RCSaunders wrote: ↑Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:41 pm
Gary Childress wrote: ↑Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:56 am
RCSaunders wrote: ↑Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:20 am
There's a reason for the change but it's unlikely what you would believe it is, but I cannot go into it now. So I just have one comment about this:
So, what are the police doing. Obviously they aren't stopping the crime. Do you own a gun, Gary? (Please do not answer that question here.
No one else needs to know.) If you wait for the police to protect you or your property, it's not going to happen. When seconds count, the police are only minutes away, and if you call them, I guarantee you will be sorry. You have no idea how much trouble they can make for you no matter how innocent you are, especially if you call them during their coffee break.
I'm curious about what the reason is for how our society is today so I'll wait for your response on that before posting further in our conversation.
I'm afraid I have given you a very wrong impression of the city in which I grew up. I'll just add that it was hardly a country town. It was a major industrial city, Peabody, Massachusetts, culturally varied and very sophisticated, with many millionaires and a very large laboring middle class. It was named for America's most famous philanthropist of the time, George Peabody.
I wrote a long series of fourteen articles around 2007 entitled, "Marxist Revolution of the West" which explored the entire question of the demise of Western civilization, and that was not a complete explanation. I can hardly explain the loss of civilized culture in a couple of paragraphs.
I will say this, the level of civilization of any society is determined entirely by the level of integrity of the individuals that make up that society. The difference in the highly civilized nature of the culture of the city I grew up in between the forties and fifties and what that society (and most societies of today) is the kind individuals that made up those societies. Any society is whatever the individuals that make up that society are, so, what changed is the kind of people who populated the city of my youth, and the kind of people who populate the world today.
From the third article in the series I mentioned, "Characteristics of Civilized People," I described the kind of people I grew up surrounded by. I named six specific characteristics: Independence, Ambition, Courteousy, Decency, and Privacy, and I explained them.
If there was one characteristic that distinguished people of the fifties from people of today, it was their independence
. Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and competence were virtues individuals pursued in their own lives and admired in others. ... They recognized a person's life is their own to be lived as they chose, but that the individual was responsible for that life, both to support it and to bear the consequences of how it was lived.
Not being able to "stand on one's own two feet" and to support one's self and one's family was considered a disgrace. Though people in the 50s were incredibly generous and would leap to help someone whom circumstances had knocked down through no fault of their own, most would do anything rather than take someone else's help, and would work to get themselves back on their own feet and to repay anyone who had helped them.
Their lives were marked by ambition
, and an almost insatiable desire to accomplish things, from improving their work to improving their homes to improving their minds, they were always doing something productive.
The word polite has the same root as polished and one definition of polite is civilized. "Please," "Thank you," and "excuse me," salt and peppered everyone's conversation in the 50s. Children were taught, "manners," and were required to be courteous, which included never addressing an adult by their first name, saying "yes, Sir," and "no, Ma'am," and making requests in the form, "may I please ...?"
is not conforming to social convention and not a limit to free speech. It is the conscious recognition of the dignity and privacy of others, an affirmation of their personhood and their value as individual human beings. Those who have not lived in a courteous age seem to have the impression it was stiff and formal and in some way restricting, but in fact, it was the opposite. Common courtesy made social relationships much easier because people knew the appropriate way to interact and deal with one another and the words appropriate to polite conversation came to the lips of the well-mannered with all the ease and naturalness with which the vilest profanities fill the mouths of today's ignorant and ill-mannered louts.
That nowadays rare word, "decency," is often associated with sexual behavior or dress, but its meaning, as applied to the people of the fifties, is much broader than that. It's meaning has to do with another word rarely used these days, "propriety," which, like courtesy, is mistaken for some kind of social conformity, but in fact means that which is appropriate to human beings
, that is, to civilized human beings. Civilized human beings do not eat with their hands or perform certain bodily functions in public, for example.
The decency of the fifties came from a sense, if not explicitly than implicitly, of what was proper to beings who have grasped the importance and necessity of principles and values—principles by which one understands the purpose and meaning of life; values by which one descerns the difference between the vices that are a waste of that life and the virtues by which it is lived successfully and happily. This was the source of the vitality that dominated the fifties, the belief that life is worth living and living well, because there are things worth living for, things with real meaning and importance, things one can love and give themselves to totally, things one can hold sacred and revere. The view of life in the 50s was one of infinite possibilities in a world where anything could be achieved by anyone willing to make the effort, and the certainty that a life of such potential was worth taking seriously.
is the hallmark of a civilized society. One gauge of the level of civilization in any society is the degree of individual privacy chosen and enjoyed by it's citizens.
It is difficult to imagine, if one has not experienced it, what that sense of privacy that dominated the 50s was like. People were jealous of their privacy which they regarded a recognition of one's own being as an independent individual. To have one's own privacy violated or to violate another's was tantamount to physical assault. One's thoughts, one's body, one's business were their own, to be shared or not by their own choice. People minded their own business, and expected others to mind theirs—it was part of their decency. A person's private affairs were just that; intimacy had a real meaning and had to be earned; one only shared the most private aspects of their life with those whom they loved and who had earned it.
The regard people had for other's privacy came from a profound respect for other's integrity and individuality, the unquestioned sense that others owned their lives, as one owned their own.
Those are some of the things that were different between the people of the fifties and the people of today. I might have mentioned honesty, personal integrity, and a high sense of what was really important and what was not. I know you'll want to know why people are different today, but I cannot tell you. I know others who have those values today, although there are fewer and fewer of them every day. People choose what they are. You'll have to ask them why they have chosen to be what I regard as subhuman.