Monday, July 31, 2006

Protecting the Good Life

Ahh, the summer time, a time to relax and to enjoy the good life we all enjoy in North America.

And we should enjoy it too, because according to historian Victor Davis Hanson our civilization could come tumbling down at any time.

In a recent column Hanson notes that our current prosperity can be deceiving.

“Many Americans,” he writes, “despite superficial affluence, are in debt and often a paycheck away from insolvency. By historical standards, they are pretty helpless. Most of us can't grow our own food, don't know how cars work and have no clue where or how electricity is generated. In short, few have the smarts to survive if the thin veneer of civilization were to be lost, as it has been from time to time in places like downtown New Orleans”.

Hanson then reminds of us of the many dangers lurking out there:

“In our own new age of war, terrorism, huge debt, high-priced gas and frightful weapons and viruses that we try to ignore, we should remember that civilization's progress is not always linear. The human condition does not inevitably evolve from good to better to best, but always remains precarious, its advances cyclical. The good life sometimes can be lost quite unexpectedly and abruptly when people demand rights more than they accept responsibilities, or live for present consumption rather than sacrifice for future investment, or feel their own culture is not particularly exceptional and therefore in no need of constant support and defense.”

Ok go back to enjoying your summer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It has been my experience that a person's rights can be so seriously violated that it interferes with their ability to fulfil their responsibilities.