In light of a few recent criticisms of the welfare state, including Mapmaster's comments on Susan Eagle and the public housing warriors, Raskolnikov's post on reductionism and generalization and Darcey's thoughts on the profitability of doing nothing, it seemed like a good opportunity to here include some reflections by physician and psychiatrist Dr. Theodore Dalrymple. In a quest to understand the evil that exists among men, Dr. Dalrymple worked with some of the most sorid members of society and visited some of the world's worst tyrannies.
I have noticed the disappearance of the word 'unhappy' from common usage, and its replacement by the word 'depressed.' While unhappiness is a state of mind that is clearly the result of the circumstances of one's life, whether self-inflicted or inflicted by circumstances beyond one's control, or a mixture of both, depression is an illness that is the doctor's responsibility to cure. This is so, however one happens to be leading one's life. And the doctor, enjoined to pass no judgement that could be interpreted as moral on his patients, has no option but to play along with this deception. The result is the gross over-prescription of medication, without any reduction in unhappiness.Also be sure to read "The Frivolity of Evil" by Dr. Dalrymple from 2004:
Not that the government is blameless in the matter—far from it. Intellectuals propounded the idea that man should be freed from the shackles of social convention and self-control, and the government, without any demand from below, enacted laws that promoted unrestrained behavior and created a welfare system that protected people from some of its economic consequences. When the barriers to evil are brought down, it flourishes; and never again will I be tempted to believe in the fundamental goodness of man, or that evil is something exceptional or alien to human nature.Like their British counterparts, the Canadian lambs continue to flock to the ruling elite, who require fresh sacrifices to keep the system going. A typical example of the consequences of a paternal welfare state, published in The Red Star, concerns an upcoming event, called Walk, Wheel and Ride for Dignity, which promises to be "the largest anti-poverty demonstration in years." With all due respect to the central organizer of the event, Melissa Webster, also disabled, these protests are in actual fact demands for food and shelter at the expense of those who rightfully owe them nothing. I am sorry for the disabled and the poor who have difficulties making ends meet, but there is all the difference in the world between voluntary charity and forced assistance. I don't want to end up joining the ranks of the poor lining up for a public cubicle because the government insists that everyone has a right to food and shelter, but I might be forced into that breadline soon enough as I am left with less and less disposal income each year as the number of public housing complexes increase. These days it is often more profitable to do nothing at all than work. Why expend the effort when your more fortunate neighbours will be helping out?
Although Webster, herself paralyzed, has made an effort to be self-sufficient, she claims the issue is not about disabilities but instead about surviving on social assistance. It's not about earning what you receive, but 'perceived need' and government handouts:
She intends to finish her degree, get a job and support herself. But first, she wants to make sure that every other Ontarian living on welfare — with or without a disability — is treated with dignity. That means having a decent place to live, an income above the poverty line and a voice that counts.Will my employer be forced to raise my wage too so I can help pay for all these demands? I say we all demand a raise until we are all reduced to poverty.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Posted by Lisa Turner on Monday, September 26, 2005