The entitlement culture and the deliberate degradation of education killed us.
We raised a generation where the way to get housed, fed and money for a few beers for people who had no worthwhile skills was to breed like rats. Any pregnant girl got her own, subsidised flat, child benefit payments once the kid was born, and income support to bring her up to a basic standard of living. The more kids she’d have, the more money she’d have.
The kids watched and learned to game the system almost from birth. Most of them knew education was useless, since it didn’t get you a job that would pay more than breeding. Heck, if you search for “Bread” on youtube, you’ll find an entire series about it - and it is a freaking comedy!
At the same time, education became a huge political football and was dumbed down in the name of inclusiveness. I caught the first wave of this - my first year at university was basically a recap of what I had learned (in school) when I was 15 years old! The powers that be do not want educated, well informed citizens, so they made sure that being one was almost impossible without significant effort.
And why try? You have the safety net, right?
That is the hell of it - it was good intentions that destroyed us.
I do hold that any member of society has the duty to help the ones who slip through the gaps (probably still slightly brainwashed there, but it is also a tenet of the Church) but people turned what was meant to be a temporary help into a lifestyle.
Our moment of no return was in (I think) 1997. The Conservative party were in power and were planning a huge overhaul of the benefits system. The unions had been firmly put in their place - and I am not anti union, but the excesses had gone too far until Thatcher trimmed them back. That created a lot of resentment among the left.
The takers looked, saw that they would be uncomfortable, maybe having to get off their backsides and find a job while having no qualifications or skills, and Labour got elected in a landslide. They voted for bread and circuses, and the producers were simply outnumbered.
Sort of where you are now, but it took us much longer to get to the same point. One of the things that I think delayed our fall slightly is a silly one on the surface - we pay to watch TV. If TV watching was free, we’d have fallen completely 2 decades ago.
EnglishCon, thanks for the thoughtful and insightful reply.
I think Marxists everywhere are extremely clever and persistent at undermining the fabric of societies by playing on the goodness and compassion of the people by manipulate them into approving programs that then ruin the entire nation. What they cannot do through such manipulation, they do through strong-arm tactics through the unions and contrived riots and such.
I was in England a number of times a few years back with a bunch of American friends for a yearly two-week “Summer Festival” put on internationally by the Buddhist tradition I belong to. The group had many members worldwide, especially in America, but the yearly gathering was always held in England because the main teacher and headquarters reside in England.
We had noticed, even in America, that almost all of the many monks and nuns were British, which surprised us a bit since the organization had been active in the US for years as well. We also noticed that the British clergy seemed to have little ability to help us balance our Buddhist practices with our jobs and obligations. They didn’t seem to have the first clue about our lives.
We were puzzled by this until we sat down and chatted informally over coffee with a few monks and nuns in England one summer. Pleased with themselves and their good fortune, they explained freely how it worked for them. They had decided on this Buddhist gig as the path of least resistance: They had found out through friends that they could “study Buddhism” as an “educational program” for which they received large amounts of government support of various sorts for many years, and, for a wee bit of chores and such, they got free food, clothing and shelter at their Buddhist center of residence.
We had gently asked a few kindly worded questions about who was actually paying for this “good fortune” of theirs, and got the expected, clueless, entitled answers: it was - as the welfare folks called it in the States - “Obama’s money”. They were living the good life, and the government was their benefactor.
They talked about how “cool” it was to be a Buddhist and have an exotic Tibetan name and some wild clothes to wear, and maybe a mantra tattoo: they really liked “the Buddhist scene.” And they made it quite clear that, besides it being a groovy way to live, they thought their hard-earned karma had led them to this good fortune of being born in Britain, because - unlike us Yanks - their wise and compassionate government had given them this wonderful opportunity to become enlightened! We were speechless. Buddhism, which we held dear, seen essentially as just another form of welfare by the dissipated members of a socialist country. We returned home that summer a bit sobered.
Anyway, thanks for your answers. I wish you well.