Theodore Dalrymple, Life at the Bottom

In Life at the Bottom Theodore Dalrymple, drawing on his experiences working as a prison doctor in Birmingham, argues convincingly that the problems of the underclass have nothing to do with poverty or oppression, and that in absolute terms the underclass are in fact not poor at all. Their problems are cultural and are largely the result of ill-conceived liberal social policies.

A culture of entitlement and resentment and a refusal to accept any degree of personal responsibility traps these people in lives of violence, drugs, drink and general wretchedness. The decline of marriage is yet another factor in creating a permanent underclass. The politicisation of the police force, with the police expected to act as social workers rather than enforcing the law, further aggravates the disaster. Treating addiction as an illness and treating criminals and addicts as victims reinforces the destructive culture of the underclass.

Liberal social policies created this mess and such policies can only go on making it worse.

Essential reading for anyone who cares about what is happening to western society.

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