Sunday, August 27, 2006

Creating 'people like us'

Lawrence James in the Sunday Times on the middle classes' ceasless efforts to reform those troublesome peasants (thanks Ian!):

The brave new world of the bar-coded baby is at hand — the government is considering a plan to track the progress of every child born in Britain — and, its architects hope, it will be one where the middle classes will finally enjoy that peace of mind which has eluded them for so long.

Yet perhaps some humility is now required and we should concede that human nature cannot be changed completely, either by compulsion, lectures about diet or even the scientific monitoring of toddlers. But such an admission would have been and perhaps still is unthinkable to a class which has inherited its predecessors’ assumption that the world would be a better place if everyone behaved and thought as they did.

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