Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 19, 2014

Commentary: Fred On Everything—King George Days

Commentary

 
 
Fred Reed, over at Fred On Everything, comments on laws and culture.

 


You can’t impose decency, honesty, good behavior, or responsibility. They are in the culture, or they are not. If they are, you don’t need laws, police, and supervison. If they are not, laws won’t much help. And this is why the US is over, at least as the country we knew.


 

 

King George Days

When We Were America

September 16, 2014

I beg the reader’s indulgence since this is in a large sense a personal communication more than a column for all. It will resonate with many, or some, so I post it anyway.

I am preparing to fly to Fredericksburg, Virginia, for the—God almighty—fifty-year high-school reunion of King George High School. Perhaps we all do it eventually, unless of course we don’t. It is a curious thing, I have learned at previous reunions, to meet after half a century people you last saw when they were seventeen. They seem so little changed.

Mostly wooded, on the Potomac River, Dahlgren Naval Proving Ground the biggest employer, with a fair number of kids who got up at four-thirty in the morning to help their fathers with commercial crabbing on the river.

There was nothing special about the class of 1964, or about King George High, except for those of us who were in it. Our yearbook looked like ten thousand others across America, portraits with acne removed in the photo lab, the basket ball team exactly like everybody else’s, the cheerleaders conventionally glorious, conventional adolescent good-byes in ball-point pen—but without misspelling or bad grammar.

We, largely rural kids of the small-town South, represented without knowing it a culture, an approach to existence, and a devastating principle: You can’t impose decency, honesty, good behavior, or responsibility. They are in the culture, or they are not. If they are, you don’t need laws, police, and supervison. If they are not, laws won’t much help. And this is why the US is over, at least as the country we knew.

(Read complete article at original site)

Advertisements

Categories