The nineteenth century brought with it an Englishman of a new type, a Steam Intellect Society Englishman* - arrogant, radical, contemptuous and self-righteous, a leveller and a prig, convinced of his mission to direct and improve, untroubled by doubts, indifferent to - or even ignorant of - what Indians thought, felt or said... All that stood in his path was to be swept, like so much lumber, ruthlessly aside. The thought that what he swept away might one day have protected or been of service to him in troubled times never crossed his mind: he thought himself invulnerable.
Of course, the type is still with us: the squinty glare of Ed 'Bully' Balls appears before me. Thank God we live in an age where such people feel constrained from a rigid application of their scientific socialism. Scientific environmentalism, though, that has legs and will surely grow some Balls in due course.
(H/t Fugitive Ink)
*I wonder about Welch's use of this pejorative label. It was the nickname of The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, a group with laudable aims that were by no means fully achieved - but then perhaps this was a consequence of their being pursued by some thoroughly overbearing, patronising types?