Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Case study of Leftist resentment, moral inversion and the corrosion of character: J.K Rowling


From a Charlie Rose interview with JK Rowling, broadcast in October.


JKR: Well, for example, I’ve just talked about the fact that I was in a very precarious situation for a few years. I was probably as poor as you can go without being homeless in the U.K. Which is not to say that friends and family didn’t help me, because they did. But, you know, it was tough.

CR: And you were writing a book, and had to depend on the government.

JKR: Well, yeah I did, although I was working part-time. The law, at that time, was that you could earn up to a very small amount a week without forfeiting housing benefit, which was the thing that was keeping us homed. So I worked up to that amount. I had a clerical job in a church at one point, and then I was teaching, but we were still existing partly on benefits. I couldn’t wholly support us.

Then the miracle happened. Harry was published, and we really didn’t look back after a few months. It changed my life.

But that period of my life was a formative experience for me. It shaped my world view, and it always will shape my world view.

The experience of having been part of a mass of people who are very voiceless, the experience of being scapegoated and stigmatized – because that was the political climate at that time – really has colored my world view ever since. I don’t think I’ll ever lose that.


This is very interesting, yet very typical of the way that Leftism has inverted reality; and the way that when state bureaucracy replaces individual charitableness it not only drains love but induces hatred.

JKR and her daughter were dependent on the government because she had separated from her husband who lived abroad, and had returned to Britain with the young child needing to be supported by 'other people'.

This support of the separated mother and child was in fact achieved by coercive extraction of resources from 'other people' by taxation, and distribution of some proportion of these extracted resources by the state bureaucracy manned by officials.


Naturally JKR does not feel gratitude for being kept alive at a level which was luxurious by world-historical standards; why would she feel grateful to other people who had no choice in the matter but pay their taxes?

And naturally she is not grateful to state officials who make their living (often a very good living) from the job of collecting and distributing such resources.

Instead (since there is no such thing as neutrality of attitude) JKR feels a burning, and apparently lifelong, resentment that she was supported by others at a lower-than-average level for Scotland at that timepoint (i.e. relative poverty - not absolute poverty, where people are in danger of death from starvation, disease, exposure etc), and that she was supported in such a way, and in such a cultural climate, that she was regarded as having low status ('scapegoated and stigmatized').


Ever since this time, JKR supports a set of Leftist political programs that would apparently entail (since neutrality of attitude is not possible) that people such as her former self (e.g. women who leave their husbands and ask to be kept alive by the labour of others) are not 'scapegoated and stigmatized' but instead regarded as high status and admirable, and privileged by being supported at least at the average material level for their societies, maybe higher - but certainly not in relative-poverty.


In almost all societies before the twentieth century, and in much of the world even now, a woman and child in the position of JKR (having left her husband in another country) would have been dependent on the active and chosen charity of specific people (her family or a patron, or pehaps an exploiter), or from specific charitable institutions of a religious nature; or else first her child and then she herself would have died from starvation, exposure or disease.

Presumably JKR would regard this as unacceptable, since voluntary charity might not be forthcoming; yet she also regards the Leftist welfare state as unacceptable in its actually-existing form, since it is unloving and supports at the below-average level of some degree of relative-poverty.

Consequently JKR (by her expressed preferences and charitable giving) advocates a 'rights'-based model of support; dependants having the right to be supported at average (or above) levels of material welfare by 'other people' whose resources are coercively extracted; and with the additional element of moral inversion (encouraged by 'education' and other forms of propaganda, and sanctions against those who resist it) such that the welfare dependent becomes officially of higher-status than the welfare funder.

Indeed, the welfare funder gets not just zero credit for supporting welfare dependents, but less-than-zero; since under Leftism the producers are regarded as having zero right to the fruits of their labour, and are actually blamed for having obtained a larger share of resources in the first place.


The welfare state is often criticized for its economic unsustainability, but the damage it does is far deeper and worse - as exemplified by the corrosion of character produced in someone like JK Rowling.

It is understandable (from all I describe above) why she (and those like her) are not grateful to be supported by the state, and it is understandable how they would tend to react by an assertion of moral superiority to those whose resources have been coercively extracted in order to support them (at a lower level than they think they deserve).

All this is understandable, and in a sense natural.

But the really significant damage comes from moral inversion, the failure to recognize one's own resentments as evil; and instead the elevation of such resentments into a source of pride, of boastfulness - as Rowling rationalizes her shameworthy response to soulless bureaucratic humiliation into what purports to be a ringing declaration of conviction politics: her solidarity with, championship of, the "mass of people who are very voiceless."

This is to boast of one's own sinfulness, to encourage others to share in your sin; and to work to create and sustain a coercive bureaucratic state in which the incentive to this particular sin will become even further institutionalized than it already was, back in the time when JK Rowling was a single mother on benefits.


[Note:  To understand the context of the above post, new readers should search the blog using 'Potter' to access the many previous discussions of JKR and the greatness of her achievement with HP.]