Josh Corey responds in friendly & gracious fashion to my typically unkind & mean remarks.

I do have to remind readers that I predicted the response of Josh & Jonathan (the inevitable recital of American decadences) in the original post.

Chicken Little will continue to squawk about the sky falling. What I was trying to suggest was that attacks on the "system" in general are misplaced. The same egregious corruption & threats to democracy were around during the Gilded Age and at other times in American history. The Howard Zinns of the world will insist on laying it on thick with blanket condemnations. It's a partial & biased historical image they project, unfortunately very unfluential with at least a generation or two of college students. (There was a good essay in the NYTBR yesterday, a review of the changing patterns of American historiography.)

The American structure of checks & balances, rule of law, free press & civil rights - the "system" - what I'm saying is that its creation was worthy & its maintenance & reform is a valid goal. It's an admirable structure designed to subordinate government to civil society. What I am not trying to say is that we live in the "best of all possible worlds", that it's time for all relatively-privileged Americans to wallow in their luxuries & rest on their laurels & subsist on self-congratulation.

Far from it. No, the world is sick, and the people are selfish & misguided, and America's smug self-righteousness is often belied by policies based on greed, injustice & indifference to suffering. We have to make democracy work, by getting involved in making it work, not by simply sitting back & whining & carping & pointing the finger of blame, in our oh-so-sophisticated, oh-so-left, oh-so-self-righteous bluenose blue state ways.

OK, hopefully I am done with these gassy harangues.

No comments: