Skip to comments.Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States
Posted on 09/04/2003 7:29:11 AM PDT by Voice in your head
click here to read article
One of us is. Peters ignored the downsides of some of the things he lauds.
Actually, what I didn't read is what wasn't there.
Thanks a million for the ping....what a fantastic article.
Then, it describes the cultural war that we are fighting here in the states with the left and their bed buddies the pseudo conservatives.
Great minds think alike. That is EXACTLY what I was thinking when I read it.
I came over to this thread, because you pinged me, and frankly, I do not have the respectful attitude that most have towards the writer. He does, indeed, show a very unconservative system of social values; but he does not stop with merely suggesting that some values may interfere with material progress. He embraces an absurd form of neo-Marxist interpretation of history.
One cannot stress the point often enough, that Culture does not create people, people create their own culture. A nation's culture reflects the aptitudes and personalities of its people. American culture has always reflected our people, not the other way around. The idea that you can remake a nation by artificially altering its culture--the grotesque experiments in Bolshevik Russia, Nazi Germany & Pol Pots Cambodia, come instantly to mind--needs to be laid to rest. It is the single most hideous error of socialist thinking. And whatever merits this article displays at some points, it seems almost calculated to promote another round of such madness.
That is really only a round about way for me to suggest that the writer has confused cause and effect, throughout the article--in addition to demonstrating where he stands in the fight to temper materialism with philosophy and a deeper understanding of the nature of the pursuit of happiness.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
And whatever merits this article displays at some points, it seems almost calculated to promote another round of such madness.
The negative points do dilute the positive by their own strength.
Absolutely. The application to aspects of our own society are worth considering.
Then you might also like this line from him as well:
While there is no global culture yet, American popular culture is increasingly available and wickedly appealing
An increasingly scary thought and not just to Muslims
The abuse of a market economy and capitalism itself is practiced by the likes of Interscope records, MTV/Viacoms cheesy and seamless promotion and in clothing whores like Abercrombie and Fitch.
We need a more moral economy - Valuing Culture and Towards Morality: Rights and Responsibilities-instead of pimping the nihilistic schlock that tarnish values and offers no suitable replacement whatsoever.
Aw, c'mon... let's dig deeply for some of that Hubrisian Treasure.
The sand will never shift, no collapse will ever happen.
We know, because we read it on the internet.
I'm not sure where the author was going with that "science as an 'alternative religion'" idea. I agree that it sounds a little wacky.
"One can have the rule of law while retaining the family as the basic social unit."
The author is simply referring to the problems created when family ties trump law. He is not saying that law & order is mutually exclusive to family unity. That is why he wrote that "family networks... do not build the rule of law, or democracy, or legitimate corporations, or free markets. Where the family or clan prevails [over the rule of law, or democracy, or legitimate corporations, or free markets], you do not hire the best man (to say nothing of the best woman) for the job... You do not vote for the best man... And you do not consider cease-fire deals or shareholder interests to be matters of serious obligation."
"One can have women in the workplace without ignoring the risks of large numbers of latch-key children."
How does this relate to the article?
The very idea of trying to change other people's cultures is precisely the worst possible approach to winning the present war against international terrorists. Trying to change other people's cultures is not only slightly insane, it can only help the outlaws we fight, recruit new terrorists.
For a realistic approach to the War on Terror, War 2001--The Shortest, Surest Path To Victory!
Incidentally, the equally silly idea that we can both introduce Democracy into the Third World, and benefit from doing so, was the basis of the despicable Fabian Socialist foreign policy of Dean Rusk in the 1960s, which caused terrible havoc & slaughter, while prolonging the Cold War and undermining Western interests. Why would anyone want to go back to such a failed (and, frankly, evil policy)?
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
I'm surprised others sort of glossed over the rather glaring line: "History laughs at us all--the one economic analyst who would understand immediately what is happening in the world today would be a resurrected German "content provider" named Marx."
In any case, I still find a lot of his analysis useful and correct. The problems Sabertooth nailed above are sort if inherent to any Marxist/Materialist analysis (Though, incidentally Sabertooth, I think you missed the distinction between the immediate family and the extended family/clan/tribe he criticized - though I think he missed an important and relevant linkage to the family unit itself which you picked up on.).
If you are wise enough to restrict material analysis to the material sphere, rather than assuming (as Peters seems to) that it supercedes and replaces all other spheres of human wisdom, there is a lot to be gained from the article above.
People imitate culture and culture imitates people. If you take a newborn American and allow him to be adopted by a family in Palestine, he's probably going to be dirty, lazy, and be constantly obsessed with the destruction of Israel. If that same child is reared in the US, he will probably be obsessed with his appearance, eager to find some job that pays a lot of money, and obsessed with sports, music, tv, movies or some other non-militant interest. Culture affects people that are raised in it.
"A nation's culture reflects the aptitudes and personalities of its people. American culture has always reflected our people, not the other way around. The idea that you can remake a nation by artificially altering its culture... needs to be laid to rest."
People of other countries are beginning to reflect American culture. That is why it is trendy to listen to American music, wear American-style clothes, and eat American fast food in so many other countries - especially the former Eastern bloc countries in which information and freedom were suppressed for so long. When a country is allowed to access information and be free, people are attracted to American culture and they begin adopting it into their own. That is one of the reasons that Arabs hate us - our "sinful" culture is so appealing to their youth and everyday it gets harder to hide their youth from the temptations of American culture.
I don't think that we need to remake the rest of the world. If we simply liberate the rest of the world, it will remake itself. Ayn Rand said that, "civilization is the process of setting men free from other men." And, that is all that we need to do. When men are freed from tyrants and they have information available to make their own decisions, rather than receive a daily dose of government propoganda, and the freedom to pursue their own happiness, rather than someone else's, then those men will remake their own society in a manner that reflects the lessons that they learn from observing other prosperous and free nations - such as ours. I had the opportunity to spend some quality time in Baghdad from April thru August. The explosion (no pun intended) of free enterprise was amazing to behold. The streets of that city are now teeming with markets selling every type of product that those people could want. People are making a hell of the lot more money than they've ever made before. And, people are living in far less fear than ever before.
Your mistake is in equating fads with culture. What is trendy may appeal to sophisticates--people into false reasoning and affectation. It does not change the fundamental culture of a people, although in time it may cause a people to lose some of their cultural achievements--their legacy from their forebears. Let me take a popular example of what I mean.
One of the best loved, best known children's stories is Hans Christian Anderson's "The Emperor's New Clothes," which certainly captures the penchant of the sophisticate to slaver over what he deems to be "trendy." And yet, that story of the asininity of crowds trying to be "with it," does not change the basic characteristics of the Danish people--nor by analogy, do the "trendy" things which you discuss change the fundamentals of traditional American culture.
You may like Fast Foods, etc., I do not. But my toleration for them reflects my traditional American respect for individual preferences. But the free culture which we have reflects something yet more basic. It reflects the type of early settlers that came here--their complex of aptitudes and social characteristics. They had a greater degree of self-reliance than the people who remained behind. In addition, most of them came from countries, where people had displayed a greater degree of individual initiative than those in other countries near by.
Those dancing to American music and eating hamburgers in other lands do not thereby achieve the characteristics necessary to settle a wilderness and develop a complex social economy based upon a greater degree of individual risk taking, and individual self-confidence, than most of the world has displayed. Nor do they necessarily acquire the same resolve to risk everything in order to sustain a degree of personal freedom, which almost no one--modern Americans included--still enjoy.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site