America's Party News - AmericasPartyNews.com - Committees of Correspondence
  • America's Founding Principles
  •   Home  |  About  |  Platform  |  Affiliate  |  No donations  |  National Committee  |  Be a LeaderSearch  |  Inbox  |  My Settings  |  Log-in  

    'America's Summit  –  Restore the Republic'

    Every Tues. & Thurs. night  –  9 pm EST
    712-432-3566  –  passcode 340794#

    Archive  –  Listen on the web

    Contact Posting Guidelines

    Steven Malanga: Whatever happened to the work ethic? [MUST READ!]
    ::
       Independent Media & Educational Projects -> America's Party News - 'We are the Media!'

    Dallas Morning News

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Steven Malanga

    In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville worried that free, capitalist societies might develop so great a "taste for physical gratification" that citizens would be "carried away and lose all self-restraint." Avidly seeking personal gain, they could "lose sight of the close connection which exists between the private fortune of each of them and the prosperity of all" and ultimately undermine both democracy and prosperity. 

    The genius of America in the early 19th century, Tocqueville thought, was that it pursued "productive industry" without a descent into lethal materialism. Behind America's balancing act, the pioneering French social thinker noted, lay a common set of civic virtues that celebrated not merely hard work but also thrift, integrity, self-reliance and modesty – virtues that grew out of the pervasiveness of religion.

    Some 75 years later, sociologist Max Weber dubbed the qualities that Tocqueville observed the "Protestant ethic" and considered them the cornerstone of successful capitalism. Like Tocqueville, Weber saw that ethic most fully realized in America, where it pervaded the society. Preached by luminaries like Benjamin Franklin, taught in public schools, embodied in popular novels, repeated in self-improvement books and transmitted to immigrants, that ethic undergirded and promoted America's economic success.

    What would Tocqueville or Weber think of America today? In place of thrift, they would find a nation of debtors, staggering beneath loans obtained under false pretenses. In place of a steady, patient accumulation of wealth, they would find bankers and financiers with such a short-term perspective that they never pause to consider the consequences or risks of selling securities they don't understand. In place of a country where all a man asks of government is "not to be disturbed in his toil," as Tocqueville put it, they would find a nation of rent-seekers demanding government subsidies to purchase homes, start new ventures or bail out old ones.

    They would find what Tocqueville described as the "fatal circle" of materialism – the cycle of acquisition and gratification that drives people back to ever more frenetic acquisition and that ultimately undermines prosperous democracies.

    And they would understand why. After flourishing for three centuries in America, the Protestant ethic began to disintegrate, with key elements slowly disappearing from modern American society, vanishing from schools, business, popular culture, and leaving us with an economic system unmoored from the restraints of civic virtue.

    Not even Adam Smith – who was a moral philosopher, after all – imagined capitalism operating in such an ethical vacuum. Bailout plans, new regulatory schemes and monetary policy moves won't be enough to spur a robust, long-term revival of American economic opportunity without some renewal of what was once understood as the work ethic – not just hard work but also a set of accompanying virtues, whose crucial role in the development and sustaining of free markets too few now recall.

    Read more at dallasnews.com...

    Steven Malanga is the senior editor of City Journal, from whose summer issue this is adapted.

    Posted 2009-08-23 8:44 AM (#21087) By: Editor


    Posted 2009-08-23 8:52 AM (#21089 - in reply to #21087) By: Editor

    Search this forum
    Printer friendly version
    E-mail a link to this thread

    Latest Posts From All Affiliates
    John Kerry -- long-time enemy of America - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Resist tyranny -- it CAN be done! - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Once Upon a Town - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    God's words to His people who are called by His name in Israel and in America - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    An insightful column by Evan Sayet - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Prodigal Nation - Part 1 [Peter Marshall] - gcsteven (6 replies)

    Well... they ASKED for it - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    The Sower knows, "The SEED of LIFE." - gcsteven (5 replies)

    It is simply not enough for Christians to change the laws; people’s hearts must be changed. - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Understanding Involves Responsibility - DAVID JEFFERS - gcsteven (1 replies)

    Whose responsibility is the health care of illegal immigrants? - gcsteven (1 replies)

    If you control the language... - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    New Political Party takes stand on social issues! - EternalVigilance (0 replies)

    Same-sex marriage fight is a lie, sez lesbian activist. Real goal: abolish marriage - Philomena (1 replies)

    The 28 fundamental beliefs of the Founding Fathers - Philomena (1 replies)

    The U.S. Constitution: Original Intent or a Living Document? - Philomena (3 replies)

    A succinct reply to the ISIS leader - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    The *real* problem at the VA is... - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Huckabee's Speech Against Judicial Supremacy - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    A Miracle For Justina - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Jesus, Yours will be the only Name that matters to me - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Franklin Ed Shoemaker, America's Party candidate for Florida House, District 40 - Gregory (1 replies)

    This Nation's greatest Political and Economic 'Deficit'. - gcsteven (17 replies)

    Email to Massachusetts Governor Patrick On Behalf of Justina Pelletier and Her Family - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    The Scientific and Prophetic Accuracy of the Bible - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    History Repeats Itself - God Warned Israel, Now America - Deuteronomy 8 and 32 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Significance Of This Primary Campaign To All Who With Tom Hoefling Love Our Lord Jesus Christ - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Is this a Judge? - forJustice (0 replies)

    Message from Tom Hoefling - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Message to Tom Hoefling and Franklin Ed Shoemaker - 1 John 5:4 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Already Gone - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Global Warming: A Scientific and Biblical Expose of Climate Change - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    1854 US Congress And 1892 US Supreme Court Declared Our Nation And Its Founders To Be Christian - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Who DARES to limit God?? - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    What did you ask for on your 16th birthday? Hear what Justina asked for. - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Political Candidates For The Upcoming Elections Consider Your Ways - Proverbs 21 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Uninstall Firefox - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Birth Patrol the New Sentry - Bishop Sheen, 1960 - gcsteven (2 replies)

    Christ Is Enough - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Yes, sadly, you DID read correctly - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Judie Brown: The Problems Created by Pro-Lifers - Philomena (4 replies)

    This Week with True the Vote - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    A Battlecry (Psalm 119) - It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    STOP COMMON CORE IN NY - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    G. K. Chesterton: It’s Not Gay, and It’s Not Marriage - gcsteven (2 replies)

    Marijuana 'edibles' pack a wallop - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    LIVE FEED: Pro-LIFE Witness with Arrests at Notre Dame - Philomena (53 replies)

    South Dakota Gubernatorial Candidate Lora Hubbel's HCR1001 Floor Speech (how SB38 leads to abortion) - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    This Week with True the Vote - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Will a popular TV drama series DESTROY itself by...? - TomK--V-USA (1 replies)

    Supreme Court Upholds Prayer At Government Meetings - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Reminder -- V-USA is on Facebook and Twitter - TomK--V-USA (1 replies)

    UH-OH, is Hillary 'testing the waters' for 2016 run? - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Are We in a “Post Christian” Era? - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Update and National Day Of Prayer Call for Justina - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Legislative Updates & Smart Voting News for April 29, 2014 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    The Bible Is a Textbook of Science - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Justice, just a word? - gcsteven (3 replies)

    No conflict between science and our Creator, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Aborted babies burned to make electricity - Philomena (1 replies)

    The Right Tool for the Job - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Legislative Updates & Smart Voting News for April 22, 2014 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Let us raise a standard to be strong: Part V, Fulton J. Sheen - gcsteven (3 replies)

    Tom Hoefling at Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner 04.11.2014 - gcsteven (0 replies)

    THE SHORT VERSION -- why America's Party is so much better than the Republican Party - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Legislative Updates & Smart Voting News for April 8, 2014 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    RECLAIMING WASHINGTON'S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE - SavedByGrace (0 replies)