Rod Dreher

“Winston Smith” is an anonymous blogger and government social services employee who works with the underclass in the UK, helping people who are living in public housing. He hit the wall not long ago in an office discussion about the filthiness of the rooms in which clients live. Excerpt:

One of my fellow Support Workers, Stuart, complained that many of the residents kept their rooms in appaling conditions and that he was astonished that management objected to him trying to use punitive measures to ensure the rooms were kept to an acceptable standard.
“Some of the rooms and the shared kitchens are not just untidy, but actually very dirty. There are bags of rubbish in there, dishes lying around that have rotting food on them, carpets that have never been hoovered, again with food all over them and toilets that are never cleaned. Once we had a kitchen that had a fly infestation because none of the residents would empty the bins. Now although these are the extreme examples they are not uncommon and there are those that keep their rooms and kitchens in almost as bad a condition. I won’t even repeat some of the things I’ve seen lying around in some bedrooms. Now, I dont think its fair that any maintenance worker should have to go in there when the rooms are in these states or that I should have to enter for health and safety checks every two weeks if they are this filthy.”
“Well, Stuart, I can see how this would be frustrating, but unless there is an obvious health and safety issue such as an exposed electricity socket or a faulty smoke alarm, then we have no right to tell our residents how to keep their rooms. We need to be very careful here as there is a danger of imposing our own value system on to the residents. What you perceive to be tidy and clean is subjective and their living standards, as long as it doensn’t impede on anyone else, are also valid,” stated the Senior Manager. She’s paid a significant salary from the state coffers to peddle the ideology of moral relativism.
I decided to speak up on behalf of common sense as no one else was coming forward to fight its passed on in good condition. Also, if allowed to keep their rooms in such unhygienic and deleterious conditions when living here they will leave the rooms in a similar state when vacating the premises and then the staff will have to clean up their mess. This is something I refuse to do any longer. I’ve seen enough used condoms and soiled clothing to do me a lifetime thank you very much,” I ranted.
“I can see some of your points Winston, but at the same time we have to respect that the rooms are their homes and you wouldn’t want anyone coming in to your home and telling you how to live,” stated the Senior Manager.
“Yes, but I don’t live in Supported Housing which by it’s very definition makes a value judgement that the residents are not fully functional individuals and that they need to be guided. How can this be done without the imparting of values?”

You really should read the whole thing. This is the absurdist end point of moral relativism, and the managerial class’s terror of imposing values on people who are in desperate need of some hard-core values-imposition. You don’t want to have values imposed on you? Fine, then take care of yourself, and get off the taxpayer’s back. But as long as you present yourself as incapable of taking care of yourself, you have an obligation not to live like an ingrate and a parasite. It’s disgraceful that the state is so jelly-spined in these matters. But according to Smith, this is a massive moral failure of society:

In effect, what is happening is that all spheres of adult authority are abandoning their responsibilities towards children and young people. In the past, if one’s parents failed to transmit social norms to you the wider society would step in and do so whether in the form of the extended family network, neighbours, at school or with a harsher youth justice system for the more extreme cases. I dont deny that there were problems in this model and that some of the authority of the past needed to be challenged, rethought and restructured. However, what seems to have happened is the jettisoning of all forms of effective adult authority in some parts of society and hence the inexorable rise in problems associated with young people over the past two decades.
In some sections of society the erosion of adult authority has exposed many young people to unprecedented levels of bullying, intimidation, aggression and extreme violence. Traditionally, strong male role models in the forms of teachers, the police and fathers were responsible for stamping out the incipient aggressive tendencies within young males and replacing these inherent dispositions with civilised norms. The fruits of abandoning this approach are all around us and the welfare state, as well as neo-liberal economics, are largely responsible for this development.

Smith is not sure how long he can keep blogging:

There are plenty of days where I just don’t want to talk or write about any of these issues any longer. There is a thin line between the cathartic relief this blog provides me with and the negative reinforcement of seamlessly dysfunctional lives and the ludicrously insane policies and initiatives that purport to act as a solution.

Via The Browser.

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