If by the fluke of your birth you were to find yourself in Ethiopia, it wouldn’t be unusual for you to travel several miles, by foot, to obtain perhaps the most basic necessity of life on this planet, besides breathable air that is. Water. People in Ethiopia walk for hours and miles to fill up filthy buckets at a well of dubious health quality and then walk for hours and miles back to the squalor of their hovels, only to re-embark on the quest once again the next day. It’s walk or die. It’s a battle for survival against the most natural state of humanity: poverty. It’s a state of being that most sane people strive to avoid or escape. For those of the postmodern mind, it’s a state to strive after.
But you weren’t born in Ethiopia, or any other third world hellhole where the difference between life and death is an experience akin to torture. You were born in the United States of America, the richest and most powerful country in recorded history. Lucky you. You should be grateful. But if you’re of the postmodern ilk, you aren’t. You’re probably miserable, in theory, as you lounge on your couch or bed.
In America, poverty is not the natural state of humanity though it is more widespread than it should be considering our vast wealth. In America, poverty is not the natural state for most of us because, throughout the course of our history, we made certain decisions to avoid the pitfalls and perils most other countries have run headlong into.
Some of these decisions have included an emphasis on free trade, open markets, and an unashamed reverence for the family unit as the fundamental building block of civilization. It’s not in dispute that families with two parents enjoy greater wealth and health than those families with only one parent. It’s not in dispute that largely free markets and trade lead to higher quality goods at lower prices which make luxuries of yesteryear accessible to those of us not blessed with one-percenter status.
(Disputing facts isn’t part of the postmodern playbook. Evidence, logic, reason, and discourse have no place in this twisted doctrine.)
The poor in America live like kings compared to the poor in Ethiopia. Poor people in this country have access to clean water and food. They have air conditioning, refrigerators, televisions, transport, and other amenities undreamed of by the destitute in Africa and Asia and South America. And yet, in this historic and unprecedented state of wild wealth, there are people in this country who remain unsatisfied. They just can’t bring themselves to enjoy the widespread luxuriousness of our lifestyles.
Some people aren’t happy unless they’re miserable.
If you want to know exactly what I mean when I say postmodern, look no further than Professor Jordan Peterson. He characterizes postmodernism as a “pervasive, pernicious, nihilistic, intellectually attractive doctrine” that is typified, in part, by the fact “that it doesn’t have a shred of gratitude.” It is a doctrine that despises Western Civilization and every building block upon which it stands, such as the family unit, a solid work ethic, veneration for tradition, and pride in our shared heritage. Rather than share this pride, the postmodern Left finds it as a source of shame, despite the mountains of proof demonstrating the moral and economic superiority of the West over the deranged doctrines of statist collectivism which are at the heart of postmodernism.
If you have a chance to watch videos of or read transcripts of Professor Peterson’s lectures, do so. He has a brilliant way of simplifying what seems on its face to be a complex topic. Perhaps the most simple aspect of this debate is just how miserable the malcontents of the postmodern Left really are, even in the lap of luxury.
The Left has come to despise the concept of wealth and superiority, even as they fawn over economically illiterate hypocrites like that pinko crackpot from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. Postmodernism entails cultural obliteration and a major facet, perhaps the chief facet, of Western Civilization is our wealth and therefore wealth must be destroyed. It’s as though they won’t be pleased unless we’re all equally poor, equally miserable, and the only ones enjoying prosperity are the overlords living in their beach front properties.
They live in a state of self-hatred and self-contradiction.
So here’s some advice for those miserable malcontents of the postmodern Left: If you want to live in accordance with your values, if you’re really sincere about your convictions, destroy your smartphone. Give your Xbox away for free, or destroy it. Donate to charity your automobile, or better yet, destroy that too. Quit your job. Wait until your landlord evicts your sorry ass and live on the street. If for even a moment you enjoy the luxuries provided by our evil free market capitalist system, you’re a hypocrite and nothing you say matters in the least until you walk the talk.
Or you can show a little gratitude. You can be thankful for your job, without which you’d be a penniless bum, but a penniless bum still living better than the impoverished folks of Ethiopia. You can gain a little perspective and grow up a bit and realize the world isn’t a utopia, it has never been, and never will be. We have one planet and it’s more often than not a savage place. The luxuries the postmodern Left enjoy in spite of their vitriol came at a high price, a high price in the past that ensured a lower one today and still a lower one tomorrow.
I understand why they feel guilty about American imperialism and why they hate it. I don’t agree with it obviously but I understand it. This country has done some horrible things to people who never stood a chance before the might of our technologically advanced military and our seemingly unique proclivity toward aggression. I get it, I really do. But, here’s the thing…
The history of humanity is a story of disparate peoples struggling against each other in a bloody competition for resources and territory. By the fluke of our births, any one of us could have found ourselves in the despair of the third world, walking for hours and miles each day for something as basic but as necessary as water. But we’re not in the third world. We’re in the greatest country on the planet, the greatest country in the history of the planet.
We’re on the winning side. You can be grateful for it or you can be miserable as you play your video games and cruise to the super market for staples that in Ethiopia would be considered delicacies. You could put aside your sanctimonious bullshit for one minute and realize how wonderful it is that when you want water, all you have to do is stroll to the bathroom or kitchen. What a bother it must be to put on your slippers and press the start button on your Xbox controller.
You can be grateful or you can be a miserable son of a bitch who, in theory only, hates your comforts and would rather impose on all of us, especially those capable of gratitude, a state of misery so that your warped guilt complex can finally be laid to rest.
Original artwork by Jesse Comeau