Chicago virtue versus Chicago values

Rosslyn Smith
It seems a great many residents of the Chicago area exhibited the admirable virtue of patriotism Tuesday by using their wallets to support the right of free speech. This is a right which Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does not seem to believe is a Chicago value.  The one Chick-fil-A in Chicago proper is located about a block west of the iconic Water Tower that survived the Great Chicago Fire.  According to this report.Chicagoans hungry to flip the bird to Rahm, nicely

The line at 12:10pm extended down the city block from the entrance, full of Chicagoans who, it would seem, don't share Mayor Rahm Emanuel's definition of "Chicago Values."

A man just outside held up a collection box to buy lunch for Alderman Moreno's office. His spiel? "Repay hate with kindness."

The woman next to me in line brought her elderly mother, an immigrant, to Chick-fil-A after she learned of the Mayor's antics. She emailed everyone from her church, upset that Christians were being discriminated against. "I told everyone I know," she said.

In the Chicago suburban location in Schaumburg, IL, a line extended out the doors as well:

Click on the link for pictures. 

While Democrat politicians yap away about their all important values, which is mostly shorthand for a demand for something by one small constituent interest group or another, a quiet revolution may have started.  Recently Glenn Reynolds has linked to several lifestyle trend items on his blog Instapundit with the tag bourgeois values are the new sexy.   Reynolds is right about the bourgeois part but what he has really been highlighting seems to be a newfound appreciation of traditional virtues such as thrift, self-discipline, self-reliance, self-respect as opposed to self-esteem, neighborliness, patriotism, cleanliness, chastity, fidelity and valor.   These traditional virtues are quite different from values, especially as that word is used today.  

As historian Gertrude Himmelfarb noted in her 1996 work The De-moralization Of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values

"Values" brought with it the assumption that all moral ideas are subjective and relative. that they are mere customs and conventions, that they have a purely instrumental utilitarian purpose, and that they are peculiar to specific individuals and societies. (And in the current intellectual climate, to specific classes, races and sexes.)

Himmelfarb goes on to note. 

Values, as we now understand that word, do not have to be virtues; they can be beliefs, opinions, attitudes feelings, habits conventions, preferences, prejudices, even idiosyncrasies-whatever any individual, group or society happens to value, at any time, for any reason.  One cannot say of virtues, as one can of values, that anyone's virtues are as good as anyone else's, or that everyone has a right to their own virtues.  Only values can lay that claim to moral equality and neutrality.

In other words, values float while virtues are fixed.   The plastic nature of modern concept of values explains how politicians such as the mayors of Boston and Chicago can simultaneously suck up to both the gay community and Muslims in the name of inclusion.  The far more admirable and constant nature of virtue explains why patriotic gays who value free speech for all ate at Chick-fil-A on Tuesday.

It seems a great many residents of the Chicago area exhibited the admirable virtue of patriotism Tuesday by using their wallets to support the right of free speech. This is a right which Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does not seem to believe is a Chicago value.  The one Chick-fil-A in Chicago proper is located about a block west of the iconic Water Tower that survived the Great Chicago Fire.  According to this report.Chicagoans hungry to flip the bird to Rahm, nicely

The line at 12:10pm extended down the city block from the entrance, full of Chicagoans who, it would seem, don't share Mayor Rahm Emanuel's definition of "Chicago Values."

A man just outside held up a collection box to buy lunch for Alderman Moreno's office. His spiel? "Repay hate with kindness."

The woman next to me in line brought her elderly mother, an immigrant, to Chick-fil-A after she learned of the Mayor's antics. She emailed everyone from her church, upset that Christians were being discriminated against. "I told everyone I know," she said.

In the Chicago suburban location in Schaumburg, IL, a line extended out the doors as well:

Click on the link for pictures. 

While Democrat politicians yap away about their all important values, which is mostly shorthand for a demand for something by one small constituent interest group or another, a quiet revolution may have started.  Recently Glenn Reynolds has linked to several lifestyle trend items on his blog Instapundit with the tag bourgeois values are the new sexy.   Reynolds is right about the bourgeois part but what he has really been highlighting seems to be a newfound appreciation of traditional virtues such as thrift, self-discipline, self-reliance, self-respect as opposed to self-esteem, neighborliness, patriotism, cleanliness, chastity, fidelity and valor.   These traditional virtues are quite different from values, especially as that word is used today.  

As historian Gertrude Himmelfarb noted in her 1996 work The De-moralization Of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values

"Values" brought with it the assumption that all moral ideas are subjective and relative. that they are mere customs and conventions, that they have a purely instrumental utilitarian purpose, and that they are peculiar to specific individuals and societies. (And in the current intellectual climate, to specific classes, races and sexes.)

Himmelfarb goes on to note. 

Values, as we now understand that word, do not have to be virtues; they can be beliefs, opinions, attitudes feelings, habits conventions, preferences, prejudices, even idiosyncrasies-whatever any individual, group or society happens to value, at any time, for any reason.  One cannot say of virtues, as one can of values, that anyone's virtues are as good as anyone else's, or that everyone has a right to their own virtues.  Only values can lay that claim to moral equality and neutrality.

In other words, values float while virtues are fixed.   The plastic nature of modern concept of values explains how politicians such as the mayors of Boston and Chicago can simultaneously suck up to both the gay community and Muslims in the name of inclusion.  The far more admirable and constant nature of virtue explains why patriotic gays who value free speech for all ate at Chick-fil-A on Tuesday.