“I don’t like package deals. That’s mainly the reason I don’t identify with a particular political position. If I end up looking like a libertarian, it’s only because they happen to be where I’m going anyway. I reserve the right to do my own thinking.” – Kenneth Allen Hopf
Ideologies can be as rigid as scripture to which you must adhere (totalitarianism), or mere boundary conditions that describe similar sentiments (freedom). They are both means of obtaining political power. The first is a means of coercion into dogma by threat of ostracization. The second a means of affiliation by promise of opportunity.
However, both scriptural threat and sentimental promise, are predicated on the absence of ratio-scientific knowledge. In the face of evidence of what man REALLY DOES with democracy, what he does with his economy, with his social order, with his freedom, with his laws, then we no longer are faced with an era of IDEOLOGY.
We are faced with the outcome of the era of ideology. And the outcome of that era is that the SUCCESS of rich democratic countries had nothing to do with their democracy. Democracy is a luxury good that was ALSO made possible wealth.
THE SOURCE OF THE WEST’S WEALTH AND PROSPERITY
But that wealth had nothing to do with democracy. It had to do with:
1) The aristocratic egalitarian ethics of cattle raiding, land holders, bronze, the horse, the wheel, and chariot, who used inferior numbers, and voluntary, organized, cavalry tactics that required high personal and familial investment, as well as voluntary cooperation in tactics for shared risk and gain. The tendency to adopt disruption in the form of new technology, new members, and new leaders – because enfranchisement meant rights to private property and elected leaders rather than community property and static leaders.
2) Small homogenous countries – first Pagan, but the more protestant and german the better, operating as extended families, with the high trust of extended families.
3) The prohibition on cousin-marriage out to six or ten generations, and the Absolute Nuclear Family (ANF) as the organizational unit of production AND reproduction.
4) Common law, individual property rights, and rule of law. money, accounting, interest, credit and banking.
5) The manorial system that suppressed the fertility of the underclasses, and created the ‘protestant ethic’ in all of society, by requiring conformity to good practice in order to obtain access to rented land, and reproduction.
6) The evolution of credit backed by ‘the extended family’ represented by the state.
7) Plagues that suppressed and reversed the fertility of the underclasses, and which forced the upper classes to spread into the work force.
An ’empirical bias’: a preferential bias toward, and continuous development of, technical, scientific, practical solutions. We cannot tell if this bias genetic or not yet but in part, it is beginning to look like a) minority status, b) competitive value of technology to compensate for small numbers, c) balance between verbal and spatial intelligence d) habituation.
9) The discovery and conquest of the New World and the subsequent trade, at a time when a plague had wiped out vast portions of north american indians.
10) The weakness of the Ottoman empire, Indian continent and the Chinese empire, from institutional decay. (In China, the failure to develop institutions of ‘calculation’ at scale and reliance on moral rather than empirical arguments. In Arabia, the persistent problem of ignorance, tribalism, low IQ, and inbreeding.) The weakness of the colonies, and the relative disparity in technological, calculative, and social development of the rest of the world meant the easy imposition of trade. And the re-adoption of ratio-scientism as a competitive advantage in the west while the other states had either fought it off intentionally (Islamic Civilization, Chinese Civilization), or who could not for a variety of reasons make use of it (Hindu civilization).
The importance of calculation was I think, discovered or at least elucidated by Weber. But calculation is important, because it is NECESSARY. Without means of calculation, as the society becomes increasingly complex,
SCALE AND DYNAMISM – ADAPTATION – EVOLUTION
The state is often credited with the origin of calculative technologies. But this is to overstate the ‘state’ in its primitive origins in the fertile crescent. However, these small city states had all the properties of western city states, but earlier. THey created their innovation when they were small. They LOST their innovation when they became states and empires.
THE STATE CALCIFIES – EVERYTHING. PRIVATE PROPERTY DOES THE OPPOSITE. IT MAKES EVERYTHING DYNAMIC, ITERATIVE, ADAPTIVE.