The Little Ingrates

August 1, 2008

I’ve often wondered why lilly-white middle class kids are often the prophets of socialism.  It’s funny that the benefactors of capitalism are also its finest detractors.  I mean “finest” in the pejorative sense.  Che is a hero to millions of 20 somethings who’ve never even worked a part time job, let alone struggled in poverty.  Actually, I think it’s an economies greatest achievement to be so successful, that it’s children have the time to dream of alternatives.  Jonah Goldberg expands on the topic of the hour.

It’s an old story. Loving parents provide a generous environment for their offspring. Kids are given not only ample food, clothing and shelter, but the emotional necessities as well: encouragement, discipline, self-reliance, the ability to work with others and on their own. And yet, in due course, the kids rebel. Some even say their parents never loved them, that they were unfair, indifferent, cruel. Often, such protests are sparked by parents’ refusal to be even more generous. I want a car, demands the child. Work for it, insist the parents. Why do you hate me? asks the ingrate.

Sadly, I’ve been guilty of this myself. 

We’ve all witnessed the tendency to take a boon for granted. Being accustomed to a provision naturally leads the human heart to consider that provision an entitlement. Hence the not-infrequent lawsuits from prison inmates cruelly denied their rights to cable TV or apple brown betty for desert.

Capitalism is the greatest system ever created for alleviating general human misery, and yet it breeds ingratitude.

Indeed.  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn this lesson now…


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