September 14, 2015

VDH ON THE WEARINESS OF THE WHINERS: “The cult of the whining victim is now ubiquitous,” Victor Davis Hanson writes:

The 21st century has become a cowardly era in which we point to collective race, class, or gender rather than own up to our record of behavior and performance when our exalted expectations are not met. Or is it worse than that? Does a Brandon Marshall count on making unsubstantiated charges of racism in hopes of preemptory careerist advantage: one must prove he is not a racist in the future by offering beneficia in the present?

The culprits are not just our obsessions with race, class, and gender, or the careerist aspirations of elites. We also live in the most affluent and leisured era in the history of Western civilization. But given human nature, our bounty has not given us pause for appreciation, but rather increased our appetites in geometric fashion. The more we have, the more we think we deserve — or else. In an affluent society, society can afford now to have no losers. There is enough stuff and praise to be shared by all. In T-ball everyone is a winner; so is today’s student who feels A’s are his birthright. The poor man in the inner city has more computing power in his palm with an Apple smartphone than did the billionaire twenty years ago in his study — but, of course, not as versatile a phone perhaps as that of today’s billionaire, and thus he can legitimately whine that life is not fair due to the machinations of someone else.

The bane of our age is not poverty but parity, or rather the perceived absence of a state-mandated equality of result. It no long matters how much one has, much less in comparison to those abroad or to Americans of our past. The rub is whether someone has something more or better than your own — and why and how that can still be possible in the American horn of plenty. Given those requisites, whininess is the lubricant of our national machinery.

Read the whole thing.

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