by Fernando Caracena ©Fernando Caracena 2020
Civilization was born when early man realized that he had a higher dimension than just animal existence. We call this higher dimension spirituality. Note that spirituality is defined here in a technical sense and should not invoke a world of idols and chants in the reader. In modern times many people think that spirituality is only in people's heads and does not really matter. Yet this spiritual dimension is what puts human life into people and draws us up from being animals. This basic, spiritual humanity is at its basis love and empathy. It is what binds people together into real communities. A gang of criminals is not a real community in a spiritual sense; no more than a group of cannibals on a desert island form a community. Its driving force is not love; but instead it is motivated by hatred or fear. Spiritual love is altruistic. Spiritual thought is the bridge between that internal world and our external thoughts that deal with physical externals.
Throughout the history of civilization people have learned how to live in some kind of harmony. Those motivated by fear and hate have learned to control actions based on these drives in order to escape punishment. In a just society, those who are motivated by love and wish to build a better society find that they have a life of free exercise of what they love to do. However, in this life we humans are not totally controlled by only one of the opposite type of wills, but have a mixture of motivations. The beginning of a truly spiritual life based on love is a life of self discipline. The process is similar to that of growing a good garden. Weeds, the useless plants, are quite aggressive. The desirable plants are delicate and need protection. So we protect the desirable plants and pull out the weeds. The rewards are a great harvest.
We define good people as those who seek what is good, not only for themselves and family, but for other people as well. Evil people are those who do not care for anybody but their own life. In the extreme, they are labeled by psychologists as psychopaths and sociopaths. It is difficult for them to live in an orderly society because they tend to destroy the order around them that others have built. These are bad effects that tend to destroy society. Those who live and continue to develop this way we call bad people.
When too many personal attacks of bad people endanger the lives of good citizens, a peaceful, and productive life becomes very difficult. If it becomes impossible to live in and maintain the order of a society. This results into a total breakdown of that society into various forms of internal warfare. Out of the ashes of the collapse comes a separation of subgroups into newly formed societies. Those societies in which people are free, where people are self disciplined, there is prosperity. Those societies that are lax and crime ridden sink into poverty and squalor. Individuals that prefer the orderly, self-disciplined, spiritual life, but are trapped in a decadent society, will seek to escape it and emigrate to the more orderly prosperous society. Those who cannot stand the strain of fearing punish for the free exercise of their bad impulses, will seek the freedom to exercise them in the disorderly society. In this way, individuals sort themselves into the two opposing types of society. Of this ferment history testifies abundantly.
Not all good-seeking people develop in the same way. There are different methodologies or operating systems for accomplishing diverse goals that lead to good end results--happiness. Who says that it is vitally important to have money and international trade in order to be happy? What did the Polynesians do before the Europeans brought them into a life of poverty and dependence under a monetary system of foreign bankers? We read that in a hunter-gatherer society people spent only a few hours a day in leisurely 'work' to earn their living. Their custom was to come together at the end of the day, perhaps before a bonfire, to share and feast on the food that they have gathered and tell each other stories. Where did the bankers and tourists figure in their primitive lives?
Unfortunately, intelligence as measured by I Q, is not distributed the same way as the desire for good. There are good seeking geniuses and evil seeking geniuses. The modern population in the United States has (or had?) an average I Q of 100. If the average I Q of a population is too low, and evil genius can take it over. The result is the tyranny of a dictatorship. Stephan Molyneux in the video cited below says that if the average I Q of a population is below 90, it cannot sustain a true democracy. This discussion continues after the video.
Having watched the above video, I found that Stephan Molyneux had drawn some wrong conclusions from tacit, but wrong assumptions. Addressing these issues would divert me from the main topic discussed here, so I will reserve criticism of his comments to a future post.
Since about half the population is below average intelligence (I Q < 100), I do not think that it is possible to maintain a prosperous and orderly nation based on pure democracy. The founders of the United States struggled with this idea and came up with a solution: make the new nation a republic, not a pure democracy. The wisest people would acquire estates and lands in the country. As a result and automatically, the landed estate holders would have a weightier input in the vote. This would be a form of aristocracy, but without the inherited form that had been known to reduce a line of kings into drooling idiots. But they still ruled!
The Civil War began the destruction of our republic. The founding documents and Constitution implied that states had the right to secede from the Union. When a conflict developed between the rich, plantation-based South and the industrial north at a time corresponding to a fourth turning and the Industrial Revolution, some kind of conflict developed between the North and the South. The conflict could have developed politically. in fact initially it did, but finally it became a war. The South lost and it became a colony of the North. Industrialization won in the whole country. In a true republic, the South would have been allowed to develop agriculturally, whereas the North would continue to develop industrially. But then there were other countries, such as Great Britain, that would exploit the split policy between North and South.
The main result of the Civil War was that it established the primacy of the Federal Government over the states. This centralization began to strangle the republic in slow motion. A second result is that it established that once joining the Union, no state was free to leave it. In a sense, this ruined the flexibility of a true republic: that each state can pursue a different tack in in its own development. In this way, a republic comes up with many working strategies to pursue the development of the whole. As a result of the Civil War, we now have a very large nation ruled from one remote corner of it by a highly placed minority. We have the mess of central planning by theoreticians who are far removed from reality. This did not work in the old Soviet Union and it is not working the the over-centralized United States.
Perhaps the United States has grown just too big to form a coherent government. No one set of policies can apply to the entire country. Each region has its own set of priorities. Any set of priorities set for the entire country are bound to make it difficult for some portions of the country at the expense of the other. This is what happened leading up to the Civil War. The North was forming into an industrial center. The South was a wealthy agrarian center. Also the whole world was changing from an agricultural base to an industrial base. Further, this coincided with a fourth turning, which happens every 80 years.
In round numbers, the Civil War started in 1860 during a fourth turning. Eighty years later, 1940 during another fourth turning, World War II was going on in Europe.