Tuesday letters: The myth of the self-made man

April 29, 2014 

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VINCENT GIORDANO

In his March 16 letter (“Haley lauded for signing gun bill”), Jim Clark repeated that too-oft-repeated mantra, saying that he frequents restaurants and stores where his concealed weapon is welcome and he is not dependent on others for protection.

The new liberalism that swept this country in the 1980s convinced us that dependency was slavery, and the myth of the “self-made man” reared its ugly head once again. “Self-reliance” came to be understood as “me and only me.” The result? The end of community; hence, the end of America. This belief that we are best when we don’t need anyone leads us from healthy neighborhoods and cities to a decadent world of isolated individuals, convinced that they have no allies and must struggle alone for everything they can get.

Sadly, we are adopting ideas taken from such great thinkers as Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao. We are inundated with propaganda that tries to comfort us with lies meant only to divide us and drive us to despair. Thomas Merton pointed out that what is so evil and insidious about propaganda is that it convinces us that its “truthful” lies are what we were thinking all along.

Tim Mueller

Columbia

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