Not that this should have surprised anyone. “The more you give people, the more entitlements they want,” Hanson says. “They never say, ‘Thank you, that’s so generous.’ They just think, ‘Gosh, don’t ever take that away. We need more.’” This culture of dependency, a byproduct of the entitlement state and what Hanson calls our “therapeutic culture,” is simply a display of human nature at its worst.
“The Greeks of the ancient world understood human nature,” Hanson says. “They knew that people want freedom and affluence, but that when you combine the two, you can have decadence.” The ancient Greeks knew that virtue required a strong moral order that protected people from themselves—from their own follies and vices. Hanson specifically cites the importance of a “shame culture” in checking human behavior.