This is where we are now.
Galen’s theory that the sexual organs were related by analogy, converted into a mnemonic for medical students (as reproduced in Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene). It will confirm everyone’s worst suspicions, but that can’t be helped.
Though they of different sexes be
Yet on the whole, they’re the same as we
For those that have the strictest searchers been
Find women are just men turned outside in.
Mukherjee adds the question: … what force was responsible for turning men “inside out,” or women “outside in,” like socks?
Catabolic Geopolitics is so on.
Is this what Bannon sees? A global scale generational crisis that is going to come to a head in the form of a massive struggle among civilizations? One so large and so bloody that it will leave an enduring mark on the human genome for all time? […] It might be. And here is the hard part — he could well be right.
XS, for one, welcomes our new darkness arms race.
… Here’s another way to put my concern. The percentage of global GDP which is held in relatively non-free countries, such as China, has been rising relative to the share of global GDP held in the freer countries. I suspect we are underrating the noxious effects of that development.
If freedom has become disconnected from economic competence, then classical liberalism is dead.
(The XS suspicion, however, is that Cowen’s sense of “freedom” has been so corrupted by social democracy that it’s incapable of doing the work he wants it to here.)
America’s new court prophet explains:
We live in an increasingly volatile and primal era, in which history is speeding up and liberal democracy is weakening. As Vladimir Lenin wrote, “In some decades, nothing happens; in some weeks, decades happen.” Get ready for the creative destruction of public institutions, something every society periodically requires to clear out what is obsolete, ossified and dysfunctional — and to tilt the playing field of wealth and power away from the old and back to the young. Forests need periodic fires; rivers need periodic floods. Societies, too. That’s the price we must pay for a new golden age. […] If we look at the broader rhythms of history, we have reason to be heartened, not discouraged, by these trends. Anglo-American history over the past several centuries has experienced civic crises in a fairly regular cycle, about every 80 or 90 years, or roughly the length of a long human life. This pattern reveals itself in the intervals separating the colonial Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression and World War II. Fast-forward the length of a long human life from the 1930s, and we end up where we are today.
Despite a new tilt toward isolationism, the United States could find itself at war. I certainly do not hope for war. I simply make a sobering observation: Every total war in U.S. history has occurred during a Fourth Turning, and no Fourth Turning has yet unfolded without one.
Watch the whole of modern political confusion expose itself in a micro-tremor:
Locke’s commitment both to voluntary religion and voluntary, contractual government are mutually reinforcing. Just as people join and remain in religious communities by their consent, so they enter and sustain political communities. “Men being, as has been said, by Nature all free, equal, and independent,” Locke writes in the Second Treatise, “no one can be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent.” If the members of a faith community believe their church is failing to uphold its spiritual responsibilities, they have a right to leave — without fear of reprisal. Likewise for a political society: If its members believe the political authority is failing to safeguard their natural rights — their “lives, liberty, and estates” — it forfeits the right to govern.
“Likewise”? Yet one leaves a church, but replaces a government. The fall from liberty into democracy takes only a single false step. With a little more consistency, the case for Exit-based control of government would have been solidly made centuries ago (intrinsically secure against all Rousseauistic perversion). Still, it’s not too late to do that now.
Formally, this isn’t a new ‘Boldmug’ argument, but it’s stated neatly here:
Whether you choose to think about it or not, I have a very simple explanation of Anglo-American success as it relates to democracy. […] If you see democracy as a pest, like Dutch elm disease, it makes perfect sense. Dutch elm disease originates in China. Therefore, Chinese elms are resistant to Dutch elm disease. But not immune! It’s still a crippling disease in China. But the trees live. […] The result of globalization: Chinese elms dominate the world. And hybrids. An elm does not live, anywhere in the world, unless its DNA is mostly Chinese. It would be a mistake to conclude from this that Dutch elm disease is good for elm trees, and the Chinese should export it to everyone. Unless they’re just plain evil. […] All we have to observe, to show that this is the case, is to show that politics in the Anglo-American tradition (don’t forget, Marx wrote in the British Library, and his column appeared in the New York Tribune), (a) frequently causes serious damage to Anglo-American countries, and (b) always or almost always has two results in other countries: it either causes massive, traumatic disasters, or brings the country under effective Anglo-American supervision, and/or both.
This is the difference between the hard Left & hard Right: you can be a violent leftist radical and go on to live a pretty kickass life. This is especially true if you’re a leftist of the credentialed class …
(The whole article is strongly recommended, for topicality among other qualities.)
ADDED: Yeah: in 1971, you could get in a gunfight with cops, shoot a cop, be carrying a gun stolen during a different state’s double cop murder — and get out of prison in less than a year!
Amnesia has been orchestrated.
Greer’s analysis has its questionable idiosyncrasies, but at its level of maximum abstraction it’s hard to contest:
As 2017 dawns, in a great many ways, modern industrial civilization has flung itself forward into a darkness where no stars offer guidance and no echoes tell what lies ahead. I suspect that when we look back at the end of this year, the predictable unfolding of ongoing trends will have to be weighed against sudden discontinuities that nobody anywhere saw coming. We’re not discussing the end of the world, of course; we’re talking events like those that can be found repeated many times in the histories of other failing civilizations.
He systematically underestimates the contribution of unprecedented positive-feedbacks, in the opinion of this blog, but — perhaps ironically — factoring those in only strengthens the broad prognosis. It’s mostly night now.