David Brooks today, eulogizing Margaret Thatcher:
She was formed by her disgust with 1970s Britain. She witnessed a moral shift in those years, away from people who were competitive and toward people who were cooperative, away from the ambitious and toward those who were self-nurturing and self-exploring, away from the culture of rectitude and toward the culture of narcissism. Especially in the prestigious reaches of society, people were often uninterested in technology and disdainful of commerce.And after she blessed us mere mortals with her magisterial presence on this earth:
Today, bourgeois virtues like industry, competitiveness, ambition and personal responsibility are once again widely admired, by people of all political stripes.Everything, for Brooks, goes into two piles. In the evil pile: people who are cooperative, self-nurturing, self-exploring, technophobic, narcissistic. Y'know -- flabby, navel-gazing hippie liberals.
On the other side are those who are competitive, those who are ambitious, those who have ... rectitude? Seriously? And personal responsibility?
Yes, after the Gordon Gekko '80s, after Enron, after the last five disastrous years, David Brooks still associates ambition and competitiveness with moral uprightness. Brooks writes an entire column about how Margaret Thatcher made the world safe for go-getters and never once so much as touches on how go-getters led us to global economic calamity. It's as if he were eulogizing a postwar Southern politician and never once mentioned race. It's a remarkable demonstration of obliviousness.