Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Becoming More Latin in Our Culture

For John, BLUFMaybe your milage differs.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The following is an OpEd by Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds in USA Today.

When leaders cheat, followers ... follow

The sub-headline is "The trust that underlies a law-abiding society is rotting away thanks to double-dealing in Washington."

Here is the lede plus two paragraphs:

The state is “a gang of thieves writ large,” economist Murray Rothbard is said to have remarked. I’ve always viewed that sort of comment with a bit of skepticism. But now I’m beginning to wonder.

I wonder more when I read things like this report from the Washington Examiner: “The CIA's inspector general is claiming it inadvertently destroyed its only copy of a classified, three-volume Senate report on torture, prompting a leading senator to ask for reassurance that it was in fact ‘an accident.’”

Here’s a hint: It very likely wasn’t.

Here is the money paragraph:
Being law-abiding for its own sake is a traditional part of bourgeois culture, and our ruling class has lately treated the bourgeoisie with contempt as well.  Which raises the risk that this contempt will be returned.
We enjoy the benefits of a free society because we have cultivated a bourgeois culture.

The piece raises some questions about Government performance and how that performance filters down to junior members of the Civil Service (or the Military) and eventually to how the Citizenry responds.  The phrase I like is “The trust that underlies a law-abiding society…”.  I don’t expect the police to try to shake me down and I don’t expect anyone to try and bribe me to get a liquor license here in Lowell, or a used car lot license, or a pawn shop license (I am a license commissioner).

Were this a partisan issue it would be easy enough to fix, come November.  But, I fear, it is not.  It is a culture change.  Not everyone.  Not even a majority.  But a trend.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

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