Every year I try to read the story, “A Christmas Carol,” or at least, watch one of the many movie adaptions. It is interesting for me to go through the story this year and study the dialog in light of our own culture, here in the States.
Driven by capitalism, the measure of success, here, is in financial gain. The lack of financial success and security is seen as a personality flaw; a failure of character; or at the least of judgement.
“Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.
“Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
“And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge.
“Are they till in operation?”
“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”
“The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.
“Both very busy, Sir.”
“Oh,! I was afraid, from what you said, at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”
. . . .”I wish to be left alone, ” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentleman, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishment I have mentioned– they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.”
Sound like any politician or news pundit you’ve heard?