Quite a profound meditation by Roger Scruton on grace, gratitude, justice, rights, and resentment. The piece ends with this forbidding sense of a future made bright and gracious by suffering as the welfare state collapses:
It seems to me that this is the way we learn gratitude—not from abundance, but from dearth, not from comfort but from affliction. And in learning gratitude we come to see that the things which war against it are after all only temporary. We are already seeing that the educational, health-care, welfare, and pensions systems of the European democracies are breaking down. This universal provider will soon cease to provide; the normal and natural condition of society, as a condition of scarcity and deprivation, will replace the habitual abundance. And once again people will recognize not only that they depend on others to give to them, but also that they must learn to give in their turn.
Living in a dumpster, I can see his point. Toffs like him toss stuff in, and I toss stuff back. I use the LIFO method, tossing back out the oldest garbage. The world grows closer and more loving as a consequence.