Monday, 11 October 2010

Tough choices

On BBC Radio 1 today the newsbeats on the half hours often headlined "young people are ready to make tough choices”, after the show conducted a poll that came up with the following results; ‘… three-quarters (76%) of 18-24-year-olds thought unemployment payments should be cut and 68% said housing benefit needs to be reduced‘. The broadcasts communicated opionions of 18-24 year olds on the streets, with varying severity. The broadcast, in keeping with the BBC’s commodity of "balance", presented comments by a single mother, recently unemployed, that was struggling with the benefits she currently receives.

I wonder if the comments of these people are referred to as “tough choices” due to the following framework; British 18-24 years olds can be understood as liberal, moral types who do not like to impose their will on others (-liberal), but in return do not want others to impose their will on them by forcing them to pay taxes. If this is the case then there exists a philosophy among those that resent paying taxes for the benefit of others that the benefits they receive have been earned by themselves alone and that they have needed to rely on no one in their lives. The “tough choices” are just a verbal projection that accompanies the need to cover up pretensions to moral, vindictive comments.

I find myself descending into vengeance, how can they possibly not recognize the hypocrisy of their accusations – do they not know the benefit they receive from the pain of others in the form of their electronics and fashions produced by others and the debt they enjoy that has been loaned by states (such as China) due to the pittance earned by those same workers?

But whenever my temper flares up I feel like I’m falling. My seeking moral superiority is absolutely no different to the vindictive attitudes towards those on benefits that seem so prevalent.

I need to disconnect from the finality of moral superiority. I don’t want to live in that environment. However, does that mean I shouldn’t campaign on behalf of others? On the contrary, I don’t see why campaigning for others should be qualified through morals. Are there memories at risk that I myself cherish - not just from the broad emphasis on moral superiority - but also the implementation of them on specific memories themselves? However, if I try to seek out moral superiority in all my works of life I also fear I will descend into a paranoid witch-hunt. In contrast I think I just have to remember what is important to me.

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