Tuesday, October 05, 2004

We are ours

The shrill cry of the left-leaning individualist is just as dissonant to me as its rightist counterpart's. In the Guardian, Dea Birkett slags off marriage.

Now Dea Birkett defines the phrase "self-centred fuckwit" for me, so I'm not really stressing out over what she has to say.

But I can see many heads nodding to this:

"I don't need my class, nor my extended family, nor the state to ratify my relationship."

Well, I think you do, of course. I think you need others to support you and if you do not have their support you suffer for it. You belong to us, Dea. You are ours and you always will be, this side of living up a mountain and baking your own bread from the wheat you grow in your fields.

A friend of mine told me at the weekend that she is engaged to be married. I was delighted for her. Genuinely so. I have a part of her and her happiness belongs partly to me.

I read somewhere that it takes a village to raise a millionaire, and in most cases, it does. The people who believe they have achieved their comfortable lives on the backs of their own effort forget that they went to our schools, our universities, were friends with us, used our sewage works, our roads, the things we made; built their fortunes on our efforts and with the aid of the government that spends our money.

When we tax those people, we are not taking what is theirs. We are taking back what is ours. They gained an unequal share of the world we built together. We have a right to it. We have a right to their income.

They forget this. They tell themselves they don't need anyone else, because that is the cornerstone of their ideology -- left or right -- that others don't matter. But we do matter. We made them. Without us, they're nothing.


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