The bullying milkmaids of sentimental brutality

Caption: Marie Antoinette was nothing if not empathic.

Theodore Dalrymple once wrote that sentimentality is “the progenitor, the godparent, the midwife of brutality” and that the root cause of our contemporary cultural poverty is intellectual dishonesty. He finds more than enough of both in Justin Trudeau, Jacinda Ardern, and their godfather Tony Blair. But their smug sentimentality he traces all the way back to the 18th century. Quote:

I suppose that if I had to select a single figure as the preeminent intellectual influence of our time, it would have to be Marie Antoinette. She, you remember, played at being milkmaid or shepherdess while actually she was Queen of France.

Then there are people such as Justin Trudeau, that is to say Trudeau II or Trudeau fils, and Jacinda Ardern, the Pasionaria of New Zealand Islam, who can?t wait to don fancy dress in their effort to proclaim their multicultural goodness, and who both exude the kind of unctuous righteousness that makes you want to wash afterward and leaves a trail of moral slime behind them.

Trudeau and Ardern are two of a trinity of leaders whose photograph I cannot bear to look at even for a second, Anthony ?Call Me Tony? Blair being the third?there is something in their smugness that is more offensive to me than mere wickedness. Wickedness is at least interesting, while smugness is not?

Smugness is not one of the seven deadly sins, but it is certainly a close relation to the greatest of them, namely pride. End of quote.

Marie Antoinette apparently deluded herself that play-acting as a milkmaid somehow brought her closer to the French people and the moral values associated with the assumed natural simplicity and virtue of rural peasant life. In other words, she imagined herself to be ?empathic?. Which she apparently was: ?She was so happy at doing good and hated to miss any opportunity of doing so,? wrote one of her courtiers.

But ?empathy? is too often indistinguishable from callous indifference. Quote:

It is said that we get the leaders that we deserve. I am not sure whether this is true, but?If we get smug leaders, therefore, it is because smugness is a characteristic of at least a considerable part of the electorate, and being smug themselves, they like smugness in others; or alternatively it is because people are tone-deaf, as it were, to smugness, in the way that many people were and perhaps still are tone-deaf to the obvious fraudulence of TV evangelists such as Jimmy Swaggart. If you don?t see the fraudulence or the smugness straightaway, then you never do see it?

This is not a matter of intelligence, for intelligent people are frequently deceived by the fraudulent and the smug, and in fact are the more dangerous when they are so deceived, for they have more influence on and in society. I remember some years ago attending a conference in which a well-known Islamic preacher, said to be moderate, modernizing, and reformist, spoke. I spotted at once that he was a crook and a liar, but to my astonishment several well-known intellectuals seemed to have been completely taken in by him. There are none so blind as will not see. End of quote.

Addicted as they are to the moral high of their own smugness, the elite assiduously cultivate it in their ? and to the best of their abilities, our ? children. Hence the left-elite?s fawning adulation for terrible infants who loudly parrot the bien pensant orthodoxies of their elders and try to bully and browbeat adults into surrendering to their smug tantrums. Quote:

Our children seem to be increasingly indoctrinated into unthinking and sickly high-mindedness, into a kind of magical thinking in which expressing a wish to do good is nine-tenths of actually doing good?

[They] are followers, whether they know it or not, of Marie Antoinette. They are politicians and seekers after power who play at being saints. End of quote.