Every Friday and Saturday night, the police riot vans come to my otherwise charming small market town in Shropshire where, were it not for the mass drunkenness of young people, no police would be needed. Not long ago I returned home just before midnight to find, about a hundred yards from my front door, the police bending solicitously over a collapsed, scantily clad and lumpen, drunken young woman lying unconscious in her own vomit. There is only so much of this kind of thing that one can take.
The paralysis of the public administration in the face of the problem induces a state of despair in the more civilized half of the population. (The public sector now accounts for more than 50% of British GDP, so the paralysis is not caused by a lack of resources.) Recently, for example, three people stripped naked a vulnerable young man of low intelligence, tied him to a lamppost, covered him in food, insulted him and left him there for four hours, then cut him down so carelessly that he banged his head on the ground (by the time he reached the hospital he was in a state of hypothermia). They were not even sent to prison.In other words, practically no behavior is now beyond the pale for the British state. Sadly, the freedom to behave badly is almost the only freedom valued by, or left to, young Britons.
The people who want to flee Britain are not economic migrants. It is not high taxes that they object to (many want to move to France, where taxes are not low), but barbarism. They are cultural refugees in search of a more civilized homeland, where fewer people are uncouth or militantly vulgar.What has caused this collapse of civility in Britain, which was, within living memory, a civil country? In my view, it is a demotic version of egalitariansim, allied with multiculturalism.
Even middle-class people now behave in an increasingly uncouth and rough fashion in Britain because they think that by doing so they are expressing their solidarity with the lower reaches of their society. Imitation, they think, is the highest form of sympathy. This, of course, is an implicit insult to many of the poor, for poverty and unmannerliness are by no means the same thing.Multiculturalism is damaging because it denies that, when it comes to culture, there is a better and a worse, a higher and a lower—only difference. The word culture is used here in its anthropological sense, that is to mean the totality of behavior that is not directly biological.
Hence any conduct—lying scantily clad in a pool of vomit, for example—is part of a culture, and since all cultures, ex hypothesi, are of equal worth, no one has the moral right to criticize, much less forbid, any kind of behavior. And if I have to accept your culture, you have to accept mine. If you don’t like it—tough. Unfortunately, the lowest level of culture is the easiest to reach and, again ex hypothesi, there is no reason to aim higher.Incivility in Britain thus has a militant or ideological edge to it. The uncivil British are not uncivilized by default—they actively hate and repudiate civilization.
Theodore Dalrymple is the pen name of the physician Anthony Daniels. He is a contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.
Comment: I live in Twin Cities, Minnesota. I grocery shop at a slightly upscale local chain supermarket and have done so for over thirty years. This is a civilized, quiet, quite safe mostly white part of the area. People who work at the market have been there for years and know many a customer by first name.
For more than two decades I have noticed the vast majority of children under eight years old, grabbing and toying with merchandise, or whining about “I want this”….I want that!”….It occurs ONLY WHEN THEY ARE WITH AN ‘ADULT ‘ WHO IS FEMALE who is probably the child’s mother.
When the imps grab and whine, the female responds as if she has memorized a theater role: “I have told you a thousand times not to touch those things”……
……and she is telling the truth, and will repeat her role the next shopping trip to add to her performing role..
When the children are accompanied by and adult male, which, of course is much more seldom, why is it one never hears such noises and sees such grabbings and other disturbances from the children of nearly any age?
We live and suffer in an ERA in which the human female has demanded, grabbed, gone to university, and is attempting to perform natural MALE roles in culture.
The people must be made equal….the Marxists at university tell us.
She is, and will be a failure at performing as a male…..as will the human male eventually be a failure at being perpetually feminized or simply reverting to being a sexual predator. Eventually, the human male WILL DEMAND to return to the world of civility and common sense one day.
The western world has crippled itself under the weight of one of the more serious diseases of Marxist Political Correctness, which causes humans to believe that there is no difference between the human female and human male beyond socialization.
On the other hand how do we raise our children from the more female perspective of America, 2012. MSNBC presented an outstanding video of child raising, with a male voice directing the action.
The video is priceless indeed. The guy in charge might be a Stay-at-Home MOM, but then again he perhaps directed and outstanding home video of his or someone elses 3 year old daughter.
Listen closely the the duet sung by the female anchors of the MSNBC presentation. They praised the male (father?) handling the star’s acting and more than gave a five star performance to both male and toddler. implying that his endless patience and self control were exemplary.
Sarah Heartburn recognized the three year old’s behavior, perhaps a flashback.