Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Class war of the world’s many

One comment today about last Sunday’s Texas school shooting by former Presidential running mate Paul Ryan said:
“What they need is meaningful gun control. Your prayers to the made up invisible being in the sky aren’t helping stop these repeated massacres.”
There may be scientifically a need for better laws or policies to deal with mass shootings, and prayers without action do do nothing. However, if one looks at the quote above, it becomes impossible to think they really care about shootings and only about having their own way – even if they earnestly and logically believe this selfish demand will reduce shootings, something evidenced in Europe and East Asia.

Nevertheless, this claim does not excuse the selfishness – underlying if not always or even normally explicit – in most atheist criticism of Christianity. By contrast, during the interwar period, belief that the secular working and academic classes were utterly and totally self-interested was throughout Europe a basic criticism of workers by the religious landowning and political classes. Today, in contrast, there is little belief in the United States that the growing, increasingly secular Millennial Generation is anything other than idealistic, nor that it is fighting a class war. Class war of the many is inherently opposed to hierarchical religion like traditional Christianity. A cosmology of equality before the law requires not that the worker have the tiniest political influence – indeed it regards workers’ lack of political power as divinely ordained because rulers are given power by God. Rather, it focuses on the moral obligations of rulers to ensure moral laws are in force, and more crucially, that the rulers themselves follow these laws. It is – I make no bones about this – fair to say that with urbanisation it became increasingly difficult for monarchs to be believed to be remotely satisfying these requirements. Even in medieval Europe the continent’s naturally intense class war was revealed via numerous peasant revolts. At that time, illiterate peasants could not understand philosophy – nor did the ruling classes allow them to – but no doubt envy was very widespread.

Nonetheless, one should not confuse cause for equality with selflessness. In fact, the two stand hostile to one another, because the masses demanding equality do not do so because they want sacrifices from the super-rich, but because they want to eliminate their own sacrifices. This drive is inherent in all class war, and no doubt has been a very important part of non-human animal social evolution within the Enriched World, where in many taxa there has been a strong trend from cooperative family group living to pair or solitary living with increased density of animal protein.

How to actually make the super-rich less selfish is another issue – as is whether the super-rich are inherently so selfish as the Left and Centre wish them to appear.

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