July 13, 2009


Mark Steyn:

Capitalism is liberating: You’re born a peasant but you don’t have to die one. You can work hard and get a nice place in the suburbs. If you were a 19th century Russian peasant and you got to Ellis Island, you’d be living in a tenement on the Lower East Side, but your kids would get an education and move uptown, and your grandkids would be doctors and accountants in Westchester County.

And your great-grandchild would be a Harvard-educated environmental activist demanding an end to all this electricity and indoor toilets.

Posted by: Sarah at 07:25 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Back in the 70s, I really believed we would run out of oil in ten years. Didn't happen. I've been wary of ecopalyptic predictions ever since.

Your quote of Steyn sums up the last four generations: from Old World peasant to New World activist aristocrat. Now that's progress!

The last line of Steyn's that you quoted reminds me of this post of yours that I happened to reread last night.

Posted by: Amritas at July 13, 2009 07:59 AM (h9KHg)

2 Speaking of toilets (and you totally started it):

My Great-great grandfather was so disgusted by the idea of indoor toilets that he refused to let my GG Grandmother put one in the house.  Pooping mere feet from where food was prepared?  REVOLTING.

My grandmother (who will be accompanying me to SBL Pendleton) still throws up her hands in frustration about that, and it happened over 70 years ago.

Posted by: airforcewife at July 13, 2009 02:33 PM (CDkfD)

3 I had a great aunt and uncle who lived in the country close to the Oklahoma/Kansas line. About 1943 or so the discovered oil on their farm and they came into money. The got water into the house They had a beautiful sink with water in the kitchen and built a fine bathroom, no toilet, just bathroom. They built a really nice outbuilding for the water flushed toilet. It was painted white with red rambler roses climbing up the walls.  My aunt wouldn't have a toilet in the house. The idea!
I wish that aunt were still alive. she was a wonderful musician, could play anything she ever heard on the piano and could not read a note of music. That whole family, including my dad, had wonderful voices and sang a lot anytime they all got together.

Posted by: Ruth H at July 13, 2009 02:49 PM (BkiKe)

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