The Namby-Pamby State
The namby-pamby state originated in a hodgepodge of political and economic theories—soft Marxism, utopian socialism deriving from the work of Proudhon and Fourier, Keynesian economics—and gathered momentum as an effect of what is called Swarm Intelligence, that is, an innumerable host of single agents, in this case ordinary people, interacting randomly with one another and their surroundings. It has now congealed into a set of deliberate programs directed and controlled by a statist apparatus engaged in the administration of mediocrity. The namby-pamby state has followed the recommendations of George Brock Chisholm, first director general of the World Health Organization, who, in a speech for the Conference on Education at Asilomar, California (September 11, 1954) advocating world government, advised: “it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family tradition, national patriotism, and religious dogmas.”
The result should be evident to anyone with a modicum of intellectual clarity. We have embraced the spirit of self-contempt cloaked in the ideology of self-esteem. Scoured of intellectual virility and epistemologically neutered, we have become scions of a failed culture and, simultaneously, proud citizens of the namby-pamby state, celebrating the attributes that rob us equally of integrity and vigor. We have lost our sense of responsibility and self-respect, indeed, we have lost our very sense of individuality. As Victor Davis Hanson observes, we are now regarded as members of one or another tribe of the (presumably) dispossessed or deprived, a vision that “ignores all human individuality” while affirming a species of moral delinquency, limitless prerogative, and collective averaging-out.
One recalls the epitaph that the great Danish theologian and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wished to have inscribed on his tombstone: “That Individual.” And of course, his wish was not granted.