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View Diary: Blows against the Empire: A Theology of America (13 comments)

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  •  Unimpressed (1+ / 0-)
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    Cliss

    She's not saying anything even remotely new here, and blaming the usual suspects - rich, white, protestant, males - misses the point entirely.

    The real problem is that socially, the US is stuck in an adolescent timewarp. If you look at many teenage boys, you'll see they typically show all of the qualities of 'Amerikkkan theology' - a love of military hardware and explosions for their own sake, a deep sense of entitlement, minimal empathy, a 'fuck you you can't make me' attitude to criticism, exaggerated dominance and aggression, tribalism and violent contempt for outsiders and nonconformists, an inability to take personal responsibility for the negative consequences of actions, and kneejerk reflexive reactions with little or no strategic thinking.

    Doesn't that sound like most of one political party, and a big slice of the other one?

    This is just psychology. Theology isn't required. And by blaming males exclusively, the author misses the point that women can be just as likely to admire these values - and some of them are even present within feminism and progressive politics, as much as in the traditional WASP targets. (Although it's true that some of the WASPs reliably take them to extremes not seen elsewhere.)

    What the US seems to lack is a counter-tradition that sets limits to selfishness and self-absorption, and creates negative consequences for stupid and narcissistic behaviors.

    What happens instead is that the jock-iest of the jocks, and the most permanently adolescent sociopaths are rewarded with riches on Wall Street and in boardrooms, and with power in Washington.

    Nothing will change until that reward system is broken.

    My guess is that it won't be broken until the natural world or one or more external powers sets a hard limit - or shatters that shared adolescent hallucination of narcissistic omnipotence in some other way.

    "Be kind" - is that a religion?

    by ThatBritGuy on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 12:31:40 PM PDT

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