Saturday, January 28, 2006

Spoiled Brats at the International Table

There is something fundamentally wrong with any person or group of persons, benefitting from anothers largesse, being unable or unwilling to express a modicum of gratefulness. The problem begins with arrogance and an attitude of unjust entitlement.

You see it every day, it's become a common theme. People who just expect the world (or their more productive neighbours) to do for them. From the arrogance and ingratitude of people on the dole, collecting welfare, or begging on streetcorners, to class warfare rhetoric in our politics. The same rude cause that is at work when a teenager kills for another kid's shoes. "He had it, I wanted it, I'm entitled to it. It should be MINE." And this attitude is never pretty, and is largely responsible for the worst violent excesses in human history: the Terror in revolutionary France, the Holocaust in WW2 Europe, the elimination of the native populations in our own US history. It's always about wanting something you didn't earn, and feeling entitled to take it from somebody who did.

So imagine then that some of those people who have what you want, decide to give you some of it. Not all of it, but a portion. And they hand it to you free of charge. "Here, it's a gift."

Would you be grateful? Touched? How would you feel about your benefactor?

If you're one of those productive people I was talking about earlier, you would be thankful. Perhaps you might be made to think kindly of your patron, and wish to do good for them. At the very least you might wish to curry favor with someone so generous, in order to keep the handouts coming.

But unfortunately, if you're one of those NOT productive people, people who are accustomed to taking what doesn't belong to them, and living off the work of others... in that case? You're not going to be grateful. You're going to be surly.

"I deserve it anyway. I deserve all of it, and you should have none."

You will resent and hate your benefactor, because nothing breeds contempt so much as a sense of your own unworthiness. And prolonged acceptance of charity does nothing but encourage that sense. It reminds you you cannot achieve on your own. You're not good enough, bright enough, strong enough. In desperation to retain your dignity, you begin looking for excuses why you cannot be productive. It cannot be YOU, so it must be THEM. And then, it becomes necessary to hate those who have and do what you cannot. It's a survival mechanism, the need to break the world down into "Mine" and "Other," into Us and Them. The haves, vs. the Have-nots.

The way to fix this problem is to stop throwing money at the spoiled brats who won't do for themselves. To stop treating them like children and force them to act like adults.

And in the realm of international politics, we have done part of that. The Palestinians have chosen a government. The will of the people has spoken, and they've voted themselves a shiteload of disaster. Like recalcitrant children, they've opted for the entitlement mentality. A people gets the government it deserves, and this bloodthirsty lot have got exactly what they wanted.

Let them choke on it for awhile. It may force them to grow up.

But the worst thing in the world we can do is try to monkey with their decisions. "Be good, or we'll take away the money." This disrespects the will of a fledgeling populace attempting, ever so painfully, to govern itself. And this is OUR highhanded arrogance, the arrogance of the western world- that we think we can solve the world's problems for them. We're often like the well meaning older brother who keeps picking up after our siblings and fighting their battles for them. In the end, all it does is raise a weak younger sibling who resents us for everything we never let him do for himself.

Sometimes people- and societies- simply need to make their own mistakes.

The first step is to Stop. Giving. Them. Money. How hard is this? Take every backward western-world hating culture and STOP FUNDING THEM! They don't appreciate it. It doesn't give us their good will. Look at the wording in that article. "BLACKMAIL," Haniya calls it. There is no appreciation for charity, only malice to the giver.

We cannot make their decisions for them. But neither should we support them in their foolishness. There is no kindness in that.