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There's No Reason to Feel Guilty About Prosperity

Recently a friend of mine wrote a post on how the West is dying of self-hatred, and how he can’t understand how people are infused with so much self-hatred for no reason, or how we – since no other civilization has done this — are managing to kill ourselves through self-flagellation.

At which point I realized I knew how this came about.  I knew it perfectly well.

You see, it’s like this: I was there when Portugal flipped from national socialist to international socialist. I was in elementary school. I know how the teaching changed.

The national socialists were, for all their faults... well… nationalists. They might pound the drum of national glory and the “Portuguese race” (mutt.  No, seriously, mutt.) but they didn’t try to make you feel ashamed of things you’ve never done.

Being proud of things you’ve never done because your ancestors did them is different.  It’s the sort of thing that both boosts your self-esteem and puts a floor under how badly behaved you’re willing to get. That is, it tells you that a certain level of behavior is owed to those unknown ancestors. Old form of bringing the youth into the pack, as it were.

International socialism, which in practicality meant Russian nationalism, since the Soviet Union/Russia was held as the model of things to be by its practitioners, sought to run down the love of individual country. This is known as psychological warfare and a way to soften countries for invasion.

As for why it took up in Western culture? There are many reasons.

First of all, there is “Western Culture.”  It exists, of course, but when we refer to it, mostly we refer to the bourgeois values of thrift, self-control, and respect for individuals which are not very old at all in the West. They have their roots in the English Enlightenment, a young philosophy.

Some date it from 1650.

Yes, that in turn had roots in Judeo Christian belief and that current was always present in the West, but keep that in mind.

The “old Western Civilization” as we see it is not very old at all, and beneath it lay the roots of an older culture of those who were born rulers and those who were born ruled, which is far more normal in the world at large and might be one of those fundamentals of human nature.

The fact that the West also changed so quickly and profoundly and that the Industrial Revolution replaced a mostly agrarian society means that we’re a culture that changes rapidly.  Cultures aren’t designed to change rapidly – says she who still grew up with slang that was the result of some Roman legionnaire’s dirty joke.  (Ask me sometime if you catch me tipsy). And since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve changed very quickly indeed.  This leaves fractures and a sense of doom and gloom.  There’s also the way we’ve changed, by becoming more prosperous than any other culture in the world ever.  Remember that, it’s important.