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View Diary: The American Myth of the Self Made Man and the Loner Hero (58 comments)

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  •  If the silent hero (8+ / 0-)

    is the one I'm thinking of, the Silent Hero doesn't need to talk because he is always the center of the universe and others by definition are purely reactive to his actions.

    As to how to counter these "self-made" rugged individualists, it's important to keep underscoring the cognitive dissonance required to be "self-made" when you're living off the fruits of civilization. Towards the end of every January (when the time comes around to file the end-of-year quarterlies for the folk who don't get their taxes taken out of their paychecks), I hear rumblings about how taxes are slavery and we should all just Go Galt. I have pointed out that there's absolutely nothing stopping anyone from doing just that and revoking their citizenship, but so far nobody's actually done it that I've heard.

    One other literary tradition we've kept long and close to our hearts here in the US of A is a disrespect for the educated individual. Washington Irving was rather fond of beating up nerds (Ichabod Crane) and the tradition has continued, from "yankee" stories all the way down to Revenge of the Nerds. Smart people get outwitted all the time by "jus' plain folk" or fall victim to the folly of their own smarts. There's a deep distrust of education in our cultural DNA. It's why it's so easy for us to believe in giant conspiracies of scientists out to fool us into believing in Global Warming, but so hard for us to believe there are giant oil companies full of "self-made men" engaged in conspiracies to fool us into believing there's no such thing as Global Warming.

    How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

    by athenap on Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 07:42:06 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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