Chardonnay-Quaffing Twats of the World, Unite!
There’s a kerfuffle afoot over at the Grauniad, the orthographically-challenged faux-left British broadsheet much adored by every self-righteous prig in Islington. Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian editor in chief, pines for a more economically just world, a world in which governments … Read More
Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian editor in chief, pines for a more economically just world, a world in which governments aggressively redistribute wealth for the betterment of, you know, the people. The ones without money and stuff. And that’s all very noble, but here’s the problem, as revealed by the website Private Eye:
Last year, Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian, a leading left liberal UK national newspaper, received a 14.7% increase in his annual salary from £272,000 to £312,000 plus a £175,000 bonus. This bonus was apparently related to the relaunch of the Guardian using the compact, Berliner format.
Of course, Guardian sales figures have been flat since the relaunch, and the Guardian lost 50 million pounds last year. But Alan’s given it a gentleman’s try, and Guardian readers don’t seem inclined to begrudge the justice-loving bloke a mere 500 thousand quid (nearly a million dollars) for his last year’s efforts.
This gives new meaning to “embarrassment of riches," especially since the Guardian recently fretted about the irresponsiblity of runaway corporatism as evidenced by unearned and astronomical executive salaries. It all makes for great titters in the conservative blogosphere.
But this is an old story and an old problem for the left. Here’s a quote from Bundist Vladimir Medem writing about his visit to America in 1921 (from Irving Howe's World of our Fathers):
[Never before] have I seen so many people inclined toward Bolshevism as here in America. And precisely among the affluent, the “alrightniks.” If you see a Jew who drives a car, you can be almost certain that he will be chanting Sabbath hymns for Bolshevism. And the better his car, the warmer his “sympathies”…
Lefty thinking–whether the Bolshevism of the 1920s lower east side or the quasi-left Guardianism so popular in today's online Anglosphere–will always appeal to some rich brats precisely because it absolves them of responsibility to deploy their riches humanely. After all, it’s the system, man. It’s about passing through stages of history. When a more equitable world will come about only through revolutionary change and the inevitable working out of the dialectic, what's the point in dwelling on the fact that your million dollar salary last year could have provided clean water and basic nutrition for a thousand impoverished children in the developing world? Why bother matching your stated belief in redistribution of wealth with, uh, a willingness to redistribute your own?
No, to hell with the bourgeois silliness of "charity". More important to break open the White Burgundy and cultivate your insight into systemic injustice over elevated conversation at the next Guardinista dinner party. So party on, Rusbridger and Guardianistas of the world. You have nothing to lose but your sense of personal responsibility for the social progress you talk so much about. Your wealth, you get to keep.