Belmont Club » Disputing Darwin

Nature’s default method for dealing with failure is natural selection. It subjects individuals to a survival test and if they fail, they die. Having died they remove themselves from the gene pool (and probably the meme pool as well) and are heard from no more. Left to themselves the brood of the Welfare State would fare poorly. Without skills, having torched their surroundings and having, in the words of one Australian self-confessed Leftist “shit on their own doorstep” they would pick their surroundings clean and then perish from basic starvation.

But even the hardest-boiled conservatives are unlikely to let that happen and therefore this broken generation — the potential elves transformed into orcs in the mud of the welfare system — will have to be rescued from natural selection to at least some extent. But to what extent?

The bounds of the problem are obvious. People must not be shielded from the consequences of their actions to the extent where they become orcs again. Neither must they be left to die. Between these extremes there might be some trajectory of “tough love” which will at first a) stop producing more orcs and b) progressively reduce the existing number. In other words, you can think of Dalyrymple’s problem as the human capital equivalent of the financial deficit problem. The Left has saddled the world with not only financial but human liabilities. One is running rampage in the bond markets. The other is running riot through the streets of Britain.  These can no longer be ignored nor can they be paid down instantly. All that can be done is simply to a) stop digging; b) begin the long process of retiring the human capital debt.