Wanting it both ways

From Victor Davis Hanson:

We want all the dividends of industrial society, but an 18th century wilderness at the same time. . . .The redwood deck is beloved, not the falling coast redwood tree; kitchen granite counters are de rigueur, not the blasting at the top of the granite mountain; the Prius is a badge of honor, not the chemical plant that makes its batteries; we now like stainless steel frigs, but hate steel’s coke, and iron ore, and electricity lines; arugula is tasty, not the canal that brings water 400 miles to irrigate it; I support teacher unions and -studies courses in the public schools, but not with my Ivy-League bound children. . . .

The well-off like nice cars, tasteful homes, good food, and appropriate vacations — but not the oil, gas, coal, nuclear energy, transmission lines, timber, cement, farmland, water pumps, etc., that bring that to them.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    “… our Eloi elite need to get a little more real, and our Morlock non-elite need to become a little less frighteningly real.”

    That coulda gone in yesterday’s Analogies post!

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    “… our Eloi elite need to get a little more real, and our Morlock non-elite need to become a little less frighteningly real.”

    That coulda gone in yesterday’s Analogies post!

  • Carl Vehse

    As Hanson notes (and recent elections have demonstrated) our society has developed aspects of the Eloi and the Morlocks.

    Today the worst in multiculturalism is honored with the laurel of “diversity.”

  • Carl Vehse

    As Hanson notes (and recent elections have demonstrated) our society has developed aspects of the Eloi and the Morlocks.

    Today the worst in multiculturalism is honored with the laurel of “diversity.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well personally, I don’t mind them blasting granite from a mountain. It often improves the habitat for Chukar, and makes for some great shooting. What I don’t like are budweiser cans strewn throughout the forest or desert I’m hunting in.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well personally, I don’t mind them blasting granite from a mountain. It often improves the habitat for Chukar, and makes for some great shooting. What I don’t like are budweiser cans strewn throughout the forest or desert I’m hunting in.

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  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’d take this article more seriously if it weren’t pure red meat for the class wars. This is merely an article about how “they” — you know, the “elite”, or, alternatively, the smelly “underclass” — are bad. You, salt-of-the-earth Pajamas Media reader, on the other hand, and just fine.

    Hanson almost gets to the root of the problem — hypocrisy and a modern industrial system that hides the actual impacts of our consumer decisions from us — but can’t bring himself to apply that to his actual audience. It’s like a pastor who refuses to point out the sins of his own congregants, choosing instead to make them feel comfortable while he rails against those outside the church — you know, the real sinners.

    And if I ever met such a pastor, I’d know that he didn’t really care about sin, or else he’d start with himself and his own congregation. No, such a pastor is more interested in “us” vs. “them”. I see no reason to think any different about Hanson.

    Oh, and props for engaging in the same thing the right-wingers decried when Obama did it: saying the Chinese are better than us.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’d take this article more seriously if it weren’t pure red meat for the class wars. This is merely an article about how “they” — you know, the “elite”, or, alternatively, the smelly “underclass” — are bad. You, salt-of-the-earth Pajamas Media reader, on the other hand, and just fine.

    Hanson almost gets to the root of the problem — hypocrisy and a modern industrial system that hides the actual impacts of our consumer decisions from us — but can’t bring himself to apply that to his actual audience. It’s like a pastor who refuses to point out the sins of his own congregants, choosing instead to make them feel comfortable while he rails against those outside the church — you know, the real sinners.

    And if I ever met such a pastor, I’d know that he didn’t really care about sin, or else he’d start with himself and his own congregation. No, such a pastor is more interested in “us” vs. “them”. I see no reason to think any different about Hanson.

    Oh, and props for engaging in the same thing the right-wingers decried when Obama did it: saying the Chinese are better than us.

  • Peter Leavitt

    VDH would know that the Pajama’s Media readers would be largely, despite themselves, among the Eloi. Far from fueling the culture wars, he actually takes a sensible middle position with:

    In other words, our Eloi elite need to get a little more real, and our Morlock non-elite need to become a little less frighteningly real. And the rest of us in the middle? A little more pragmatic, and a little sanctimonious, a little less politically — and environmentally — correct, if all our children are to inherit even a semblance of what we were born into.</I

    Hanson is that rare combination of classicist cum farmer with a firm grasp of present reality.

  • Peter Leavitt

    VDH would know that the Pajama’s Media readers would be largely, despite themselves, among the Eloi. Far from fueling the culture wars, he actually takes a sensible middle position with:

    In other words, our Eloi elite need to get a little more real, and our Morlock non-elite need to become a little less frighteningly real. And the rest of us in the middle? A little more pragmatic, and a little sanctimonious, a little less politically — and environmentally — correct, if all our children are to inherit even a semblance of what we were born into.</I

    Hanson is that rare combination of classicist cum farmer with a firm grasp of present reality.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@5), please. Read the sentences you quoted again. Hanson clearly considers himself and the Pajamas readers to be “in the middle” — although how the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution think tank (not to mention the winner of the $250,000 Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation prize) considers himself outside the “elite” is beyond me.

    And telling Pajamas Media consumers to be “less politically and environmentally correct” and more “sanctimonious” is like telling them, “Be yourselves, only more so!”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@5), please. Read the sentences you quoted again. Hanson clearly considers himself and the Pajamas readers to be “in the middle” — although how the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution think tank (not to mention the winner of the $250,000 Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation prize) considers himself outside the “elite” is beyond me.

    And telling Pajamas Media consumers to be “less politically and environmentally correct” and more “sanctimonious” is like telling them, “Be yourselves, only more so!”

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, the “us” in that piece is rhetorical. His nuanced point of being “a little more pragmatic and a little sanctimonious” seems to have escaped you.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, the “us” in that piece is rhetorical. His nuanced point of being “a little more pragmatic and a little sanctimonious” seems to have escaped you.

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