Saturday, May 18, 2013

Modern Sickness

The problem discussed below is ancient, too, but it seems more virulent today (to my biased eye) than in the past.

Mass culture in the United States (and everywhere) creates this strange destructive tendency whereby what is good for one person (under certain circumstances) is assumed to be good (and by extension in some sense obligatory) for all (with no regard for changing circumstances).

Having a house was good in the 50s for some folks. So we must all have houses! Who cares if they are a giant waste of space and nobody can afford them? God will provide (through tithing or taxes, depending on your particular political/religious affiliation).

Going to college works well for some people. So we must all go to college! Who cares if we study art or engineering, if there are jobs or not? God will provide, and when he doesn't we will just pull money out of the sky via quantitative easing and make prosperity last forever.

Having kids can be really rewarding. So we must all have kids, as many as possible, as often as possible. Who cares if we cannot feed them anything worth eating or clothe them in something that isn't a made by slaves in Asia? God will provide (via the crappy products of nice US unions or the nice products of crappy Asian sweatshops: either way he always puts a pile of crap somewhere).

The idea that we should all do the same stuff the same way, following some universal plan, is just pure nonsense--the best recipe for disaster that we have ever come up with. But that doesn't stop us from pushing it. Even when it fails (spectacularly), we simply double down (telling the faithful to pay more tithes and taxes to support even bigger businesses as they behave even more irresponsibly). This modern modus operandi is fundamentally ridiculous. I'm done with it.

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