I share Professor Deneen’s passion for understanding the brutal nature of our global economy. Why? Passion derives from emotions, which should be viewed stoically and intelligently. A healthy emotional response to what is, in fact, the obviously superior wealth position of our demographic does not stem from negative, immoral emotions like smug greed or gloating schadenfreude (taking pleasure in the troubles or failures of others – see the monks laughing in this painting?).
Virtuous passion comes from a sense of family duty and the honorable battle of ideas that defend our values and lifestyle against the ridiculous hypocrisy of liberal social justice warriors. They have always been and continue to be mired in profound self-deception, as so eloquently argued in Why Liberalism Failed (2018). I am passionate about the defensive weapons protecting us and pack them into our War Chest weekly.
My clients and family have shared values, which are despised and mocked by our rather unworthy enemies in the media, academia and political system. We live in accordance with ancient custom – basic moral assumptions about what it means to live a good life. You should work hard and respect authority, beginning with your parents. You should display modest and courteous comportment. You should embrace personal discipline and self-control. You should have children only when married. Once married, you should stay married. You should live within your means. You should respect the elderly and remember your debt to prior generations. And these values have an extraordinary pay off, perpetuating wealth through many generations.
John Stuart Mill dismissed these behaviors as unthinking custom. Progressive liberals consider everything a lifestyle choice. Conservative liberals revere the free market and are fine with any economic behavior that is legal – caveat emptor! Edmund Burke praised our values as essential prejudices. We spent 9 weeks here, from 12/5/17 to 1/30/18, exploring Burke’s ideas, so colorfully clothed in Yuval Levin’s book The Great Debate (2013). Morality, intelligence and work ethic matter…. a lot! It’s not simply a personal choice of how to live. Brilliant thinkers have already charted the righteous path for us. Morality is choosing to accept the ancient intellectual and moral traditions of western civilization, which will remain standing even after the failed philosophy of modern liberalism is tossed into the dustbin of history.