Typos — p. 13: McDouglas [= McDougall]

Subsidized sloth and subnormality
in the Socialist State

Anthony M. Ludovici

The South African Observer 5.8, 1959, pp. 12–13

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More than once already, I believe, I have called attention to the fact that in a country where political and cultural influence has, through the supineness and ineptitude of its menfolk, fallen preponderatingly into the hands of women, most people are prone to mistake a lump in their throats for a profound thought, and a chilly sensation down their spines for an inspiration.
        In the atmosphere created by a population of this type and temperament, living under conditions in which the rival political parties at every General Election compete for the support of the masses by promising them ever greater and greater benefits at the expense of the taxpayer, it would have been little short of a miracle if, in the frenzy of their filched philanthropy, politicians and statesmen had not in the end granted the voting populace the supremely coveted privilege of well-remunerated indolence.
        For, under circumstances in which you can acquire kudos, gratitude and popular support by simply diving into another man's pocket and distributing his property as largesse to the crowd, you would need to be a man of exceptionally high principles, and possessed of qualities now, if not wholly extinct, at least largely obsolescent, if you refrained from winning the adulation of the multitude by assuming the rôle of a philanthropist at the cost of your defenceless fellow-citizens. Similarly the crowd would need to be very dense and unappreciative of your fairy-godmother feats, if they failed to see how they could exploit, for their own ends, your reckless solicitude on their behalf.
        This explains why, all over England to-day, you find not only heavily subsidized sloth, but, what is even more disquieting, also flourishing conditions plus sloth, foisted on enormous families spawned by individual men and women whose stock both spiritually and physically is often as low and as nationally undesirable as it possibly could be.

A case by no means exceptional

        In one English village with which I was acquainted, there was a half-witted man with a hereditary disease of the eyes (Retinitis pigmentosa, I believe) whose philoprogenitive zeal was so indefatigable and persevering that by the time he was only on the threshold of middle age, he enjoyed a comfortable independence, thanks to the serried ranks of his wholly unwanted progeny alone. Nor was his case by any means exceptional in the area. Not

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all the fathers of large and undesirable families had hereditary eye disease, but certainly very few exhibited traits, whether bodily or mental, which made their inordinate multiplication a boon to the commonwealth. On the contrary, their own and their wives' psycho-physical endowments were too often such as to guarantee that sooner or later their offspring would become further crippling millstones round the necks of the more wholesome and promising members of the community.
        How remote this seems from the wisdom of one of England's most brilliant 19th Century philosophers — F. H. Bradley — who, in 1894, in protest against the unscrupulous and irrational humanitarianism which even then was gradually perverting the popular mind and recklessly penalizing the sound and promising elements in the population in order to foster and cosset all those who could not in their own persons guarantee the continuation of the race in a desirable form, exclaimed: "I am disgusted at the right of the individual to spawn without restriction his diseased offspring on the community," and at "the duty of the State to rear wholesale and without limit an unelected progeny — such duties and rights are to my mind a sheer outrage on Providence . . . We compel the higher type to stand by helpless and to be outbred by the weaker and the lower, and we force it to contribute itself to the process of its own extrusion." (SOME REMARKS ON PUNISHMENT: an Essay published in April, 1894)

No notice taken

        It is over sixty-five years since Bradley wrote these words. At the time when they were published, he doubtless hoped that they might have some effect in rousing his countrymen to recognise their mistakes. But they merely sank more deeply into error.
        Forty years later, Professor W. McDougall echoed Bradley's sentiments when he wrote: "At the present time the State not only does nothing to promote a relatively rapid multiplication of the intrinsically superior elements fit the population, but it actually maintains an extensive and unjust system by which it restricts the multiplication of these elements." (RELIGION AND THE SCIENCES OF LIFE, 1934, Chap. IX).
        But again no notice was taken of this authoritative protest. Yet, no denizen of England's countryside or of her towns and cities, should need to have such facts as Bradley and McDougall describe called to his notice; for examples illustrating them abound in everybody's daily experience. It is true that the national Press usually observes a discreet silence regarding those cases of State aid and succour which relate to the worst abuse of all — the support and encouragement to multiply which the present system vouchsafes to those elements in the country, whose increase is most to be deplored. But again and again through the instrumentality of the Courts, cases are reported in which sheer sloth is fostered and indeed actually suggested by the present system

Other cases

        On the 2nd of September of this year, for instance, we read of the case of a man in Nottingham who was in receipt of £15 18s. a week for doing nothing whatsoever. This man, a 45-year-old father of fourteen children, turned down every job that was offered to him; for, as the Court was told, "he felt he had no need to work" and had not done a stroke of work for two whole years. (DAILY MAIL 2.9.59). Nor did his case create any particular scandal. Indeed, it would never have been noticed, had he not most imprudently tried to increase his substantial unearned income by taking £8.15s. from electric meters
        But, although in his addiction to the robbing of meters he may have been exceptional, let no one suppose that in other respects — i.e., in his affluent indolence, he represented a species rare in modern England.
        Only eighteen days later, a similar case was reported, relating to a builder's labourer of Oldham, Lancs., who, when at work earned £10 a week, but when out of work, pocketed £11 10s. a week. (NEWS OF THE WORLD, 20.9.59). His case too, scandalous though it undoubtedly was, would have provoked no comment or protest had he not also wished to augment the unearned income he enjoyed at the taxpayer's expense, by breaking open his own gasmeter and extracting £4 6s. from it.
        Once again we are reminded of the loose and shallow thinking of alleged "Sages" like G. B. Shaw and other notorious Socialists who, in the ecstasies of their humanitarian zeal, tried to make us believe, among other sophistries, that all crime and in fact all wickedness was the outcome of poverty.
        It would, however, be unrealistic to look upon these cases of subsidized sloth as the most deplorable that are now disgracing our society; because, for all we know, despite the unpleasant weakness they reveal for dishonestly increasing State aid, both the men concerned may be the sires of progeny who biologically and spiritually are of a kind who in their own persons may offer some guarantee of being able to continue the race in a desirable, or at least a healthy and comely form. They may be creatures with stamina, free from hereditary taints and individual flaws, and capable under the influence of civilizing disciplines of becoming assets instead of liabilities to the nation.
        But, unfortunately, nothing of the sort can be postulated of the kind of progeny to which F. H. Bradley and Professor McDouglas allude; for no matter how virtuous and free from moral blemish they may be — and they are by no means universally so exempt — their unsound condition can but constitute them further millstones round the necks of the nation's more promising elements

Unrecognised inhumanity

        It is this unrecognised inhumanity towards the steadily dwindling stocks of desirable people in the country that forms one of the most serious charges to be brought against the Welfare State. Equally unrecognized, however, is the part the institution of the Welfare State has played in encouraging the Black Invasion, with its inevitable consequences: the lowering of all standards, increase of mouths to feed, aggravation of the deplorable housing shortage, and, of course, ultimate mixing of the white and black races. The fact that this is proving unfavourable to both races is gradually becoming painfully clear, and when in 1934 Professor William McDougall expressed the view that this form of miscegenation "was a principal factor in bringing about the rapid decline of Moslem civilization" (RELIGION AND THE SCIENCES OF LIFE, Chap. XIV), he spoke, not merely as an advocate of Nationalism, but also as an ardent defender of Western culture. But he was not heeded; and, as things are, no one sharing his point of view can now hope to be heard amid the din of voices extolling and vindicating the opposite standpoint.
        How long the mute long-suffering tolerance of the more valuable elements in the nation is likely to last, it is impossible to say. One can only assume that it will continue unchanged so long as the majority are kept in ignorance of the biological, economic and cultural consequences of their rulers' erroneous policies.