Ancient Greek culture celebrated, what they called, arete in every aspect of their lives. Arete meant excellence. It meant the uniquely human drive towards full competence in everything that was attempted. Arete was courage and strength in the face of adveristy and it was all that the Greeks aspired to.
The Olympic games were born out of their desire to see masters at their respective crafts. Men used to stand in the city square and debate publicly to see who's use of logic and understanding was the best. The crowd would vote and cheer for the smartest, most well-spoken guy. Plays would be performed publicly as competition that would then be voted on by the crowds. They wanted to see the best--the best in everything. Of all their contributions to the world, I appreciate arete the most.
We generally carry on that tradition today. The Olympics are still held. Award shows abound. Some people still strive for excellence.
But would we say that it's ingrained in our culture? I don't think so. We don't encourage our kids to be the best. We don't instill in them a drive towards perfection. Rather, we don't want to be mean, so we say as long as you've tried, you've won the battle. Bull. You didn't win the battle. You lost the war. While you sat on the couch and ate frootloops, your competition was practicing. You lost because you were not as diligent as your opponent. When was the last time a kid heard that? Why is that so mean, by the way? I find that kind of honesty encouraging. But it's rare.
The panty-waist liberals get most of the balme for it, but the religious right have their own way to stifle excellence. I'll explain with an example.
There was a news story recently about a coach that was fired for beating another team 100 to 0. story For winning, he was fired. They said he shouldn't have won by that much. It's not nice. He made the other team feel uncomfortable, and should have been kinder about his victory. You see what liberalism is doing to this country? Why do I say liberalism? What does the political philosophy of the Left have to do with individual success?
Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton and their pals believe that the good of the whole should be put before the good of one. If one person succeeds while others don't, their is something seriously wrong in their book. They use words like "equality" and "fairness" to defend their philosophy. And that's why most college kids buy it. It sounds so good. Who could be against kindness? Who could be against equality?
Democrats can't stand the fact that some businesses are better than others--especially when the case involves foreigners. There's a bit of liberal jargon called "anti-dumping." If you can provide a better product at a much cheaper cost than a local competitor, you are not allowed to drop your prices to a level that they can't compete. It wouldn't be nice. They'd go out of business. So local consumers are stuck with the bad product at the higher price because that's the "nice" thing to do. Nice to who?
Democrats HATE Walmart. Walmart is not nice. They don't claim to be. They don't wish to be. Kindness is not in their business plan. They want to get more products to more people at the cheapest price, and make a hell of a lot of money doing it. That's like poison to a liberal. in fact they hope to make that criminal. To them, money is supposed to be made as a whole. The whole society has to make money in order for it to be good.
They hate the C.E.O. The guy who took the risk, came up with the business plan and started the company. Why? Because he makes so much goddamn money. He makes millions while the lowly cashier makes barely a living wage. To them that's injustice. He should be required to pay them enough so that they can pay their bills. You get it? It's HIS responsibility to ensure that they make enough to feed their family. Not theirs. It's not their responsibility to gain enough employable skills to live at the level that they choose. While they were sleeping in math class, he was studying. When they decided to pass on college, he begged and borrowed money to get through school. Now he's successful and they're not. Democrats have a real problem with that.
He should not feel sorry for them. Not one bit. And I'm glad that there are executives that don't feel guilty when there's a family that goes hungry. That is THEIR responsibility. He should pay employees the amount that he thinks there services are worth. Period. If they don't like it, they should seek employment elsewhere. No one owes them a living. They get paid a low wage because that's what their services are worth to the company. They don't have a good insurance plan because those plans are put as incentives to make people want to work there. The lowest workers aren't going anywhere, so why give them a great plan? No one is owed a great health plan.
The president recognized an executive that gave away his bonus to his employees because he didn't feel right taking it. If he truly didn't deserve it, and he knew it--then yea, i'd say fine, give it away to who you think deserves it. But he's a damn fool if he thinks that he has some moral responsibility to give his hard-earned money away. The religious right and the liberals have officially won the battle on that front. The Left and the Church agree that we should all feel guilty for being successful while someone else is not. There isn't even a reason really to fight it anymore. Atheists and Christians agree, you should feel guilty that someone else is struggling while you are not. Kids these days don't hear anything else. There is no debate anymore. The Greek virtue of arete is dead.
It's funny because I never thought I'd ever say that we shouldn't enact a plan to fight poverty. Eliminating poverty seems like the noblest of causes. It's crap. There will always be someone who chooses not to work. As long as there is laziness, there will be poverty. As long as people are able to make a choice to wake up and go to work or sit home and play video games, there will be poverty. Unless the liberals have their way. If it was their choice, we who choose to go to work should and will pay for those that sit home. We will be required by law, and threatened will jail time if we decide to work for ourselves and our loved ones.
Individual rights are fine with democrats until they are not polite anymore. At that point they will hammer down with the full-force of the law to punish un-niceness. They will throw your ass in jail if you don't pay for someone else's mortgage. They will tax (rob) you and give your money away to all your old deadbeat schoolmates that never wanted to apply themselves.
The basketball coach story is the perfect illustration of what the left believes: Do your best. Work hard. Succeed. But if you're too successful. If you make someone else's feelings hurt on your way, not only will you be discouraged from doing so--We Will Fire You! We will take away your livelihood. Forget the adage that you should be nice; you must be nice(!); you are required by law to be kind. And we will define what kind is from now on. We will legislate kindness with the ominous power of the court and prison system. Guard your wallets.