The Age of Innocence

Remember how we thought the Tea Party was scary?

Those were such innocent times.

2 thoughts on “The Age of Innocence”

  1. Both loved the sincerity and enjoyed the quoted analysis which may explain some of the protesters:

    // My cynicism and oikophobia, although genuine, let me have my cake and eat it too. I got to enjoy a life of relative privilege – traveling the world, learning languages – while at the same time recognizing no indebtedness to my country (which, for all its many flaws, had birthed the university system that educated me and the prosperity that enabled my travels). I felt angrily justified in my refusal to invest in the norms of American society, justified in taking without giving back anything, even my loyalty, in return.

    revolutionary thinkers from Karl Marx onward have spilled oceans of ink agonizing over why people invest in and support the very social systems that oppress them. These writers only rarely seem to hit on the uncomfortable fact that legitimate obligations are a critical scaffold for our own stability and self-regulation. In this way, social or political legitimacy doesn’t just benefit the people at the top. It benefits everyone who, by accepting the social order, gains a potent means of effectively ballasting their lives. Even if the social system really is unjust.

    Second, those who are most psychologically oppressed by a given social order – those most likely to reject its legitimacy – suffer a double injustice. They’re cruelly boxed out of society’s most esteemed roles and opportunities, relegated to the fringes and the lowest ranks. But in this alienation, they also miss out on the profound stability and self-discipline that emerges from perceiving legitimacy in the social game.


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