A Vietnam Every Year

This year, there will be over 50,000 deaths due to overdoses in the US and it's still climbing.

* That's already the lethal equivalent to the US of a Vietnam war every year or WW2 every eight years.

* It's already twice as lethal to Americans as accidental deaths from automobiles.

* The majority of the deaths are of people 35-54 and it impacts both men and women. It also leaves millions of friends and family members with PTSD in its wake.
The answer? None is offered, but the author does propose a necessary condition of ending our culture war on each other.
My gut suggests the only social structure that will allow us to progress beyond this impasse is one that enables increased psychological diversity while at the same time aggressively preserving traditional paths of meaning. We should avoid at all costs seeing this as a struggle between oppressive identities or as a corruption of tradition that should be ruthlessly eradicated. A more complex middle ground that allows both to flourish is only way to avoid history's abattoir.
Maybe that's right, and maybe not. It does at least seek to preserve more of America, rather than eradicating the parts it doesn't like.


Anonymous said...

No thanks.

I am not a believer in the cult of "Diversity".
Thats not a religion I believe in .

Again No Thanks

- Mississippi

Anonymous said...

......What is diversity, as opposed to divergence?
What is diversity, as opposed to mere variety?
What goods, precisely, is diversity supposed to deliver?
Why is intellectual diversity not served by the study of a dozen cultures of the past, with their vast array of customs, poetry, art, and worship of the gods?

Is not diversity as it is now preached a solvent for any culture? That is, supposing that the people of a tribe in the interior of Brazil are compelled to accept cultural diversity for its own sake, rather than merely adopting and adapting this or that beneficent feature of another culture (something that people have always done), will that not mean that their own culture must eventually vanish, or be reduced to the superficialities of food and dress?.........


Grim said...

It's only a sketch in a comment, so I'm not really sure what he means by it. It could be a commitment to let people try new things, while also "aggressively preserving traditional paths of meaning." In that case, it's a diversity that the current "diversity" isn't: not a declaration that those traditional paths are wrong, but an acceptance that they just aren't for everyone.

Even then, it might be wrong. I was thinking today that the acceptance of freedom of conscience in religion probably isn't producing atheists and agnostics; probably, those people were always there, but felt obligated to go to church so as not to upset Mother or Grandmother or Aunt Whoever. It seems to me that the atheists I know are reliably of a personality type: the same type that tends to yield aggressive libertarians. They're male, logically minded, convinced that they are very much smarter and more rational than others around them, and that most people are stupid morons. The questioning of the organized churches of the world follows more from the personality than it does from anything else.

So if I'm right about that, in a way it's good that these people aren't being forced to live a lie; and in a way, it's good that the church is left to those who really believe in it. But in another way, maybe it was better when the church had to contend with the internal challenges posed by intensely-logical and self-superior beings; maybe it weakens when its pronouncements are too easily believed.

And maybe the culture fragments in incurable ways because of the move, whether the church itself profits or loses by this exchange.

But what's the alternative? Do away with freedom of conscience and you're back to the religious wars, and a time when there's no reason to think that any plausible candidate for "the right side" will win.