Friday, August 19, 2016

Is it 1787 Yet?

If you were living in France in 1787 you probably thought that things were peachy keen. Talleyrand evokes this with his comment:
He who has not lived in the eighteenth century before the Revolution does not know the sweetness of life and can not imagine that there can be happiness in life.
And so on.

But, as Fred Reed writes, all was not well. The natives were restless. Maybe it was exactly because life was so sweet, what with "Love, Poetry, Music, Theatre, Painting, Architecture, Court, Salons, Parks and Gardens, Gastronomy, Letters, Arts, Science," that people started getting all riled up. Anyway, the government was running out of money and had to go to the States General to ask for more. And that got the revolution train into high gear.

And, according to Tocqueville in The Old Regime and the Revolution the problem with the ancién régime was that it had become a dry-as-dust administrative system to which everyone was subordinate without participation and without responsibility.

Hello? Anyone see a similarity to the Obama régime?

But the truth is that nobody knows nothing. Just like Hollywood. The current regime might last 1000 years. Or it might end tomorrow. There are always malcontents, always people suffering under injustice, because government is injustice, and you never know when the pot will boil over.

All I can do is listen to my liberal friends and think about to what extent they are living in fantasy land. Obviously they believe a pack of lies. But then so do conservatives like me. And so do the Trumpkins, and so do the Black Lives Matters.

What I do believe is the one thing that we all shy away from. Eventually we and our kind are on the losing end of history. Once upon a time imperial Rome was a big city of about one million, according to La Wik. Then it contracted to a nothing. What happened to all those people? Better not to ask.

Native pre-Columbian Americans were almost completely wiped out by European diseases, principally smallpox. Their culture would have completely disappeared and been forgotten but for the faux-compassion of Indian Reservations and liberal anti-colonial politics.

What about the white working class in the US, allegedly dying of despair? What about the children of liberal academics that seem, from my personal observation, to be remarkably childless? What about the bloodletting in the Middle East? Is that a people rising to dominance, or the last flailing of a defeated culture? Fred Reed:
In the United States of today, clouds gather as the royalty toast each other with expensive wines. In numbers that a half century ago would have seemed impossible, the American young live with their parents, being unable to find jobs to support themselves. Waitressing in a good bar pays better in tips than a woman with a college degree can otherwise earn, assuming that she can earn anything at all. Employers having learned to hire them as individual contractors, they move into their thirties with no hope of a pension for their old age.
Well, is this the worst of times or the best of times? Will Uber and robots make everyone of average or less intelligence superfluous? Who knows? The story of the last 200 years has seen constant innovations that have surplussed numerous worthy occupations. The left calls it "de-skilling." And yet the world goes on.

All I can say is that if you look at the pictures of the floods in Louisiana, you see people helping each other, without regard to class, race, gender, or any other means by which politicians and activists divide people into us and them.

Good for them. Maybe there is hope after all.

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