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

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  •  However, the "confusion" you refer to HAS (2+ / 0-)
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    gravlax, Hill Jill

    damaged this country.  If you don't believe that, why write what you wrote?  This isn't a board for literary criticism.  LOL....

    I'll meet you at the bottom, if there really is one. They always told me when you hit it you'll know it. I've been fallin' for so long it's like gravity is gone and I'm just floatin'. ~ Drive by Truckers (ugly buildings, whores, and politicians)

    by Saint Jimmy on Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 08:48:18 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I DO believe that the confusion (2+ / 0-)
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      Hill Jill, Dave in Northridge

      has caused damage. Maybe the diary IS part literary criticism and part social commentary. ;)

      But yes, I think that the story of the self-made man is used by the right as a refutation of things that I believe in very much: Social Security, Medicare, Single Payer Health Care, the GI Bill, Public Education, ...

      To be honest, I use my diaries to help work through thoughts in my head. I find that it helps to write them down and re-visit them. I spent my first two years here writing and deleting diaries that I was afraid to publish. I consider it growth that I can now publish them. Maybe in another year, I can both write better diaries and obviate the desire to equivocate in the commentaries.

      Thanks for the defense and thanks for stopping by.

      "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"

      by gravlax on Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 08:56:01 PM PDT

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      •  You're welcome. I've grown hyper-sensitive to any (1+ / 0-)
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        gravlax

        whiff of conservative propaganda or myths.  I admit that I'm angry - beyond angry.  I react too strongly, at times, but I just can't take the stupidity, the lies, and the ruin of my country, any longer.  

        At times, I think I hate moderate apologists more than the fundamentalist right and the ultra rich and that's why I reacted strongly to certain comments on this thread.  

        Take care and thanks for the diary.

        I'll meet you at the bottom, if there really is one. They always told me when you hit it you'll know it. I've been fallin' for so long it's like gravity is gone and I'm just floatin'. ~ Drive by Truckers (ugly buildings, whores, and politicians)

        by Saint Jimmy on Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 09:59:40 PM PDT

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        •  I have found if I never use the word "hate" (1+ / 0-)
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          Panurge

          with regard to anything or anyone, ever, my life is a happier one.

          "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

          by helpImdrowning on Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 10:34:22 PM PDT

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        •  I agree with your central thesis that the loner (1+ / 0-)
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          Saint Jimmy

          myths have been immensely destructive to America - and have been inculcated into American culture precisely because they amply served the plutocrats interests. The epitome of American "can-do" attitude and frontier challenge was the Moon landing - a task that would not have been accomplished without Werner von Braun who had practiced his craft by rocketing London.
          Ask an American to name a famous American scientist of the 19th Century and I suspect you'll get Edison and that is about it, In the UK you could choose from Darwin, Faraday, Kelvin, Thomson, Swan (the original inventor of the light bulb) and many more.
          The point of the comparison is not to toot the British horn - Russians would have their top list as would Italians, French, and Germans. By the mid-19th century all these countries were industrialising and urbanising  - and all had a need for the fruits of science. But science is ultimately a cooperative enterprise - you have proved nothing if others cannot reproduce your results, and the selfish scientist is ultimately the self-defeating scientist.
          In the battle between the appropriator Edison, and the genius Tesla, history is now much kinder to the latter. Wallace may be forgotten, but in Darwins heyday he willingly shared the stage with Wallace as co-discoverer of evolution.
          America has a rich history of cooperation (Amish barn-raising) and there is an increasing understanding that human beings are innately cooperative - but that very cooperation presents a challenge to the powerful. One only has to look at the current vitriol heaped upon unions by the right to realise their chief "defect" is to empower workers against those who would rather treat them as chattel.

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