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The Whining Children

...of capitalism:

Leaving religion out of it, no idea has given more to humanity. The average working-class person today is richer, in real terms, than the average prince or potentate of 300 years ago. His food is better, his life longer, his health better, his menu of entertainments vastly more diverse, his toilette infinitely more civilized. And yet we constantly hear how cruel capitalism is while this collectivism or that is more loving because, unlike capitalism, collectivism is about the group, not the individual.

These complaints grow loudest at times like this: when the loom of capitalism momentarily stutters in spinning its gold. Suddenly, the people ask: What have you done for me lately? Politicians croon about how we need to give in to Causes Larger than Ourselves and peck about like hungry chickens for a New Way to replace dying capitalism.

As Mark Twain once wrote, "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man."

Most people in this country have little appreciation how good they've got it. It's a shame that we no longer teach history in school.


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Karl Hallowell wrote:

I think that the human psyche is something like the human immune system. It evolved in a world of many dangers both from the world and from fellow humans. Actually, given how a disproportionate number of our ancestors were probably leaders, strongmen, sycophants, etc, (people in positions of unstable power) it's possible that we've evolved to be too, I don't know, psychotic even for the natural world. Now when there's few dangers, our minds trigger on false dangers. I suppose things like angst, hysteria, whining, paranoia, hypochrondia, etc are all effectively autoimmune symptoms or diseases of the human mind.

But if true, it does seem to indicate to me the futility of striving for a society where everyone is happy. For if the human mind cannot respond to real dangers, then it's very likely that the human mind will respond to imagined ones.

notanexpert wrote:

>>> Most people in this country have little appreciation how good they've got it.

Agreed. Which is why it was so disappointing when McCain threw Phil Gramm under the bus for saying essentially the same thing. I guess it was talk a little too straight for the Straight Talk Express.

LB Parker wrote:

If real history was taught in schools again, instead of the current PC garbage, the elites would lose control of the next generation of voters. We can't have that.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Karl Hallowell that was an interesting and depressing thought. What should one call that? Autopsychosis?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on August 4, 2008 9:06 PM.

Hell Hath No Fury was the previous entry in this blog.

A Farewell To Straw Men? is the next entry in this blog.

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