The presumptuous morality police

A recent editorial by David Brooks, in the New York Times, reveals how arrogant the self-appointed leftist elite morality police can be.  Brooks writes:

Ancestor inequality is not socially acceptable. It is not permissible to go around bragging that your family came over on the Mayflower and that you are descended from generations of Throgmorton-Winthrops who bequeathed a legacy of good breeding and fine manners…
Moral fitness inequality is unacceptable. It is out of bounds to boast of your superior chastity, integrity, honor or honesty. Instead, one must respect the fact that we are all morally equal, though our behavior and ethical tastes may differ…
Church inequality is unacceptable. It would be uncouth to wear a Baptist or Catholic or Jewish jersey to signal that people of your faith are closer to God. It is wrong to look down on other faiths on the grounds that their creeds are erroneous…
Vocation inequality is acceptable so long as you don’t talk about it. Surgeons have more prestige than valet parkers, but we do not acknowledge this. On the other hand, ethnic inequality — believing one group is better than another — is unacceptable (this is one of our culture’s highest achievements).
Dear visitor, we are a democratic, egalitarian people who spend our days desperately trying to climb over each other. Have a nice stay.

It never seems to occur to Brooks that, by referring to “our culture’s highest achievements”, and that “we are a democratic, egalitarian people”, he obviously considers our people and culture to be better than others.  Thus, he is violating his own rules.
Brooks somewhat acknowledges that there can be a link between one’s ancestors and one’s manners (as implied in the first paragraph).  But he does not seem to believe that there might be a link between one’s ancestors and one’s culture.  Apparently, culture, ethnicity and values are just random things that a person chooses, without regard to his ancestry.  That Brooks himself happens to be a white American must be merely coincidence in his eyes, and he could just as easily have been born into a New Guinean jungle tribe – but his ideals would remain the same.
If Americans, as he seems to claim, can boast superior integrity, honor or honesty, due to our advanced culture, then how does he reconcile this with his prohibition against “moral fitness”?
One wonders if Brooks views traditional Muslim societies, with their repression of women and non-Muslims, as equal to our own – to the point where it would be unacceptable to look down upon the Muslim faith.  Logic would dictate that he can either support women’s rights (American style) or traditional Muslim societies – but not both.  Though he may not be willing to move to Egypt, he certainly is living in de-Nile.
Would it be too much to expect Brooks to spell out the distinction between “ethnic inequality”, which is verboten, and the inequality between our “democratic, egalitarian people”, which he touts?  Last time I checked, a “people” and an “ethnic group” were fairly close in meaning.  But Brooks does not excel in telling the truth; his specialty seems to be empty rhetoric.

This entry was posted in examples of propaganda, pan-nationalism and multi-culturalism. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The presumptuous morality police

  1. Georgia Resident says:

    To be fair, it seems to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, with the whole comparing inequalities that are “acceptable” (sports, fitness, academics) with ones that are “unacceptable” (religious, ethnic, moral fitness). And while I disagree with the “democratic, egalitarian people” part, that is what most Americans “officially” believe. I don’t think that highly of David Brooks, but I can’t help but think he might be poking some fun at the more sanctimonious conventions in modern society.

  2. Sid says:

    His article was ironic, where he shows what “acceptable” behavior is. In a nutshell, it’s all well and good to go to Princeton, but it’s not to look down on people who watch reality TV or listen to rap because you’ve read the Aeneid in Latin.
    In short, in respectable society, a Yale graduate who watches reality TV is higher status than a guy who went to State U and reads Chaucer for pleasure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *