What happens to a culture that doesn’t live by its values? It twists itself up, trying to rationalize what it considers wrong yet still does. In the case of slavery or denying women the right to vote, it creates stories that people who are equal really aren’t. Quoting the historian and former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Eric Williams,
Slavery was not born of racism: rather, racism was the consequence of slavery.
That is, people being unwilling or unable to let go of slavery created stories that the people they were hurting and killing weren’t equal or whatever nonsense would help them sleep at night while patently violating the Golden Rule.
We are following that path. Nobody loves their country more than I love mine, but on the environment, by which I don’t mean some abstraction but how we humans affect other humans intermediated through the environment, as a culture, America has abandoned Do Unto Others What You Would Have Them Do Unto You—also known as the Golden Rule, as far as I know a foundation of every culture we’ve found—and Leave It Better Than You Found It—also known as Stewardship.
What have we replaced them with? Regarding the environment, America’s culture—a land of Cancer Alley, Sacrifice Zones, declining sperm counts, rising cancer and birth defects, rivers catching on fire—has become capitulation, resignation, abdication, defeatism, giving up, claims of helplessness. Anything but responsibility in favor of comfort, convenience, victimhood, and entitlement that leads to rising levels of anxiety, stress, isolation, PTSD, addiction, and suicide.
Instead of leading the world to health, longevity, can do optimism, and effective action, we are leading the world to disease and suffering. The world fears us. We are the world’s leader in not protecting life, liberty, and property, of unfree markets from government intervention and collusion in profiting from hurting people.
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