On today’s Huffington Post there is a article claiming today’s college students are more self-centered and competitive than those of the past. Now there is a saying that a system gives the outputs for which it was designed. And a system based on the thought of Ronald Reagan, Robert Looking out for Number One Ringer, Milton Freedman and the sociopath loving Ayn Rand is going to give the results noted above. Since these have been among the leading intellectual influences of the politically dominant conservative movement since the birth of the present college age generation it is no surprise today’s college students are more self-centered and competitive than ever. Self-centered highly competitive persons are what today’s conservatism creates. In the world created by the modern conservative movement such personalities are the only ones that can survive.
We no longer have a society. We have been reduced to 300 million isolates motivated by greed. Our only goal is to acquire the largest pile of things before we die. Woe to anyone who for any reason tries to take something off that pile. This is why our debt is so high. This is why we have high taxes and entitlements. We are quite willing to take but unwilling to give. This is a world in which there can be no such thing as the common good. It is a world of a few winners who take everything and millions of losers who have next to nothing. In order to survive at all one must be among the winners. This means acting ruthlessly in defense of one’s own self interest defined as taking what one wants by any means available.
The failure of the left in general and the Obama administration in particular is to believe one can have a change in public policy without having a change in attitude. The teaparty movement gains its strength from people who see the society created by modern conservative thought as the best of all possible societies. They object to the Obama administration’s policies because they assume and will promote a different kind of society. The people who win under the present mode of social organization see no reason to agree to this. The problem is millions of the losers agree with them. The losers have become convinced human freedom requires the hyper competitive self centered society advocated by modern conservatism. So long as people confuse freedom with sociopathic self centeredness it will be difficult to do anything about the problem described in the article referenced to above.