That Old-Timey Puritan Spirit And That Old-Timer’s WASP Establishment-I’m Not Sure America Has Changed That Much, Or Has It?

From this article in the Independent on American novelist Louis Auchincloss:

How did money actually work among those in America’s elite?:

But the old monopoly of power had gone, and the country was the poorer for it. “The tragedy of American civilization,” Auchincloss wrote in 1980, “is that it has swept away WASP morality and put nothing in its place.”

Here’s another Auchincloss quote from a reader (haven’t checked this one out…probably a quote site). The prose strikes me as kind of post-Wharton, mannered and dull:

“I used to go to church. I even went through a rather intense religious period when I was sixteen. But the idea of an everlasting life — a never-ending banquet, as a stupid visiting minister to our church once appallingly described it — filled me with a greater terror than the concept of extinction…”

If such things be true, then many of the best and the brightest seem busy contructing a meritocracy in the old WASP establishment’s place; an enterprise of many unresolved personal conflicts between political ideals of activist change, progress, and ever-expanding personal freedoms on one hand and deeply held religious beliefs, traditions and customs on the other.

There seems to be an ex post facto character to much of the ol’ meritocratic enterprise, in my humble opinion, where a healthy skepticism is warranted.

In fact, it’s probably made [more] room for the same old Socialism.

On that note, I have a healthy respect for contrarians, frankly, when merely speaking out in favor of…:

‘the importance of traditional marriage values in ensuring children’s future success…’

…involves controversy and professional censure.

It’s so bland!

In fact, what will you do with your own blandness, dear reader, entombing the flaming desire to be woke within; the little half-opened doors of ecstasy and ‘environmental justice’?:

Earth Quaker Action Team is ON IT.:

Hard Decisions Regarding Obamacare And More Signs Of The Times

In response to Megan McArdle’s piece: ‘Republicans Should Save These 3 Unpopular Parts Of Obamacare.

Via The Goldwater Institute: ‘Where The Right Shouldn’t Go Wrong On the ACA

‘The usually spot-on McArdle misses the mark this time.

It is no exaggeration to say that, because it is immune from judicial, executive and legislative review and oversight, IPAB is the most dangerous consolidation of unchecked government power in American history. That is why it should be a top priority in ACA repeal efforts.’

Meanwhile, A. Barton Hinkle at Reason has a few suggestions:

‘Obamacare tries to solve the problem of pre-existing conditions the Rube Goldberg way: Make insurers cover individuals no matter what, then guard against people buying coverage only once they get sick by forcing everybody to purchase a policy through the individual mandate—an unprecedented expansion of government power.’

Hard choices will have to be made, choices which may quite literally mean death, or a sooner death, for some people than otherwise would occur.

Yet, in a world of scarce resources, these decisions are being made every day, and this blog believes if you want the greatest number for the greatest good, you must treat health care like the market it is, getting the incentives right and letting as many individuals (you and me) negotiate those hard choices with as many market and price signals as possible.

Once health-care becomes a ‘right,’ it becomes a sacred cow to be slowly milked by people who claim to have the knowledge to milk that cow, but whose claims to knowledge, I don’t believe, can negotiate reality beyond the political and economic influence they seek and the often ideological lights which guide them.

This failure of design will fail more spectacularly in the long-run, and lead to more suffering.


On that note, I don’t necessarily dream of a world of old W.A.S.P. establishment types making the important decisions which affect my life; nepotistic, clubby, but hopefully honorable and capable of broader sacrifice beyond their spheres of belief and interest.

I would just rather have the guys out on the golf-course swapping stories, finding camaraderie and making subtle judgments about each other’s characters to have the right incentives, having to serve customers and do right by their families when possible.

You know, be held to their own past decisions and frankly, not to have too much power.

Let’s spare everyone the bullshit of having any individuals be inherently any better or worse by their status as a group-identity member.

That way lie(s) fiefdoms and Balkanization.

On that note, I would rather as few people as possible getting rich solely through politics, but some signs are not good.

Culturally, I suspect many are drifting towards ideals that will retrench some of the old government/big business connections found throughout the boomer generation, but now with the standard-issue European secular humanistic ideals and their discontents playing a more important role.

Please tell me all the ways I’m wrong, here:

I keep putting up this quote from Ira Stoll:

‘Indeed, if there is a single fact that sums up the state of American political economy at the present moment, it is this: the Boston office building once home to Inc. Magazine and Fast Company, which chronicled and celebrated small and fast-growing businesses, is now the headquarters of a publication called “Compliance Week.”’