TRIGGER WARNING: In which I suggest that hard work and self-sacrifice are important to success.
For John, BLUF: Back when I was young part of the way you improved yourself was to listen to criticism and critiques and then acted upon them. Nothing to see here; just move along.
The above linked is a somewhat longer article is from Ms Heather MacDonald, in National Review, 29 August 2017.
The article is a comment on the uproar following the publication by The [Philadelphia] Inquirer of an OpEd titled "Paying the price for breakdown of the country's bourgeois culture".♠ The authors are Professors Amy Wax, the Robert Mundheim professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Larry Alexander, the Warren distinguished professor at the University of San Diego School of Law (email@example.com).
From the original OpEd:
Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries.So the question from
The causes of these phenomena are multiple and complex, but implicated in these and other maladies is the breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture.
That culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.
These basic cultural precepts reigned from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. They could be followed by people of all backgrounds and abilities, especially when backed up by almost universal endorsement. Adherence was a major contributor to the productivity, educational gains, and social coherence of that period.
Were Wax and Alexander wrong that the virtues of self-restraint, deferred gratification, and future orientation are key for economic and personal success?If you followed the response of The Daily Pennsylvanian, the University Newspaper, as written by Mr Dan Spinelli, on 10 August, yes, because they dared say "Not all cultures are created equal’ says Penn Law professor in op-ed". Yes, Professors Wax and Alexander ventured forth the idea that "culture" was part of what made the United States successful in the 1940s through the 1980s.
But, for Mr Spinelli, but mostly for his commenters, that idea of culture put forward by Professors Wax and Alexander is racist, sexist and homophobic and also anti-immigrant. The last part is a little strange in that immigrants come here either to escape tyranny or for a better economic life. That better economic life is built upon the values outlined above. Followed by the immigrants I know.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Frankly, I wouldn't have used The Searchers as the lead in to the OpEd in The Inquirer.