June 5, 2007


Adolescent Intellectuals (Thomas Sowell, 6/05/07, Real Clear Politics)

To a small child, the reason he cannot do many things that he would like to do is that his parents won't let him. Many years later, maturity brings an understanding that there are underlying reasons for doing or not doing many things, and that his parents were essentially conduits for those reasons.

The truly dangerous period in life is the time when the child has learned the limits of his parents' control, and how to circumvent their control, but has not yet understood or accepted the underlying reasons for doing and not doing things. This adolescent period is one that some people -- intellectuals especially -- never outgrow.

The widespread and fervent use of the word "liberation" in a wide variety of contexts is one of the signs of the adolescent belief that only arbitrary rules and conventions stand in the way of doing whatever we want to do.

According to this vision of the world, the problems of all sorts of individuals and groups -- women, minorities, homosexuals, children -- are to be solved by liberating them from the restraints of laws, rules, conventions and standards.

They are to be liberated even from the threat of adverse judgments by other individuals. We are all to be "non-judgmental."

The important thing is that such liberation, or personal freedom, is literally Un-American, antithetical to the republicanism of the Founding.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 5, 2007 8:01 AM

Sowell descibes antinomian narcissism, the basic spiritual disorder. "I wiil not serve," "You shall be as gods," "Nobody tells me how to wear my baseball cap!"

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 5, 2007 9:36 AM

It's a bit rich for a monarchist to be calling anyone un-American. Don't you think?

Posted by: Brandon at June 5, 2007 10:17 AM

Why? Would a Hindu be wrong to call a Satanist unChristian?

Posted by: oj at June 5, 2007 3:11 PM

I didn't say it was wrong, just highly amusing.

Posted by: Brandon at June 5, 2007 4:08 PM

America needs a king, but the best oughtn't be enemy of the good.

Posted by: oj at June 5, 2007 7:42 PM

King--we used to have one of those. He didn't work out; we had to let him go.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 5, 2007 8:34 PM

Lack of Parliamentary representation didn't work. Ditching the King was an overreaction that hurt in the long run.

Posted by: oj at June 5, 2007 10:08 PM

Sorry, you can't advocate keeping King George and simultaneously claim that belief in liberty is antithetical to the Founding. The Founders were pro-liberty and anti-monarchy, and the opposite positions are the oldest sort of "un-American" beliefs. Satanists can't call other Satanists unChristian.

Posted by: PapayaSF at June 5, 2007 11:32 PM

No one has. Freedom is antithetical. The point of a republic is liberty.

Posted by: oj at June 6, 2007 6:30 AM