Oh goodness we spent all day yesterday saluting Bill Kristol, who had to leave the New York Times because he was TOO PERFECT TO GO ON, without noticing a gem of a column by his fellow token conservative David Brooks. He wrote about the profound reverence with which we should approach our professions because they are sacred “institutions.” David Brooks comes from a magical time when people could have a single profession or employer for their entire working life, and might feel like their personal sense of self-worth was related to how well they did their jobs. (This was long before the invention of men’s room attendants, debt collectors, and fryolater de-greasers.)
This leads him to write silly things like this:
Faith in all institutions, including charities, has declined precipitously over the past generation, not only in the U.S. but around the world. Lack of institutional awareness has bred cynicism and undermined habits of behavior. Bankers, for example, used to have a code that made them a bit stodgy and which held them up for ridicule in movies like “Mary Poppins.” But the banker’s code has eroded, and the result was not liberation but self-destruction.
Dude, you are trying to blame the collapse of the global economy on bankers being less “stodgy”?
David Brooks writes like what he is, which is a career journalist who has tripped lightly from one cushy sinecure to another by virtue of connections he made in college. In other words, he has spent his entire life surrounded by august Institutions, and now thinks that everyone should honor the sacred rites and ethics of their professions when in fact most people just want to collect one last paycheck from whoever will give it to them. David Brooks sucks institutional balls.
What Life Asks of Us [New York Times]