Saturday, July 22, 2017

An Incompetent Culture

Unmarried men who shack up with women tend to be irresponsible, unproductive, and aggressive; unmarried women who shack up with men tend to be selfish and prodigal and want Big Daddy the government to take the same care of them that fathers and husbands used to take.  But those who do marry no longer seem to know what it is that they are doing.  Is it for keeps, or not?  What happens when children start arriving?  What’s a husband supposed to do?  What’s a wife supposed to do?

We are incompetent in the ordinary things of life.  We divorce more readily than we sell houses, yet for some reason we believe that we possess great wisdom as regards men and women that our benighted ancestors did not possess.  We raise sons who are not weaned at age twenty-five, yet for some reason we have contempt for the old institutions that used to turn boys into men.  We raise daughters who emulate well-paid whores, but who do not actually make the money that the whores make, and yet we persist in believing that only in our time has a girl had half a chance to live a decent life.  We are in debt over the eyeballs, we cannot make ends meet even on two incomes, and yet we hug ourselves for being “liberated,” looking with pity on a grandmother who in a single day did fifty skillful things for people she loved, rather than spending eight hours fielding telephone calls in an office or scraping plaque off the teeth of strangers, while wearing goggles and a face mask to guard against dreadful infections from their blood and spittle.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.9-10

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