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Rural values

2002-08-21 20:54:15+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

The Economist asks if rural America is a good model for the country:

Here again the image of small-town piety bears little relation to reality in rural America. The states that Mr Bush won in 2000 boast slightly higher rates for murder, illegitimacy and teenage childbirth than the supposedly degenerate states that voted for Mr Gore.

I've been depressed recently over the fact that I'm running into a lot of instances where right and wrong have been replaced by legal and illegal, or even enforceable and unenforceable. My year at Gracenote probably skewed the sample, but I've seen attitudes among the most ardent liberals change on things like the DOJ anti-monopoly actions against Microsoft. Over on Kuro5hin, Microsoft - Undeserving of Libertarian Praise is getting such well thought out refutations as (in its entirety):

"I was there. This story is entirely false. A classic example of a know-nothing picking random 'facts' and making a 'story'." cite

And, of course, we've got the current financial melt-down. It's not like none of this crap was going on in the 8 years prior to this administration, but it seemed like at least people were embarassed about it. I wonder if we really are that much of a herd, or if I'm just bummed out right now and taking it out on humanity.

[ related topics: Politics Libertarian Microsoft New Economy moron Law ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-08-21 23:57:44+00 by: ccoryell

Man, Dan, what are you doing teasing us with a quote that looks like it is going to lead to a nice refutation of an article but turns out to be all of what the poster said?

That comment doesn't support anything without more information about who the poster is and how they can back it up.



#Comment made: 2002-08-22 03:03:55+00 by: Dan Lyke

That's why I said "in its entirety". That's the sort of ethics arguments I keep running into.

As I read back through this I realize it's not as strong a case as I'd like, I'll try to write something stronger on the ferry tomorrow.

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 03:18:06+00 by: Shawn

You're just running into this kind of thing now? Most of my life has been steeped in - or at least in view and hearing range of - these kinds of "new world" morals. Maybe I've been keeping the wrong kind of company, but I don't think I've ever been exposed to an "ethical argument" that goes much beyond what you're describing.

I came to the conclusion years ago that human beings are pack animals, rather than of herd mentality.

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 14:49:09+00 by: ccoryell

Ahh, silly me, look at that, on a more careful reading do I possibly detect some sarcasm. you can file me under 'trolled' :-) I probably should use the edit button to conceal my embarrassment from the world.


#Comment made: 2002-08-22 15:14:26+00 by: Dan Lyke

Carl, sorry.

Shawn, I'm usually pretty cynical, but right now I'm seeing an awful lot of pragmatism over ethics in a way that really disturbs me. As you point out, it's probably just that I largely exist inside a bubble of people more like me.

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 17:17:26+00 by: other_todd

I think the gloves are off. I have always expected people to act like this down inside. What happened is that - for reasons I'm not clear on - the veneer of morality and good manners - the social contract, if you will - got thrown out the window some years back. Now what you see is really what you get.

Which, I suppose, makes me the biggest cynic here. Oh, well.

Funny thing is, though I am thoroughly amoral and quick to admit it, I'm generally not nasty to my fellow man (in any way other than occasional verbal abuse), nor am I especially interested in wealth or power. I mostly behave myself and mind my own business. But I maintain much lower expectations for other humans than I do for myself.