Driving is a very good proxy for American life in general. The backwards ideas of courtesy are not an exception. American culture is one where instead of eliminating things that aggravate, frustrate, and annoy it is expected of people to have an infinite tolerance of these things. It’s backwards and unworkable.
Not even Jesus Christ, regardless if one sees him as a mythical figure or a real person or a combination of multiple people had such infinite tolerance. But yet, in some sort of twisted way we are all supposed to have the tolerance, the patience, of someone who is absolutely perfect. Of course this system is bound to fail and it has, in many ways.
One subject of attention in recent years is “road rage”. What is “road rage” is never really stated. We know that it is someone who gets angry while driving, someone who loses it. We know what the road-rager does, but what got him there is never asked. It would be like asking what drove a guy to turn a bulldozer into a tank and go on a rampage. It’s never answered. It is simply that someone has been pushed beyond their limits. Too many frustrating, aggravating, and annoying things in to short of a time or for tool long of a time. A person snaps. Everyone has a limit. Some are lower than others but there’s always a limit. The 12th left lane blocker, the 5th time being cut off, and many more things all are additive.
Road rage is the simple example. There are many more complex and meaningful ones in our society. For instance, what is faced as we grow up in the government schools.
The government school personnel have no concern for fairness. They just want their jobs as easy and brainless as possible. This is why we now have zero tolerance policies. The policy decides. But what is this policy and its immediate predecessors? It blames the reacting party no less than it blames the party that caused the problem, fight, disruption, what-have-you. A kid who is made fun of, bullied, hit, punched, kicked, etc. is expected to just take it. Take it and take it and take it. The moment he defends himself, the administration comes down on him. Maybe it will also punish the aggressors and aggravators but it always seek to punish the the kid that strikes back.
That’s just the schoolyard, how does it hurt us beyond that? Those in government use it to their advantage.
Locally those in government can abuse and harass anyone of their choosing. The person cannot fight back for then he will look bad to the rest of the community. Only the most well-liked and socially respected people in the community will have protection. Everyone else is essentially on their own. They just have to take it. People lose their businesses, get run out of town, end up in prison, and so forth. But that is relatively small to where this way of thinking is most used against the American public, the world of foreign policy.
One way the US Federal Government goes to war is to aggravate their target into attacking. The American public doesn’t even want to hear about the aggravating factors, they immediately believe the other nation is the aggressor. We use this backwards thinking repeatedly. For instance, Ron Paul is vilified because he brings up the simple concept of blowback. The American public by large doesn’t seem to care what the federal government has been doing to people around the globe, those other people should have just sat there and taken it. They struck back and now they are in the wrong. It goes way back. FDR aggravated the Japanese government until Pearl Harbor was attacked. Lincoln aggravated the southern states until they finally attacked. These prior events and factors are never considered.
What of our daily lives? I think most people can see how the culture is cruder, less caring, more aggravating than in the past. The reason? Because it’s a bigger sin to react to bad behavior than to behave badly. It has empowered the trolls and griefers of the society to do as they please and ruin it for us all.
Sounds to me like it was her loss
For us both, I think. But maybe she is happier now. I dunno and guess I never will.
I have been in a quandary this past week, trying to figure out what it is about working retail that has turned sour for me these past couple years. I was struggling to define it, only aware that the rude, demanding behavior of people is beyond my ability to understand. It has not always been accepted, and rarely exhibited in the world I once knew. I sound like I’m a million years old, but it hasn’t really been that long ago that people had manners and a common decency that gave graciousness to day-to-day life. “Because its a bigger sin to react to bad behavior than to behave badly.” That’s it, exactly. My frustration and sadness is that this is now so. Thank you for your timely insight, Eric.
I feel a million years old myself at times – and I am Gen X, not Greatest Generation! The changes in my own lifetime are halting. Including with regard to ordinary common courtesy, as you note. I regard this as a major indicator of terminal rot.
But it’s not rotting everywhere. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
The United (by force) States – singular – is done for. It is only a matter of time before it disintegrates. Not much is holding it together right now.
When it does disintegrate, the result will not necessarily be the implosion of everything. Only of the authority of the creatures in Washington. There will, of course, still be creatures closer to home – but these will hopefully be easier to keep under control.
It may get much worse, I grant.
But it could get much better, too!
It will get worse before it gets better but think of this; what do we really lose is the feral government collapses Soviet style? I submit that the main thing we lose is friction and load. I see a bright future after a period of pain and confusion.
We might lose the dollar but so what? travel across this country and you will see millions of acres of food growing, tens of thousands of trucks ready to haul it, refineries ready to sell the fuel, millions of people wanting to buy it, stores willing to stock, do you think a little thing like losing the dollar as trusted currently would mean all those crops will rot while people are starving? No way. I’d guess we could have an alternative system inside of a month. Noi way to predict what form but the best solution will win whether it be crypto, gold, silver, nickels or seashells.
What the hell do we really need the feral government for?
Imagine 40% of the friction, weight or drag will suddenly go away, states will compete like was originally intended by the founders and hopefully, the people will build a wall around DC as a reminder to never let such a thing ever grow up again, kinda like the turned Auschwitz into a museum as a reminder.
He who panics dies first.
Eric, you are fortunate living in the boondocks that is a great advantage. We3 city folks will have a harder time but might bounce back faster. I for one am very optimistic.
Well-said, Alex… and, amen!
I moved out to the Woods for exactly those reasons and also because I just like having the elbow room… 🙂
I should not have used the term “fortunate” it was nto by luck or happenstance that you live in God’s country, it was deliberate, so you deserve credit for that thinking.
Yup; I schemed and planned! The one fly in the soup is I didn’t anticipate the wife (now ex) deciding she wasn’t into it…
Honestly, Pam, people have lost their manners-and have forgotten the Golden Rule of “treating others the way you want to be treated”. Bad behaviour-to the point of being criminal-is rewarded, applauded, and even encouraged. While those who behave themselves are demonized, put down, and is seen as “old fashioned” and “outdated”. Is it any wonder, then, that such behaviour and actions play out behind the wheel of a car or truck? God help me, I am an early, Gen-X’er, as well, but some days, I wish I was an old, WW2 Vet, and on my way out the door to the Pearly Gates, with the way this world is.
Great article. You are right.
The “Federal” government has aggravated to cause attacks since the time of Lincoln who, should be remembered as the “Great Aggravator” not the Great emancipator.
The book titled The Real Lincoln by Professor Thomas J. DiLorenzo provides testimony to that fact.
This government aggravation has trickled down (for profit) at least since that time.