The Washington Post published a strange op/ed piece by conservative "thinker" Charles Murray on why "American exceptionalism" is superior to European social democracy. Apparently, Mr. Murray went to Europe recently and, after speaking with a couple of students in Switzerland, concluded that Europeans are soulless hedonists who lack all ambition - thanks to their "socialist" governments:
It was fascinating to hear it said to my face, but not surprising. It conformed to both journalistic and scholarly accounts of a spreading European mentality that goes something like this: Human beings are a collection of chemicals that activate and, after a period of time, deactivate. The purpose of life is to while away the intervening time as pleasantly as possible.
Empty churches and a low birth rate point to the fact that Europeans have sold their souls to the socialist devil. Life is too comfortable, the people seem happy but it is all an illusion. Basically, they are miserable, since their lives lack the purpose that Americans have. You see, Americans have to struggle for everything; they are not coddled by the socialist state (yet). Health care, decent education, housing, employment are all a struggle in America. But that struggle spurs true greatness.
Actually, a far better model for Murray than Americans would be the Taliban: they attend religious services regularly, belive fervently in their God, have big families, lack any social safety net, and are willing to die for their ideals.
But what really upsets Charles Murray is that the European social democratic model goes against the laws of nature. Human beings, according to Murray, are genetically determined. Some have superior genes, some have inferior. The leveling policies of European societies eliminate this genetic diversity. While American society is more reflective of the natural order.
"Over the next few decades, advances in evolutionary psychology are going to be conjoined with advances in genetic understanding, and I predict that they will lead to a scientific consensus that goes something like this: There are genetic reasons why boys who grow up in neighborhoods without married fathers tend to reach adolescence unsocialized to norms of behavior that they will need to stay out of prison and hold jobs. We will still be able to acknowledge that many single women do a wonderful job of raising their children. But social democrats will have to acknowledge that the traditional family plays a special, indispensable role in human flourishing and that social policy must be based on that truth."
Charles Murray was the author of the 1994 book The Bell Curve, which "proved" that blacks had inferior intelligence. The book was later debunked by Stephen Jay Gould and others as junk science. Why the Washington Post would provide a forum for a racial determinist like Murray is a question worth asking. No doubt Europeans will find the piece highly amusing, mistaking it for satire.