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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

"I can't help it" is a crock

The victim culture, in which no-one is responsible for anything at all, in which every malfeasor is either a victim of another malfeasor or, when one can't be identified, of the fates themselves, has been condemned here many times. As has the destructive fatalism that denies any measure of self-determination - a fatalism at the heart of Socialism. I've never been able to demolish the fallacies, though, quite as effectively as Thomas Bertonneau does currently on Brussels Journal. Well worth a read. 

"In The Golden Ass, Apuleius depicts a world poisoned by its vices and redoubled in its morbidity by a pervasive exculpatory invocation of Fate, an agency that the rabble and the upper class alike commonly nominate as the supreme principle of a grab-as-can existence. Under the doctrine of Fate, desire propels the subject like an irresistible destiny, and no one – or hardly anyone – so much as tries to fight against immediately satisfying his basest urges in any way that he can. People throng the arenas to see the spectacle of gladiatorial combat; they crowd the brothels to liaise with prostitutes. People cheat, betray, and murder one another; and they insouciantly debase the traditional forms (morals, customs) that betoken an older, healthier, non-disgruntled world, in which responsibility and obligation trumped mere appetite."

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