I came over to this thread, because you pinged me, and frankly, I do not have the respectful attitude that most have towards the writer. He does, indeed, show a very unconservative system of social values; but he does not stop with merely suggesting that some values may interfere with material progress. He embraces an absurd form of neo-Marxist interpretation of history.
One cannot stress the point often enough, that Culture does not create people, people create their own culture. A nation's culture reflects the aptitudes and personalities of its people. American culture has always reflected our people, not the other way around. The idea that you can remake a nation by artificially altering its culture--the grotesque experiments in Bolshevik Russia, Nazi Germany & Pol Pots Cambodia, come instantly to mind--needs to be laid to rest. It is the single most hideous error of socialist thinking. And whatever merits this article displays at some points, it seems almost calculated to promote another round of such madness.
That is really only a round about way for me to suggest that the writer has confused cause and effect, throughout the article--in addition to demonstrating where he stands in the fight to temper materialism with philosophy and a deeper understanding of the nature of the pursuit of happiness.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
And whatever merits this article displays at some points, it seems almost calculated to promote another round of such madness.
The negative points do dilute the positive by their own strength.
I'm surprised others sort of glossed over the rather glaring line: "History laughs at us all--the one economic analyst who would understand immediately what is happening in the world today would be a resurrected German "content provider" named Marx."
In any case, I still find a lot of his analysis useful and correct. The problems Sabertooth nailed above are sort if inherent to any Marxist/Materialist analysis (Though, incidentally Sabertooth, I think you missed the distinction between the immediate family and the extended family/clan/tribe he criticized - though I think he missed an important and relevant linkage to the family unit itself which you picked up on.).
If you are wise enough to restrict material analysis to the material sphere, rather than assuming (as Peters seems to) that it supercedes and replaces all other spheres of human wisdom, there is a lot to be gained from the article above.
People imitate culture and culture imitates people. If you take a newborn American and allow him to be adopted by a family in Palestine, he's probably going to be dirty, lazy, and be constantly obsessed with the destruction of Israel. If that same child is reared in the US, he will probably be obsessed with his appearance, eager to find some job that pays a lot of money, and obsessed with sports, music, tv, movies or some other non-militant interest. Culture affects people that are raised in it.
"A nation's culture reflects the aptitudes and personalities of its people. American culture has always reflected our people, not the other way around. The idea that you can remake a nation by artificially altering its culture... needs to be laid to rest."
People of other countries are beginning to reflect American culture. That is why it is trendy to listen to American music, wear American-style clothes, and eat American fast food in so many other countries - especially the former Eastern bloc countries in which information and freedom were suppressed for so long. When a country is allowed to access information and be free, people are attracted to American culture and they begin adopting it into their own. That is one of the reasons that Arabs hate us - our "sinful" culture is so appealing to their youth and everyday it gets harder to hide their youth from the temptations of American culture.