What country does he live in? Although the downward spirals may not be quite as steep, to build up our â€œsound economic valuesâ€ is a good way to talk ourselves into a complacent slumber, thinking ourselves invincible. Another apt description of what Empires think like.
â€œHuman nature, in no form of it, could ever bear prosperity,â€ John Adams wrote in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, warning against the coming corruption of his country.
Yet despite its amazing wealth, the United States has generally remained immune to this cycle. American living standards surpassed European living standards as early as 1740. But in the U.S., affluence did not lead to indulgence and decline.
Thatâ€™s because despite the countryâ€™s notorious materialism, there has always been a countervailing stream of sound economic values.
Op-Ed Columnist – The Next Culture War – NYTimes.com
Now, to Brookâ€™s credit (he IS a good writer and thinker), he correctly identifies the â€œdistractionsâ€ of the right;
Over the past few years, however, there clearly has been an erosion in the countryâ€™s financial values. This erosion has happened at a time when the countryâ€™s cultural monitors were busy with other things. They were off fighting a culture war about prayer in schools, â€œPiss Christâ€ and the theory of evolution. They were arguing about sex and the separation of church and state, oblivious to the large erosion of economic values happening under their feet.
The right today is much less about Protestant work ethic and restraint and more about worship of the empire and the â€œinvisible handâ€ as a surrogate for Godâ€™s favor