RE: capitalist religion

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sat Jul 21 2001 - 00:28:06 MDT

Daniel Ust writes

> I've also noticed poor people who become rich or just not poor partly
> through frugality and remain frugal. So, there does seem to be a character
> component.

We say that people who have succumbed to Benjamin Franklin's maxims
"have good character". But it's a war of memes, and sadly, the
memes that were prevalent in discourse a hundred years ago no longer
all. If you raise up Horatio Alger as an example, it's only an
example to be ridiculed now. Today we hear very little publicly
except excuses for misbehavior, "she had post-partem depression",
"he may have shot at the President, but he's innocent because he's
insane", "he grew up in a ghetto, so who can blame him", and so on.

Now I am *NOT* disputing that these may be (or may not be) *correct*
explanations; what I am criticizing is that the old maxims of personal
responsibility are being abandoned. Every call to feed the homeless,
to provide a "safety net", to provide medical care free for everyone,
to guarantee that if you are struck in a roadway you'll be provided
for whether or not you have made provisions, and so on, all weaken
the memes that help people in the long run.

Lee Corbin

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