The Ascent of Man

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Sun, 2012-12-16 16:27

Altho' people today are naturally a bit depressed over that recent unusually-heartless mass-murder of 26 innocents in Newtown, Connecticut, it's worth bearing in mind that crime in America has actually fallen radically over the past 20 years, especially murder.

Moreover, the last quarter-century or so has seen a vast decline in crime (local violation of individual rights) and communism/sharia (national violation of individual rights) worldwide. And a decline of religion (superstition) and self-sacrifice (self-destruction). And even a decline of bigotry and pollution. Plus the introduction of low-cost computers and a magnificent Internet.

By my reckoning, the world has been in a philosophical and cultural Renaissance since about the 1980s. And, yes, that also includes the ascent of the truly powerful neo-liberal ideologies of libertarianism and Objectivism. So life on this planet has gotten decidedly better in recent decades! Smiling

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Hope Rising

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Jason -- Almost everything you say I agree with. The world today is basically dying from Welfare Statism. And once the likely ten or twenty year Mega-Depression hits, who knows what political direction the planet will go in? Maybe not capitalism. Bear in mind that today's supposed best champions of capitalism -- the nitwit libertarians and Objectivists -- relentlessly kiss the ass of conservatives and can not shut up about cutting taxes. But the reality is we need to destroy the conservative movement and then cut spending -- not taxes. So once the mega-crash hits, why the hell should a devastated planet turn for answers to the clueless (and even slimy) libertarians and Objectivists?

But I'm looking at giant or macro trends of humankind. Reason seems to be ascending. When it comes to epistemology, the nihilistic empty blather of the post-moderns, and the faith and dogma of the pre-moderns, seems to be declining. So too the religio-socialist ethic of self-sacrifice. When it comes to politics, maybe we can look to China and India (36% of the planet!) for hope. Or else Greece or some other southern European nation may die a particularly gory death and teach the rest of the West by example.

Overall, I actually have quite a lot of hope for the future. We may all be stumbling and staggering in the early part of the 21st century, but we're also all successfully on our way to a New Enlightenment! Smiling

Kyle and Kyrel, I like your

Jason Quintana's picture

Kyle and Kyrel, I like your optimism but I can't quite share it.  The free internet is a devastating tool against government power and statist mainstream thought.  There are certainly things to be positive about.  Capitalism tends to work even despite all of the forces aligned against it.  Every new technology saves us and supports the future.  Maybe this trend will still win out. The internet is the best free speech device of all time and this is something we should be optimistic about.

The problem in the developed countries is that the numbers do not add up anymore and nobody is willing to admit this.  There is a point where capitalism (or more accurately the mixed market) breaks.  Much of Europe is broke, and luckily the monetary union there has partially exposed this.  Japan and the United Kingdom are broke, but they can print money and therefore can ruin themselves for a few more years without anyone knowing it.  The United States and its government, even given its vast wealth and productive capacity is also pretty much broke but holds better cards.   The idiotic Clinton/Bush/Greenspan regimes have been followed by the suicidal Obama/Bernanke regime and no one wants to deal with the consequences.   Politicians on the right and on the left in the U.S. are unwilling to tell the public the truth, and instead we have silly arguments about the "fiscal cliff" and unlimited Quantitative Easing from the Federal Reserve.   The results of this are likely to be horrific because when fiscal issues are evaded in favor of monetary stimulus the bad guys have the edge.  The public understands taxes and spending and so do business people. Most people do not comprehend and almost no one can reliably predict the bubbles, inflation, crashes and deflation that come from monetizing debt at the pace in which it is taking place all over the developed world.  Large portions of our populations will not accept the loss of free benefits and privileges that come with the reality of this situation and politicians (who also do not understand it) will never want to explain it.

In 2008 the establishment was successful in blaming capitalism for the bust.  Is the culture prepared in the next 10 years to blame socialism for the next (probably larger) economic debacle?  It doesn't look like it. The free internet is the venue to sell the right message, but the establishment liberals and conservatives (and their intellectual dominance) will likely still be in charge.

C'mon Kyrel

Richard Goode's picture

Toe the party line.


The Internet...

Kyle Jacob Biodrowski's picture

I sometimes wonder if the Internet will stave off a dictatorship. So long as information is left free to travel, and can be easily accessed, a dictatorship may be kept at bay. All totalitarian systems of the past have restricted certain kinds of information, and distributed their own propaganda. The containment and control of information, both propaganda and government secrets, is absolutely vital to the strength of a dictatorship. With the internet, information can't be so easily contained.

Also, the internet makes it easier for freedom-lovers to meet to discuss and strengthen ideas and positions. Even, if you are surrounded by power-lusters, you can find sanctuary on the Internet.

The Internet may have just saved freedom.

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