From Chronological Snobbery (And The Sin Of Pride) at Upland Gardener:
“My parents grew up here in rural Middle TN during the Depression. To some extent, the lyrics from Alabama’s song, “Song of the South,” applied: “Somebody told us Wall Street fell, but we were so poor, we couldn’t tell!” Since 1865, much of the South has known poverty, so that hadn’t changed much, but at least folks mostly still owned their own farms, had gardens, and livestock, and as a result, had enough to eat.
Now, I look at my family’s little hometown, and like much of rural America, it went from a bustling center of commerce, where the local farm economy supported the shops in town, and the shops and services in town, in turn, supported the local farm family. Sadly, especially since the takeover by government/Big Agra post-WWII of much of the farm economy, the little town now struggles.
Most folks choose to forget the past, and, as a variation on what C.S. Lewis termed “chronological snobbery,” every generation deep down considers itself a little more enlightened, a little smarter and progressive than the preceding ones.
However, just like the young man who, thinking of his ol’ man as a pretty dim bulb when he’s 18 or 19, grows to understand his dad gets a lot smarter as time goes on and life and Reality “happens” to him; this pattern does fortunately serve as a correcting influence. Sadly, though, starting with us Baby Boomers, successive generations seem increasingly self-satisfied in their arrogant folly, not understanding that the artificial prosperity we have enjoyed for a long time now, is not the norm, but is in fact a mere blip in history.
If we’re going to have Depression 2.0, there’s a part of me that would like to go ahead, hold my nose, and get it over with. Break this damnable crony-capitalist system along with the arrogance of the pampered elites. I then realize that when that occurs, it won’t be just the arrogant who suffer; it’ll be good people as well!
I pray we in the church especially will awaken to Reality, and not stay caught up in this corrupt system. We need to be there to be reflections of God’s mercy and wisdom in those times, and not mere victims, addicted to the goodies from the corrupt, collapsing system.”
On Depression 2.0 and crony capitalism: even if you are (unlike me) a believer in democracy (I am a monarchist), you surely must be able to see at this point that both the Democrats and the Republicans serve the interests of the same people. There’s no difference.
I am pro-life and generally pretty socially conservative. You might think I would be a big supporter of Republicans, but I am not. Republicans serve the interest of crony capitalists as opposed to the well-being of communities; just look at their support for free trade. Look at their support for switching over from pensions to 401(k)s. These kinds of things impoverish the vast majority of people and enrich a very small elite. And despite what Bernie Sanders supporters may think, the Democrats support the same things. Recall that it was Bill Clinton who brought us NAFTA, allowing us to hemorrhage manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Who benefited from that? Wealthy elites at the expense of the working class.
It is the same with environmentalism. Republicans support the Ann Coulter-esque form of rape and pillage of the earth to benefit Big Business, whereas Democrats are controlled by a bunch of uber left-wing idiots who usually want to enact policies that do more harm than good (mercury vapor light bulbs, anyone?).
On chronological snobbery: I’ve been guilty of it, and probably you have too. In reality, with industrialization and urbanization to fuel our wealth, we’ve given away something very precious in exchange for material well-being. We have given away community and family, and it has gotten worse with every generation. I think millennials have pretty much reached peak chronological snobbery with their all-consuming focus on persona and lifestyle striving.
Repenting of (turning away from) materialism, pride and liberalism (of both the left and right variety) is the solution.