On Negative Learning

I no sooner asserted that there are fewer Americans around than the research pops up to prove it. Here's a wonderful essay about that --and from a Canadian, no less. Curtsy to No Left Turns. The author echoes many of the themes treated necessarily briefly in VDH's speech at the Churchill dinner, such as the materialism that thinks technology can fix everything --and fast:
Back on January 25, 1962, Lucie Van Pelt told Charlie Brown, "I’ll give them just twelve years to get things straightened out! I want everything settled by the time I’m eighteen! I want to live my adult life in a perfect world!" Since then, the essence of this juvenile outburst has become the core of what is now indirectly taught to students by not teaching them political history.

Not to mention the cynicism:
everything high must be brought low, every idea deconstructed, every decision and action reduced to base interests and private agendas. Every heroic figure must be exposed as a hypocrite or reduced to a subject of tawdry gossip, it being far more fashionable to delegitimize their ideas and explain away their deeds with reference to biographical foibles and psychological speculations than to weigh their merits.

and the inherent contradiction in this position:
It is ironic that the society which is actually good enough to give people the idea that a more perfect union is possible should come to be seen as so terribly flawed precisely because it continues in practice to fall short of the theoretical promise of its premises. It is strange how societies which are based on contrary premises are then esteemed and defended against it by the proponents of its perfection. It is similarly perplexing that those who hesitate or profess a refusal to talk about the Good and the True nevertheless remain confident about identifying and rectifying Injustice, sometimes erecting an imagined Global Community as a standard of judgment.