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November 14, 2003 by AK

Pride and Resentment by Robert Howse of UMich is a balanced and reasoned review of two books on Euro-American relationships, one recent, the other nearly 50 years old. Too balanced for FrontPageMag, where I first stumbled on it.

The rejection of genetically modified (gm) foods, the “slow food” movement, even the much-reviled four-day work week suggest a (modestly) different set of value choices, a social model that is less driven by work, less concerned with savings of time and crude efficiency, more open to beauty, charm, and friendship.

To my mind, these differences, far from threatening to America or to the West, actually display the falsity of one kind of anti-American and anti-globalization prejudice — the notion that the Occident is a monolith, ideologically blinkered, and incapable of encompassing dissenting views about the best way of life.

As for my sympathy for thoughtful, middle-of-the-road opinions, everything that’s good is good only in moderation; on the other hand, extremism in pursuit of certain principles is no vice. Or is it?


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