Do I really need to embrace C++?

My internal debate rages on... I have some C++ courses in the pipeline so I will definitely learn more than the basic understanding/grasp I have now...

Still though. Currently I associate C++ proponents with old-school attitudes on the need for absolute control and a fear of newer levels of abstraction that are allowing increasing complex and large projects. Garbage collection, the .NET framework etc, are all grouped together into a category of tools that only "weak" programmers need. I recoil pretty hard from this line of thinking and associate it with a dangerous cowboy like attitude towards engineering.

There is a lure there, to join the elite, to be one of those cowboys who don't need frameworks or garbage collection and who's code can scream past yours with sheer force of will by the programmer. So I'm constantly torn between mockery and envy. I will say that I think it's important to learn and think in C++ because the deeper our understanding of the systems we develop for the better off we are. I'd say the same thing about assembly though and would be just inclined to write large systems in C++ as I would in assembly.

My own line of thinking is that these abstraction layers we've invented are more akin to compilers and file systems and OS API's. Why should we all re-invent the wheel (and poorly) when these problems can be solved in a generic way?

Anyway C/C++ are probably not going anywhere and have their niche, but I thought I would post this article to preserve it in my memory bank.