Friday, April 1, 2011

Ayn Rand wouldn't have helped

This 2008 ESPN video has been coming 'round on the git-tar again:

I saw this on Facebook.  Actually, I saw a similar vidlet on something called Godvine, edited to hide its origin.  Google helped me find this version, which at least is clear about its origin.  I'd embed something from ESPN itself, but all it has is this print story.

I can see why Godvine would want to claim the story, even though none of the fine sportswomen mention God, at least on air.  It is a heartwarming story of virtue and altruism, just the sort of values that Jesus honored.  Those who aspire to godliness should want to set a social norm of generosity and helpfulness toward their fellow humans.

The radical capitalists don't live this way.  They don't put their character before their profits.  Wall Street defends its profits as deserved, even as it denies that deserving matters.  The very accrual of wealth is self-justifying to the moral midgets of the plutocratic right wing.

They'd look at the young women who helped their opponent to their own detriment as willing losers.  They'd scoff at their sacrifice, at altruism in any sense.  They'd deny even the possibility of altruism and assert that Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace must have derived value from their act, even though they lost the chance to reach the playoffs because of it.  Of course, the selfish, Rand-inspired capitalists would also sneer at anyone so naive as to put sportsmanship above profit.  Those softball players need a good capitalist re-education camp to learn the value of having no values other than mercenary ones.

This contrast between wealth and Christianity is a tension among conservatives.  They've tried to spackle the fault line with the prosperity gospel, a totally ahistorical and patently laughable attempt to claim the divine right of wealth.  If those people are going to heaven, it's hard to see the meaning of Jesus' ministry to the poor and powerless.

In Congress and state legislatures around America, wealth is attacking anyone who is weaker.  The social consensus that this bleak greed is ugly and wrong seems to have died in our age of selfishness and bullshit.  But there may come a reckoning for the wealthy class warriors, when at last people understand that Republicans will take food from the disabled so that their kleptocrat corporate cronies can sneak a hundred more Havana cigars across the Gulf of Mexico for their smoking parties.

No comments: