Thursday, June 26, 2008

Can't-do Society

Victor Davis Hanson has a really good essay up at National Review pointing out that even though the physical means of accomplishing large infrastructure in America have never been easier--and we have so much more knowledge to make them better than before--we've lost the mental/emotional capacity to do so. For good reason (well...prudent on the part of the bridge designers; lousy on the parts of the protestors and litigants):
Action entails risks and consequences. Mere thinking doesn’t. In our litigious society, as soon as someone finally does something, someone else can become wealthy by finding some fault in it. Meanwhile, a less fussy and more confident world abroad drills and builds nuclear plants, refineries, dams, and canals to feed and fuel millions who want what we take for granted.

And bad:
Finally, high technology and the good life have turned us into utopians, fussy perfectionists who demand heaven on earth. Anytime a sound proposal seems short of perfect, we consider it not good, rather than good enough.

I've noticed this myself--I have zero power to affect a refinery or anything useful, but I've been putting off small projects because I doubt my skills.


No comments: