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Tuesday, November 22. 2016
As I see it, the "Left" tends authoritarian in its impulses. The part of the "Right" that I identify with as an American tends towards individual freedom from power, but few talk about that anymore except at the margins (eg pot smoking and job licensing).
Really, now it's all about what government power can do for/to me or can do for/to you. Leviathan won as if so often does. Gravity. Not just in the US, but all over.
Is there a Right Side of History?
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Human beings like stories. We see narratives even where none exist. It's one of our strengths, though it has its dangers, as here. Teleological approaches to history come from what we hope might happen and our interpretation of what did happen. Neither of those is reliably accurate.
Conservatives and liberals both rightly see through each other's narratives but find their own opaque. One of the larger arguments of the past fifty years, for example, is whether the US is a Christian nation. I could take either side of that and have an abundance of evidence at my disposal. My own answer is "It depends on what you mean by that."
But discussing where America is going and what is tending toward is even less substantial. A nation is not a conscious organism that charts a course. If you argue that God has a plan or direction, fine. But then I will ask you on what basis you claim to know the mind of God in this matter.
Discerning the direction mankind is headed by describing its course as an "arc" or "trajectory" is pure fantasy. It implies there is some rule, some formula which can be identified, and some mechanism for keeping it in that way. If one invokes some plan of God's, again I say this could be true, but what evidence do you have that He prefers this arc to that one? The Bible says little about this, save for some snapshots of the final chapter, plus some reminders what our highest purpose is.
The News Junkie: Contra Hegel, MLK, and Obama, there is no mystic "arc of history" bending in any beautiful direction on this planet. It's a myth.
While progress has been hardly monotonic, there has been a decided trend since the end of the Middles Ages towards a more egalitarian society, more prosperity, and lower levels of violence.
more egalitarian society, more prosperity, and lower levels of violence
because in the land of libtarded fantasies inhabited by tools like you, the failed revolutions of 1848, WW1, WW2, the Russian Revolution, the Stalin purges, the commie takeover of China, the "Great Cultural Revolution", islam jihad, et al ad nauseum never happened, or were caused by George Bush. The Demoncraptic Party alone is responsible for at least as many deaths and carnage as the commies. how many wars did you people start?
Will Bithers: truthy.
No, it's an evidence based assertion.
On prosperity, we can look at life expectancy. Or we could look at GDP per capita.
On levels of violence, we could look at per capita homicides. Or we could look at per capita war deaths.
In terms of egalitarianism, at the end of the Middle Ages, matters of religion were decided by the Church, while secular society was highly stratified, your place in society determined by your birth, aristocratic or mean. Over the next several centuries, this began to change. Matters of conscience became subject to the individual, first within Christianity, then more generally. Political rights were extended more and more broadly, the aristocracy becoming weaker and eventually either fading away or being swept away by the tides of history. Over the last century, economic power, which had once been concentrated in the hands of a small aristocracy, has become more diffused through society.
While this process towards greater prosperity, reduced violence, and a more egalitarian society has proceeded by fits and starts, the long term trend is evident.
In the Anglosphere, yes. But trends towards authoritarianism
Truthy, as in "lie".
You, as a libtarded tool, ignored the failed revolutions of 1848, WW1, WW2, the Russian Revolution, the Stalin purges, the commie takeover of China, the "Great Cultural Revolution", islam jihad. your talking points didn't cover that?
how about the Korean War, the VN War? the killing fields in Cambodia? they don't count?
You also didn't number the people the Demoncraptic Party killed, or the number of wars it started.
because you're a tool, and evasion is what you do.
you've been pwned again.
Will Bithers: You ... ignored the failed revolutions of 1848, WW1, WW2, the Russian Revolution, the Stalin purges, the commie takeover of China, the "Great Cultural Revolution", islam jihad. your talking points didn't cover that? how about the Korean War, the VN War? the killing fields in Cambodia? they don't count? You also didn't number the people the Demoncraptic Party killed, or the number of wars it started.
Let's take a look at World GDP per capita. Yup. This chart covers from 1500 to present, and includes all your events, except for the Muslim Conquest, which precedes the period entailed in our claim.
The arc is clear.
You ignored the failed revolutions of 1848, WW1, WW2, the Russian Revolution, the Stalin purges, the commie takeover of China, the "Great Cultural Revolution", islam jihad. your talking points didn't cover that? how about the Korean War, the VN War? the killing fields in Cambodia? they don't count? You also didn't number the people the Demoncraptic Party killed, or the number of wars it started.
your sources don't say what you claim they say, so stop this blatant lying.
Will Bithers: You ignored...
As anyone who looks at World GDP per capita can see, global prosperity has increased since the Middle Ages, despite the failed revolution 1848, the world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Stalin purges, the communist takeover of China, and the Cultural Revolution. So no, we didn't ignore those periods. Rather they are punctuations in the overall rise.
The arc of prosperity is clear. There is also a downward arc in social violence, and a trend towards greater equality. None of these arcs are monotonic, however, and progress has been by fits and starts.
Z: None of these arcs are monotonic, however, and progress has been by fits and starts.
However, past performance does not guarantee future results.
I could make an argument for a story arc in history. It was practiced in one form or another as far back as recorded history. Virtually all civilizations enslaved someone, whether it was the loser of a war or someone who couldn't pay a debt. There is evidence of some who raided for slaves even in peace time in England 1000 years ago, with Danes and Saxons each enslaving the other when the opportunity arose.
400 years ago, most Europeans would have argued that slavery was ok, and America adopted it soon after settlement of the colonies here. When the indentured servitude model proved unworkable and native Americans showed a proclivity for escaping slave bonds, African slavery seemed the solution. So states adopted laws enshrining it. Obviously, we fought about the morality of it and that was part of the reason for our devastating Civil War in the 1860s. Today, very few Americans would make the case that slavery is acceptable, regardless of the demographics involved.
So just using those touchstones I would argue that the history of slavery in America has led us as a society to the conclusion that we won't allow it.
I think that some individuals do harbor the urge to enslave others, though. I am optimistic that we can continue to keep slavery illegal for the foreseeable future. But if law and order break down to any significant degree, I fear that the urge to overpower and enslave the weak will resurface.
I guess my point is this: much of the law and morality that we see as ubiquitous today is a thin veneer of civilization imposed by the group upon individual (and brutish by nature) human nature. When the trappings of civilization whither, I fear that the brutish nature of man will reassert itself, and those historical arcs toward better behavior will crash before our eyes.
Please tell me and I am wrong.
"arc of history"
"Right Side of History"
These are purely ideological terms.
Sadly, the the arc of history is toward bureaucracy. And, we, the People, are to blame for that. It has now become so endemic most don't even contemplate the impact of "we need a law". We could blame the move to statute law, which moved the common law (traditions) toward the Roman law of continental Europe and the traditions of a people where the rule of law has been the exception in their history.
This vehement indictment of bureaucracy is, by and large, an adequate although emotional description of present-day trends in American government. But it misses the point as it makes bureaucracy and the bureaucrats responsible for an evolution the causes of which must be sought for elsewhere. Bureaucracy is but a consequence and a symptom of things and changes much more deeply rooted.
The characteristic feature of present-day policies is the trend toward a substitution of government control for free enterprise. Powerful political parties and pressure groups are fervently asking for public control of all economic activities, for thorough government planning, and for the nationalization of business. They aim at full government control of education and at the socialization of the medical profession. There is no sphere of human activity that they would not be prepared to subordinate to regimentation by the authorities. In their eyes, state control is the panacea for all ills.
von Mises, Ludwig (1945). Bureaucracy
Just finished reading Bureaucracy and highly recommend it.
There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man's needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means. The primitive exercise of the political means was, as we have seen, by conquest, confiscation, expropriation, and the introduction of a slave-economy. The conqueror parcelled out the conquered territory among beneficiaries, who thenceforth satisfied their needs and desires by exploiting the labour of the enslaved inhabitants. The feudal State, and the merchant-State, wherever found, merely took over and developed successively the heritage of character, intention and apparatus of exploitation which the primitive State transmitted to them; they are in essence merely higher integrations of the primitive State.
The State, then, whether primitive, feudal or merchant, is the organization of the political means. Now, since man tends always to satisfy his needs and desires with the least possible exertion, he will employ the political means whenever he can – exclusively, if possible; otherwise, in association with the economic means.
-Albert J. Nock p.59 Our Enemy, the State
I've posted this before. I've mentioned this before, probably here, my apologies for being redundant.
I go to local gvt meetings where I can identify the citizens who petition local government to solve problems (caused by state and feral govt) because they think that is the only solution.
Neighbors who think the local government's role is to arbitrate disputes between neighbors because they are incapable or unwilling to do it themselves.
"Democratic" State practice is nothing more or less than State practice. It does not differ from Marxist State practice, Fascist State practice, or any other.
Here is the Golden Rule of sound citizenship, the first and greatest lesson in the study of politics: you get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it; and whatever power you give the State to do things for you carries with it the equivalent power to do things to you."
- Albert J. Nock, The Criminality of the State