“It’s Confusing” — my new book
The link … http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VO76C50
The first four sections:
This is not a book of policy proscriptions. It is a compendium of ideas on 150 subjects – or all the different issues that we face in our times. It’s my iconoclastic way of looking at the issues of our day. It’s no idealogical in that it is neither conservative or liberal. It is, however, practical. And practical thought on the issues of our times seems wholly lacking. Instead it is bombast from either side about what the other side is supposedly doing, and doing wrong. And indeed, modern political discourse isn’t about solving anything, but instead about blaming some other people for what is going on. I hear often “We need to take the country back” … take it back from whom? The country belongs to all of us – not just to liberals or conservatives, one or the other. Neither one has the ideas or programs that need to be instituted to actually do anything to solve anything. But both sides have some piece of the puzzle. However, solving anything seems to be about the last thing on anyone’s mind. To the degree that solutions are offered by politicians of late, it’s always some new law, more government, more control over the many by fewer and fewer.
But I’m not sure most people understand the complexity of it all. There’s lots of dots. I’m not sure people connect them all, or even know they exist. And so in a series of short essays on many subjects I believe I go through all the different areas of policy and ideas that percolate among our political discourse. You won’t find me touting one political party or politician over the other, except perhaps Liberty and the libertarian movement, which despite being so well hidden, is actually the growing political force in the nation as the two party system atrophies. The numbers of people claiming to be “independents” is growing, the number who claim to be either Democrats or Republicans is falling. Almost everyone agrees that the system is rotten to the core. But instead of coming up with solutions, everyone currently seems to blame some group or person for the way things are, as if they are so powerful as to have affected it all.
The book isn’t just about domestic issues, or foreign policy, politics or economics, but instead touches briefly on all of them. It would take an encyclopedia to truly explore it all, and that’s not my purpose either. My purpose is merely to point to the myriad of issues facing Americans – and the world, and to show how perhaps there is a great shift in perception happening.
I suppose I could get clearer if I was to expand everything to the treatment it deserves. A book might be written on every one of these essays. But by that time everyone’s eyes would glaze over and they would cry “stop!” Instead I only hoped to put it all into bite-sized and manageable proportions so that at least you, the reader, has some idea of the enormity of the morass we are in.
The Future of Mankind
What is the future of mankind? 5000 Years of human recorded history has shown war, hate, death, mayhem and destruction led by a few who believed they had God (from the beginning of history to about 1600) or Science (from about 1600 to about 1980) or Thought (from 1980 to today) itself was on their side. All at the expense of the people they ruled. Some of those regimes still exist. It took some bloody revolutions over 100 years, starting with Cromwell in England, then the United States, and then France to start a slow but steady progress to freedom and prosperity for all. England and France faltered in their step from time to time. The United States has stayed on course towards greater freedom and prosperity for all mankind, achieving what no one ever thought possible. That steady progress is accelerating, and thought we falter, too.
It was WWII which pushed the rights of all men forward, at the insistence of the United States. It will probably take WWIII to truly bring peace on earth. Pushed along by the insistence of the United States that all men are born free. Intentionally or unintentionally, the recent Bush Administration was beginning to articulate and define a policy of active intervention in failed states with the express purpose of removing despots and liberating people; taking them into the modern and civil world.
We are in the midst of WWIII right now, the adversaries are two: Freedom vs. Statists. You either think that individuals should own, control and develop the means of their own survival or you think the state should own, control and develop the means of survival
And now finally we shall enter the Age of Reason. Oh, supposedly we did a while ago – but with all the problems the world has to say the world is reasonable seems a little farcical. No, we are in the age of Thought … which shall lead to Reason. Everyone seems to be thinking of some new way to do things. And realizing too that there is far too much unreasonable behavior by many still.
The idea that individuals are better equipped at handling their own survival than they are at surviving while the state doles it out to those it thinks are most deserving of survival is slowly percolating to the top. The main problem with the state is that it is always lead by individuals. Those individuals who believe in some sort of divine right, intrinsic right, to their leadership and their decision making prowess. They have glorified themselves to rule over people. Whether it was an ancient pharaoh or communist party president, or great leader, the same idea process must occur. Somehow this person, with the support of most of those around him, believes that he is entitled to rule because of some greater force of history, some higher power. Ah, sure, they’ll claim the Christian God, or Allah, or the Science of Socialism, or even just for the glory of recapturing the people’s historical land and place in the world. Some claim the right of divine rule in the name of the people. It’s all the same idea, no matter what the name is.
The problem is that there are more statists than there are voices of freedom right now. And the forces of freedom have to fight statists at home and abroad. The United States has few allies in this current Muslim war. Not even the most liberal of Europeans are wholly on our side; they remain wedded to their statist beliefs. It is only the American military stationed in Europe and Japan which kept these countries from going to war with each other as soon as they could. Over the past near 80 years we have worked to bring them peace and understanding. We have not been 100% successful, but it has been a remarkable transformation from continents at near constant war to continents that is for peace and prosperity. And now it’s time to deal with the Muslims and Africa.
It was the American taxpayer who was willing to pay the costs of this near occupation so that we can have peace. It is we who continue to pay the price. We have come to accept that it is better for us to pay for the military that changed Europe because we couldn’t let them have armies again or they’d go back to slaughtering each other. We turned Europe into a bunch of pacifists and spoiled brats. It took us 80 years, but we brought Russia, and Eastern Europe along with us. And we’re trying with so many other countries.
But there can be no doubt that the future of mankind is in fact worldwide peace and harmony and prosperity and freedom. It might take another 1000 years. But it will come about.
Oddly, the one best thing that is happening on the planet today, and everyday, is the future. Nothing beats it. The glories of the past are usually sung by romantics who ignore some rather brutish realities that we do know about. The old ways of historical New Orleans? Oh yeah, without air conditioning and penicillin, when the city came around in the morning to collect the dead. The same thing happened all over the world.
Complaints about the troubles with cars are ludicrous when you consider what was in the streets of just 150 years ago – an unmitigated slosh of mud and horse manure and the waste of humans, mixed with the excrement of dogs and pigs and goats and chickens. Oh, yeah, the grand old past.
But it is the future where we should look to our solutions to today’s problems. We will not find them in the past. We are everyday finding new ways to deal with the problems of today by looking to the future – what should we have? What should be the way we order our affairs? How can we make it better tomorrow? The only thing we can really learn from the past is what not to do.
The biggest problem with the future is, of course, that we can’t know what it will bring. And that right away brings consternation to people. “But we don’t know!” those who want to preserve the current and reactivate the past will cry. It’s true, too, and that’s what makes people who look to the future all the more suspect.
Virtually every single thing, idea or product, that looked to the future or proposed a remedy that would work in the future has been attacked by nearly everyone. The great future dreamers are always considered a little wacky. Because the only thing they can explain is how this or that from today or yesterday will be combined into something new in the future that will be better.
Since the vast majority of the people can’t see the vision, can’t bring together now unrelated things into one thing, they are against the future.
The world today is a confusing place. But no more or less confusing than it was to our ancestors in their time. For some forty years I have been observing politics from a number of angles. What currently exists is wholly unsatisfactory. When it comes to politics there is much disagreement on every single subject matter. What I have tried to do here is sort it out. There is no particular order in which to consider things because not only is everything related and based on the others, but from no matter which point you start you can reach all the other subjects. Start from where you are comfortable.
You should be aware that none of the ideas and opinions expressed here fit the usual mold. This is a whole new way of looking at things. Neither ideological, or polemical, or prescriptive, the ideas are merely practical explanations and solutions.
For the first time in human history the ideas of rights and individualism and entrepreneurial endeavor are transcendent over all other systems of societal organization. There is not a place in the world that the forces of freedom are not pushing ahead, and the forces of divine right are receding.
Not every region or every country is in the same stage of moving towards individualism. Not every region within a country is in the same stage. Indeed, often, the two opposing forces are fighting it out on a number of fronts.
The reality is that we are only at the beginning of what could be a hundred or more years of movement towards freedom. Those of us alive today will not see the dream enacted. The reality is also that those who have the most to lose in the quest for freedom, namely those who are in power holding the belief in divine right, are going to fight to the bitter end. Anyone who thinks there is going to be some sort of wholesale enlightenment is mistaken.
The forces of divine right have millennia of history, tradition and culture on their side. The forces of freedom have only a vague idea of the future. This is not because freedom is vague – but rather because what happens with freedom is unknowable. It is unknowable because no one can predict what the energies of a free people will produce. It is easy to see what history did. And it is easy to see, even quantify, what tradition and culture will bring to the future. After all, the future in this view is merely more of the same. And that’s easier to grasp than the unknown.
Star Trek Future
If you watch the TV how Star Trek you will see that there is total information available, and yet total privacy and respect. That is the goal many Americans, and like minded people around the world, are striving for. It is the ultimate, if unstated goal. It is hard, actually, to be serious while claiming that the fantasy world of a TV sci-fi show is your goal, and yet Star Trek is the best example of a world vision where peace and harmony and prosperity exist.
The problems of the world seem intractable, but in fact, a fixed time can be applied to efforts to lift every country out of poverty and war. People in rich countries who are worried what will happen when all the world is rich are really just calling for the continuing poverty of the rest of the world because they are blinded to the great propensity of humans to solve all problems. People and States who call for the glorification of specific leaders, states, languages, cultures, political parties or religions are in fact statists, no matter what their name for themselves is. They believe that the collective has a right above and beyond the individual and that individualism itself is detrimental to the survival of the glorified entity. Each country and region has separate problems and thus the practical steps at implementing changes will differ in each. However, development and reason comes at the “cost” of the elimination of many features of the world’s cultures. In strict Muslim cultures there will always be a lack of jobs and wealth because many of the things which generate jobs and wealth are prohibited. To bring prosperity there cultures will have to change.
If everyone wears the same outfit there is no fashion or model industry. Less retail becomes less warehouses, less shipping, less packaging, less everything that people could be gainfully employed at. The diversity of fashion is one way that jobs and businesses are created and that individualism is expressed. Banking restricted mean less jobs. No night clubs or entertainment equals less jobs and less wealth.
When the people of a country are consigned to the Glory of the State, the leader or the God there are no productive activities, and thus poverty ensues. If fact, if all there is is religious study, the economy will stagnate, just like under communist regimes where political thought and study was part of the day, so instead of concentrating on making wealth, wealth was deemed evil and political theory was sacrosanct, so less money was made.
All the cultural highlights of Western Society is what makes the jobs that drive the luxury market which pulls along everything else. Steel manufacturing is necessary because there is demand for appliances and cars and buildings, all demanded by people making more money to buy nicer things. In America keeping up with the Jones’s creates the necessity for ever expanding commerce.
In the rest of the world keeping up with the Jones’s is impossible because the Jones’s have rigged the culture against those struggling to make more money.
The Internet is the direct product of the war machine which the peaceniks are using to argue against the wars in the Middle East. Oddly, this military tool is now a worldwide phenomenon which mitigates the very military is was set up by.
Eventually, though many decades away, the entire world will have satellite Internet. The current organization of the websites, found through search engines, will get much more specific, as the technology for searching large databases grows.
The Internet is nothing less than the cataloging of all known human knowledge. The project is so big that it will take millions of people. The vision that is being followed is Star Trek, where you will be able to get any information you want simply by asking. Already, cellphones are voice activated.
Though it seems wondrous now, the Internet is actually still in its primitive beginnings. The addition of information to the Internet is growing exponentially. But it is limited to those countries which are either wired into it, or allow the free use of it. We are being deprived of vast amounts of information, products, goods, services and ideas by countries who prevent the free use of the Internet.
Those people who say they don’t want to be on the Internet are fooling themselves into thinking that in America today you can even avoid it. Any interaction with government and large corporations, and even many smaller companies now comprises some element of the Internet, either directly or indirectly.
and well, then there’s the rest of it.
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