An interesting read from the always-worth-reading Victor Davis Hanson: The Rise of the Adolescent Mind. Excerpt:
We live in a therapeutic age, one in which the old tragic view of our ancestors has been replaced by prolonged adolescence. Adolescents hold adult notions of consumption: they understand the comfort of a pricey car; they appreciate the status conveyed by a particular sort of handbag or sunglasses; they sense how outward consumption and refined tastes can translate into popularity and envy; and they appreciate how a slogan or world view can win acceptance among peers without worry over its validity. But they have no adult sense of acquisition, themselves not paying taxes, balancing the family budget, or worrying about household insurance, maintenance, or debt. Theirs is a world view of today or tomorrow, not of next year — or even of next week.
I’ve commented before on the sense of entitlement that seems to infect so much of society these days, and not just the younger generation; plenty of people my own age and older seem to feel they have a moral claim on the fruits of other people’s labors. Ayn Rand, about whom I make no secret of my admiration, even wrote about it as long ago as the 1940s and 1950s.
But what moral claim can someone make on the efforts of another person? Barring a disability or inability that is no fault of one’s own, I can see no reason why one person should be compelled to labor on behalf of strangers. I see no reason why recipients of public largess should be able to afford cable television, smart-phones and new cars. People on the public dole should leave a spare, even a Spartan existence, or else there is little incentive to do otherwise.
Yet, let any public servant suggest rolling back the standard of living of the indolent class, and see how they will take to the streets and scream.
While I’m on the topic, here’s another always-worth-reading scribe; have a look at Dr. Charles Krauthammer’s latest, Rubicon, A River In Wisconsin. Excerpt:
The magnificent turmoil now gripping statehouses in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and soon others marks an epic political moment. The nation faces a fiscal crisis of historic proportions and, remarkably, our muddled, gridlocked, allegedly broken politics have yielded singular clarity.
At the federal level, President Obama’s budget makes clear that Democrats are determined to do nothing about the debt crisis, while House Republicans have announced that beyond their proposed cuts in discretionary spending, their April budget will actually propose real entitlement reform. Simultaneously, in Wisconsin and other states, Republican governors are taking on unsustainable, fiscally ruinous pension and health-care obligations, while Democrats are full-throated in support of the public-employee unions crying, “Hell, no.”
A choice, not an echo: Democrats desperately defending the status quo; Republicans charging the barricades.
Dr. Krauthammer closes the article by asking, “are we a serious people?” The next few years will tell the tale.
In brighter news, it looks like Libya’s thug-dictator Gaddafi may be on the run. Excerpt:
Opposition activists are increasing the pressure on Muammar Gaddafi’s ailing regime, shutting down oil exports and mobilising rebel groups in the west of the country as the revolution rapidly spreads.
Gaddafi’s hold on power appears confined to parts of Tripoli and perhaps several regions in the centre of the country. Towns to the west of the capital have fallen and all of eastern Libya is firmly in opposition hands.
In Benghazi, the country’s second city, basic order is returning to the streets after days of fierce fighting that resulted in the military defecting en masse. Virtually all government buildings were looted and wrecked.
Finally, just in case you were wondering, humans really do stink more than other animals. So, that’s settled.
Happy Friday, True Believers! More as events warrant.