Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:11 pm

Rant of the day …

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 10:11 pm
Tags: , , ,

… from Athenae at First Draft:

I cannot describe to you the Libertarian Shrug that says some people just have to die, okay, that I get from people these days. Some people just have to die so that a private company can have this contract. Some people just have to die so that I don’t have to think about their systemic disadvantage, poverty and want. Some people just have to die so that we don’t have to get it together as a society and suck it up and realize that [expletive]s who game the system don’t matter and we need to take care of everybody else. Some people just have to die.

If they wanted to live, they should have been fortunate enough to have rich relatives or friends with free time who could drive them to every single doctor’s appointment, because that’s something you can totally guarantee in your life at all times.

But never me. Never mine. Never anyone I know and never anyone I love. That’s an outrage. That’s a crime. That’s the entire [expletive] [expletive] blue POINT: It’s always someone you love. It’s always someone that somebody loves. It’s always you. Our fate is your fate.

Living in a society brings with it many benefits. (And if you doubt me, you just go ahead and take your God-given Galtian gifts and decamp to someplace in north-central Alaska in January and start creating jobs. Go on. I’ll wait.)

But it also brings with it a number of obligations, explicit and implicit. The explicit ones are all on the Internet, and everyone fortunate enough not to have been born in a barn or raised in a war zone has had the implicit ones inculcated into them from birth, even if they sometimes choose to act otherwise.

You can believe in God or not, but whether you do or not, it is an empirical fact and not just, say, the teaching of Christ that we are all in this together. A vanishingly small number of us can use our money and our selfishness to build little fortresses within which to try to deny reality, maybe even leave the country (Oh, and, um, Peter Thiel, you don’t have to build an island paradise with lots of guns and no rules. There’s already one out there. It’s called Haiti.), but ultimately you’ve got no place you can run and hide. Your climate is changing just the same as everyone else’s and your air is getting just as dirty as everyone else’s. The monsters will come for you, too; it just might take them a little longer to get you. And know that if you die before they get you, your children will not escape them.

It is true that we lack the logistics, and maybe even the money, to save the entire world. But America, whether blessed by God or just the winner of the cosmic lottery, does have the money and logistics to save its own people and many others besides. Maybe we can’t save everyone, but we can save a helluva lot more than we’re saving now without seriously inconveniencing anyone (and that doesn’t even get into the thorny moral question of whether, just maybe, WE OUGHT TO BE SERIOUSLY INCONVENIENCED). It’s not a money problem, it’s an attitude problem and a cultural problem: We have a culture that has decided that IGMFY is admirable. And you don’t have to read the Bible to know where that leads. History will suffice.


Monday, December 13, 2010 8:27 pm

The genesis of IGMFY

I’ve talked from time to time here about the I’ve Got Mine, [Forget] You” crowd and how much trouble they’re causing. But many people ask me (and I’m pretty sure a lot who don’t have at least wondered), WHY do these people, who presumably have been brought up with the same religious/moral instruction and social mores as the rest of us, get it?

Psychologists think it might be because upper-class people are less adept at deriving meaning accurately from personal interaction than are people lower on the socioeconomic scale:

“We found that people from a lower-class background – in terms of occupation, status, education and income level – performed better in terms of emotional intelligence, the ability to read the emotions that others are feeling,” says Michael Kraus, co-author of the study and a postdoctoral student in psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.

In other words, if you’re looking for a little empathy, you’re more likely to get it from a poor person than a rich one (just ask Bob Cratchit).

So, rich people: You might want to become aware of people “looking daggers” at you lest you look at see a real dagger coming at you.


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