Friday, March 11, 2011

Modesty, Blazing

So here's David Brooks this morning:

Citizenship, after all, is built on an awareness that we are not all that special but are, instead, enmeshed in a common enterprise. Our lives are given meaning by the service we supply to the nation. I wonder if Americans are unwilling to support the sacrifices that will be required to avert fiscal catastrophe in part because they are less conscious of themselves as components of a national project...

It’s possible... that some of the current political problems are influenced by fundamental shifts in culture, involving things as fundamental as how we appraise ourselves. Addressing them would require a more comprehensive shift in values.

Now, you might ask, did Brooks take note at all in his column of the increasingly insane, reality-challenged, narcissistic dismissal of a common humanity with the less fortunate, or merely different, that ever more obviously undergirds right wing politics in this country? And does he observe that possibly, just possibly, that economic thinking alone, exalting profit and a mythical freedom arising out of an equally mythical 'free market', might be insufficient in understanding or bettering the human condition?

Not so fast, class, not so fast...

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