Archive for the ‘ History ’ Category

The Rejection of Liberalism by The American People

Liberalism defined on Wikipedia

This tremendously important event was not noticed when it happened, in the last half of the last Century. I never noticed it, when I was there – even though it was happening all around me.

New forces were taking over – that we still do not understand – that were not liberal. And we were forbidden to notice what they were – so we didn’t.

They can be broadly defined as Authoritarian – exactly what Liberalism was designed to oppose. How did this happen?

New forms of Power had appeared – that seemed so simple at first, they were hardly noticed – new forms of entertainment, the Movies, and then that blockbuster – Television. The people who controlled them, controlled everything else. Simple as that.

My family had their own church, the RLDS church – that for my parents, was their whole world. Twenty years later – it was gone. The whole world, of which it was part – was gone!

The people of that world were gone also – vanished without a trace! And the people who were left, had no memory of them.

The Woman Mark Twain Thought Was the ‘Most Interesting That Ever Lived’

The Daily Beast

I really try to limit my postings – but this one is too good to pass up. Consider this:

That uniformity, reinforced by zealous, and profitable institutions, infuriated Mark Twain. The satirist believed Eddy was fleecing the masses. While considering her “the most interesting woman that ever lived,” he also found her “[g]rasping, sordid, penurious, famishing for everything she sees—money, power, glory—vain, untruthful, jealous, despotic, arrogant, insolent, pitiless where thinkers and hypnotists are concerned, illiterate, shallow, incapable of reasoning outside of commercial lines, immeasurably selfish.” In short, Mary Baker Eddy was the kind of American Twain believed Americans loved to love and he loved to hate to show how much he loved them.

It’s an easy fifteen minute read. Enjoy it.

The Masochism that Destroyed Personal Growth

Personal Growth was one of the watchwords of the Sixties – that amazing time that held such promise – but soon ended. The Hippies had Flower Power – but the Business Economy had the jobs.

This became a personal tragedy for me and my wife – who lived in Santa Barbara, California, in the Sixties – back when lots of people retired there, because it was so beautiful, and so cheap. We thought the good times would last forever. They didn’t.

The bad times arrived, and never left.

It is hard for Americans now to understand what happened – how anything so thoroughly bad – could have happened. And how irresistible this change was at the time. It felt wonderful – when, in fact, it was terrible.

People ask “How could anything bad, feel so good?”

I cannot answer that question – but can only point to what happened. Reagan destroyed California, and then the entire U.S. – and the American people loved him for it! For showing them it could be done – and done easily. All you had to have, was the will to do it – and they had that will, in abundance.

It’s hard to explain how easily this happened. It was made possible, first of all – because people decided not to notice what was going on. This was a tragic decision – but it felt like the right decision at the time. Big things were happening, and people thought it best, not to question them.

Let me repeat that. People felt things bigger than they were taking over – and, due to their religious nature – they had no objection to this. If it was bigger, it was better.

This habit, of not knowing, became impossible to shake off. And it has become integral to our way of life.

History Can Be Interesting

I am listening to The History of the United States, 2nd Edition

I am learning something, and being entertained at the same time. Can you imagine!

Most Americans, however – would not touch this with a ten-foot pole. Nothing on earth will temp them to abandon their commitment to the supreme joys of being ignorant.

Life Has Become Too Complicated

I think most people will agree with this – but haven’t given much thought to how life has become more complicated – and show no great inclination to do so.

This is understandable, because our minds were designed for relatively simple tasks – how to find things to ear – without being eaten ourselves. Gradually, we took on bigger jobs – and somehow, we ended up with civilization – not knowing quite how we got there – but with no desire to go back.

Human history consists of a series of further changes like this – where we could not go back.

Such as our discovery of Money, and then Capitalism (where money makes more money) – and the Market. These were changes we could not go back on – even though there were serious attempts to do so.

This takes us up to the middle of the 19th Century – where things got out of control. Because there were simply too many of them. We could have screamed, as loudly as we could “There is too many of them!” But instead we went into shock, became unable to cope with them – and let them take over.

The result was a new kind of people, we have no words for – but are staring us in the face every day.

Some people can thrive on this new state of affairs – and some (such as myself) cannot.

How the US Began Its Empire

NY Review

Sometimes writing a blog is as easy as falling off a log. All you have to do is provide a link to some of the good stuff on the Web. And this is definitely good stuff.

Here is a choice quote:

For Mark Twain and William James, the bullying mentality was epitomized in Theodore Roosevelt. Twain called him “clearly insane” and “the most formidable disaster that has befallen the country since the Civil War.” James marveled that TR

gushes over war as the ideal condition of human society, for the manly strenuousness which it involves, and treats peace as a condition of blubberlike and swollen ignobility, fit only for huckstering weaklings, dwelling in grey twilight and heedless of the higher life.

Both Twain and James rejected Roosevelt’s conflation of moral and physical courage—the confusion at the core of imperialist thought.

My Midwestern family knew nothing about this – and continues to know nothing about it. For them, ignorance was bliss.

Power Destroyed America

We all know:

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely

Lord Acton, 1834-1902

But Americans have not applied this to themselves. Which is a pity, because it applies to them especially.

America emerged from WWII, the strongest nation in history – and let this to go to their heads. I can remember this well, since I was twenty in the Fifties – when our power peaked out.

We ruled over the largest empire ever seen – although we would never admit this. And we destroyed it – and are still destroying it. Then our Computer made the Global Economy possible – which is destroying itself also.

I can summarize this easily – too much power created a reversal of values. What had been good became bad – and bad became good. The worst kind of people gained power – and used it to their advantage.

And no one noticed this.

Two things happened:

  1. The wrong people assumed power, creating a terrible we refused to see it.
  2. And as a result, we became unable to see anything – or anything important, and we knew instinctively, the difference. This is Mental Illness on a vast scale.

Who were the wrong kind of people? That depended on where you looked. In the Computer World, that I worked in for twenty years – they were easy to see. They grabbed power in any organization  (usually a corporation) and used it to their advantage, to make lots of money.

To track them down – all you had to do was follow the money. This is not to say that money is bad – only people who have too much of it. And they (and the people who serve them) are not hard to spot.