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  • What’s So Good About It?

    Posted by Jay Manifold on July 4th, 2004 (All posts by )

    In a series of posts over on Arcturus — most substantially here and here (though I must also point to this, where I quote our own Sylvain Galineau) — I sought to define how it is that America is a good place. My actual starting point, approriately entitled Keep ’em Guessing and Make ’em Squirm, even pointed to a famous fake Tocqueville quote beloved of a certain subculture. And my answer was, of course, maddeningly conceptual.
    Well, enough of the abstractions. It’s Independence Day; how about some concrete examples? Herewith a list of some of the blessings of liberty:

    1. Responsible Male Homosexuals

      The entirely unanticipated combination of A) generally greater inclusiveness in American society and B) an epidemic which was initially largely vectored by homosexual contact — has produced a demographic of notoriously creative, productive people whose more impulsive, destructive members have been killed off. The remainder often depart from the neurotic-fag stereotype, have good jobs and stable work histories, tend to form long-term monogamous relationships, and occasionally (with considerable assistance from modern technology, to be sure) start families. They usually understand economics well enough to support markets, and are renowned for raising property values by moving into a neighborhood. The next step is for them to figure out just how badly they’re getting screwed by redistributionist politics in the Blue States, and move away from the coasts and into the heartland.

    2. A Kindler, Gentler Pornography Industry

      Reading stories like this, you’d think that porno actors and actresses were dropping like flies. But this AP story notes that:

      At least five performers tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in April. The outbreak virtually shut down the multibillion-dollar adult film industry when actors were put on a voluntary quarantine preventing them from doing sex scenes until they had passed two monthly HIV tests.

      The outbreak also led to an investigation by California’s workplace safety agency and calls for state regulation of the largely self-regulating industry.

      The most dehumanizing business most of us can think of, put on hold by five HIV infections.

    3. An Evangelical Army

      Atlantic Monthly correspondent Robert Kaplan “became keenly aware of the pervasiveness of Christian religious sentiment among the troops. ‘The spirit of the U.S. military is fiercely evangelical,’ he writes, ‘even as it is fiercely ecumenical.'” He “describe[d] the Marines as having a strong religious streak, which gives them ‘a stark belief in their own righteousness and in the iniquity of the enemy,’ but which also inspires them to show ‘compassion for innocent civilians.'”

      For those of us of a certain age, who can recall hearing hair-raising tales in youth group meetings from veterans a decade older than ourselves — of being the only Christian believer in a platoon, or even a company, and surrounded by some very rough characters — this is the best possible evidence of the wisdom of an all-volunteer force.

    4. Bellicose Libertarians

      Like Jacob Levy, for example; and I’ve had a word or two (or three) to say on the subject myself. Ultimately, I can do no better than to quote Francis W Hirst’s Liberty and Tyranny: “… it would be a betrayal of liberty not to defend it with all the power that free men possess.”

    The real-world alternative to the list above is not some Edenic society where everybody’s straight or nobody thinks about sex, nor is it a ’68er paradise where the military commits atrocities until there’s a revolution in the ranks, or a secularized army that never sets foot outside the US. And it is certainly not a mass movement of pure libertarians sweeping interventionism into the dustbin of history.

    It is instead, respectively: a furtive subculture of promiscuity, blackmail, and suicide; hundreds of dead, mostly from AIDS, or rampant prostitution on a scale unknown today; an expensive, ineffectual conscript army made up largely of criminals and semiliterates; and a polity divided between inane pacifists and dead-hand statists.

    So let us be thankful, on this 228th anniversary, for the results of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. God bless America.

     

    11 Responses to “What’s So Good About It?”

    1. Andy D. Says:

      Im greatful that idiots like you have the freedom of speech to be greatful for the things that are a drawback of freedom. Maybe you can pray to your cat and stick a bottle rocket in your ass to celebrate the 4th.

      Happy Independence Day! The greatest country in the world is slowly being defeated by TP : )

    2. Jonathan Says:

      I thank the previous commenter for demonstrating the futility of drug prohibition.

      Jay, you make persuasive points. I would add that anyone who is too busy to figure it all out can look at which countries people try to leave, which countries they try to migrate to, and where the U.S. is on the hierarchy of the latter.

    3. Andy D Says:

      Actually your right! I just had surgery and I’m high on 500MG tabs of percocet. I mean, if it was a sarcastic post, i’d be in agreement, but if you’d like to debate for the merits of pornography, i leave you with the same party suggetion..

    4. Jonathan Says:

      Maybe when the drugs wear off you could reread Jay’s post and tell us where he advocates pornography, or why we should pay attention to someone who insults people he disagrees with.

    5. Andy D. Says:

      “..how about some concrete examples? Herewith a list of some of the blessings of liberty:…A Kindler, Gentler Pornography Industry..”

      So porn is a blessing of liberty? That sounds like support..hmm..

      That post is an insult to me, so why not send one back?

      Ohh, and btw, is there nothing morally righteous about removing saddam from power? how about building schoools for poor children in ecuador? giving away your food to hungry people?

    6. Steve Gigl Says:

      Hey Andy, it might be better if you actually read past the bold lines to understand the idea for the post. Not to mention that the suggestion you should have gotten from the phrase “the most dehumanizing business most of us can think of” is that perhaps Jay isn’t a big fan of the porn industry.

    7. Anonymous Says:

      that was way over my head

    8. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      What’s so good about it? How about, “Whiskey, sexy, democracy.”

    9. James R. Rummel Says:

      “The greatest country in the world is slowly being defeated by TP”

      What’s TP, anyway?

      James

    10. Jay Manifold Says:

      Must be this stuff. Yep, we’re doomed. ;)

    11. Rob Read Says:

      When I was 12 I found a stash of porn in the woods. I used to have aspirations to be a Fireman or a policeman, but now I’m doing life in a well paid IT job! Remember that kids, pictures of things you find attractive are bad, you could turn out like me! MMMOkay..