Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recent Reading: Dalrymple's Life At The Bottom

I just finished Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass by Theodore Dalrymple. Dalrymple is a pen name of Dr. Anthony (A.M.) Daniels.

It is an amazing, prophetic and cautionary book, well worth reading by anyone who wants to understand Britain today and avoid in America the pitfalls that they have experienced.

The book is a collection of his published essays - all of them erudite, brilliant and approachable, all at the same time. Its a delight to read, even when the author deals with some truly heartbreaking subjects.

The book deals with the emergence of the British underclass and how the left's influence and ideology has drastically changed their prospects for the worse.

On the topic of education, Dalrymple notes the emphasis is now away from proper spelling and grammar with the current theory being that students should be able to communicate however they like and that teaching proper spelling and grammar is confining and no a valid pedagogical exercise - this theory he notes is advanced in a book that is carefully devoid of any spelling or grammatical errors. The result is an underclass with the traditional route out of poverty - education - being snatched from their grasp and leaving them unlettered and ignorant which has both shameful effects on them and society as a whole.

Similar nonsensical theories in regards to Ebonics and such are being advanced in America today - caveat emptor.

Dalrymple's most humbling essay is that on crime among the underclass - how the police and social services excuse all manners of such crime, leaving the victims to fend for themselves, and even domestic violence among the "lower orders" goes unprosecuted and undeterred.

In short, the book is a brilliant, harrowing, and deeply sorrowful observation of Britain's current social decay and how it was purposefully accomplished by the British Left in the name of making things more democratic and equal. Instead of a brave new world of equality, their policies and practices have ended up dooming people to lives of poverty and depravity and creating a mess that needs a massive clean up and likely a whole new generation to repair.

The book is well worth reading as both an in-depth analysis of what has gone wrong with Britain and as a warning to stop such theories from being adopted in America given the mess they've made of what was formerly Great Britain.

1 comment:

Clayton Cramer said...

Yes, I agree. Awesomely depressing book.