Herbert Spencer’s “From Freedom to Bondage” famously claims that “[T]he more things improve the louder become the exclamations about their badness.” And he offered a bunch of great examples. Inspired by Spencer’s insight, I recently turned to Google Ngram to look at long-run trends for six oft-named expressions of prejudice.
One thing I dislike about people who discuss social justice and other such ideas is that they are merely trying to shame and bully people into having a singular idea regarding certain complex social concepts. This runs extremely contrary to how I think the world should run. It feels very socially and emotionally tyrannical.
Americans specifically rejected the monastic organization of the European courts. For their troubles, I am sure they were labelled as “anti-intellectuals,” “country bumpkins,” and “the fringe of civilization.”
Most Americans have never heard of these acts of terrorism from leftist groups that were so numerous throughout the 1970s. But this is a prime example of “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” The urban unrest, which has rocked America in the early 2020s, is nothing new. The 1960s saw both race riots and left-wing terrorist groups looking to exploit animosity between racial groups in America.
What if the European empires had ended their colonial rules 50 or 100 years earlier? All other things being equal, it’s hard to believe that communism would have swept Africa, Asia, and South America as it did. And it’s possible the countries of the West would not have ended up at the gunpoint of countries which they once held at gunpoint.
We may one day be able to say that the centuries in our rearview were “good” or “bad.” But the harvest of consequence has not yet happened for the 21st century, and it’s hard to say that the harvests of the 19th and 20th are fully ripe, either. It is too soon to judge. Let time do that. In the meantime, resist the urge either to burn the fields or to swallow the weeds.
When others do it, it’s terrorism; when Americans do it, it’s national defense. When others do it, it’s a war crime; when Americans do it, it’s collateral damage.
There is no entity that can do defense, imperialism, law enforcement, infrastructure, pharmaceutical, diplomacy, security, education, politics, travel, migration, housing, care for the aged, care for the disabled, economics, finance, agriculture, stewardship, and so forth, and so on.
It seems to me that there are 3 kinds of scarcity: 1) natural, 2) monopolistic, and 3) creative. The first and third are conducive to free markets. The second can produce horrors.
For over two hundred years, Americans have voted, and petitioned, and protested, and campaigned, and filed lawsuits against state agents and departments, and filed complaints against abusive government enforcers and bureaucrats, and voted some more.