Friday, October 26, 2018

The Way Out

Great Seal of the United States (obverse).svg
   Not A Government Publication

- Have you heard the latest from our cretinous corporate Nazi?
- You're referring to the president?
- What do you think? Is there any way out for the country? How do we turn things around?
- No hope, if things go on as anthropologists say they have in history, where in every case we find that democracies decline into authoritarian states, and never find that authoritarian states rise up to democracy.*
- But our kind of state is different.
- How different?
- As our technology is different than that of primitive communities the anthropological argument is based on: we improve our science in a cycle.
- New knowledge, new tools based on it, new evidence based on use of the new tools, new experiment, new knowledge, new tools based on that knowledge...
- Yes. The rules governing our modern states are similarly not fixed. They're not supported by taboos, by unreasoning fear, but have been consciously chosen and maintained by reasoning.
- So as our democracy declines, as all have declined in history, we have in our technology of good not a continuous progress like in science, more like a balancing, a countervailing force lifting it back up.
- But no real progress. In myths of the founding of democracy the laws are said to be brought by a law-giver, mortal or god. Could it be that our reasoning is doing what it can, barely keeping our heads above water, while we wait for our very own lawgiver to appear?

Further Reading:
Kant & Compromise
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* 'One could argue that the formal order of the liberal state depends fundamentally on a social capital of habits of mutuality and cooperation that antedate it, which it cannot create and which, in fact, it undermines.' (Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play, - James C. Scott)