Tuesday, February 21, 2017

At Sea in the Swamp of Moral Narcissism

At PJMedia by Micheal Walsh -- 

If there's one thing that distinguishes 21st-century America from her recent past, it's her cocksure attitude. Not the old-fashioned, can-do swagger of the Gilded Age plutocrats or the postwar military and financial hegemons, but the smirking, snarking intolerance of the Anointed, whether of left or right, who feel their world-view (well-educated but abysmally ignorant, they wouldn't know the meaning of the word Weltanschauungor even the German word itself) is self-evidently correct, and who can tick off the "principles" by which they operate like any rote-drilled catechumen. Whether they go by the name of "progressive socialists" or "movement conservatives," they're brothers beneath the skin, and they both suck.

That skin gets a good hiding, if not a thorough flaying, in the pages of Roger Simon's new book, I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn't Already (Encounter Books).

Simon (b. 1943) bases his analysis on the experiences of his own generation, which he calls the Least Great Generation, to distinguish it from the one that came just before, which fought and won World War II. Building on Christopher Lasch's seminal 1979 study, The Culture of Narcissism, Simon explores such generational obsessions (quasi-religions for atheists, really) as Marxism, environmentalism, "climate change," racism, Islam, the corruption of the universities and the media, and a twilight nostalgia for great moral crusades of yesterday. But mostly, the bugbear known as political correctness:

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