- Sean MacEntee
- The new activism
There I was on the Fourth of July, chilling with my AC, sipping a G and T, surfing FB—everything right with the world. Then I fucked up.
A friend had posted a link to some op-ed bullshit in the NYT, which, she claimed, was a “must” read for Independence Day. “The Downside of Liberty,” it was called, by some novelist named Kurt Andersen. A dozen “friends,” including three who I actually knew, had already “liked” it. I’m a stupid fish sometimes, so I bit. The essay didn’t look too long, so I skimmed the whole thing.
Talk about stepping on my high. (Which, true, was thanks to THC as well as the G and T.) Dude’s complaining about how “shamelessly selfish” we all are. He blamed the “Do your own thing” creed of the 1960s for setting the tone. This was “not so different than ‘every man for himself,’” he said. Sex and drugs were cool—but, in the end, capitalism got a pass, too. A “tacit grand bargain was forged between the counterculture and the establishment,” he said. “The youthful masses of every age would be permitted as never before to indulge their self-expressive and hedonistic impulses. But capitalists in return would be unshackled as well, free to indulge their own animal spirits” with less regulation and fewer taxes.