Saturday, January 24, 2009

Narcissistic Spartans...

I have written before (here as an obiter dictum and here, in response to a reader's response) about the "Spartan" mentality I see in much of modern America. In my first musing on the topic, I said

...that we (USAmericans) raise our children for economic fitness the same way the Spartans raised kids for military advantage. I won't go into detail now, but I am increasingly aware of the US tendency to whittle life down to a young-adult-to-middle-age idealized median range. In addition to rubbing out the old end of the stick with the scouring pad of euthanasia and institutionalized benign neglect, we are pressing the upper limit of youth farther and farther back, robbing children of any protective barrier between true childishness and adulthood. And I'm very inclined to believe this erasure of life's outer limits is meant for the good of the market. We are economic Spartans. Insular, focused, peculiar and prepped for battle.

Due to recent events of a personal nature, I see the same principle at work with a vengeance. The battle of our day is, of course, the battle of the sexes waged with those old weapons known as genitalia. The increased influence of technology has sharpened this conflict in the same way twentieth-century weaponry made the First World War something qualitatively new and horrific in comparison to previous warfare. Hunkered in the trenches of our self-interest, we lob the mustard gas of ideologically driven gender-distrust and dive-bomb each other with cosmetic infanticide. We are so obsessed with our reproductive 'fitness' that, paradoxically, we even sacrifice our fertility to it. At all costs we want "sexual health" to be unhampered by reproductive responsibility. Thus we sacrifice childbearing on the altar of babymaking. We are so concerned with staying lean, strong, and tactically mobile that we will leave a baby on today's country hills (abortion clinics) for the elements and the wolves to destroy. We are truly Narcissistic Spartans: all our social efforts are geared from day one to enhance and preserve our narcissistic freedom, a vain defense of free will that we don't even believe in anymore on allegedly "scientific" grounds. It is only a matter of time, I fear, before our egoistic pond-gazing will have us tumbling headlong into an abyss.

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