New Solutions

The generally accepted theory among archaeologists is that humans began to settle down and transition to agriculture about 15,000 years ago. It did not happen all of a sudden nor did it happen everywhere. The first large scale settlements arose in places that were the most hospitable to people just mastering agriculture. The region between the Yellow River and Yangtze River, Mesopotamia and the Indus River Valley are thought to be the first places humans developed large scale settlements.

The big challenge for the first settled people was how to pick leaders. Hunter-gatherers had an easy solution for this. The best warrior or most senior male would be in charge of the group. Since the groups were small and composed of related males, disputes could be worked out at the personal level. If Trog turned out to be a bad leader, Trog would fall off a cliff or have a hunting accident. Once the group got too big for this to work, cousin Grog would lead his kin off to form a new clan somewhere else.

Once groups of humans began to settle down in close proximity with one another, conflict was inevitable. That’s most likely why the first settled societies happened in the fertile river valleys. They were good for human habitation, so populations grew. Before long the population density made group conflict inevitable. In time, one group would come to dominate and absorb other groups. The old Grog clan from above would take over the Trog clan and maybe some others. The result was a tribe distantly related people.

Picking leaders to rule over unrelated people required different habits and different rules than picking a leader for the small group of related people. Once you get past second cousins, family relations are not all the close. Then you have the habit of marrying off women to other groups in order to broker peace and cement agreements. Governing can no longer be personal. You need a system to develop and select leaders, adjudicate disputes and delegate authority.

There are many ways to pick leaders, but the real challenge is how to deal with a bad selection. The Roman Republic solved this with what amounted to term limits. The Roman Empire relied on assassination to solve the problem. The Chinese never have figured out how to remove defective rulers, but they did come up with a very good way to filter them out before they gained power. Mao remains the best example of what happens when their filtering fails. The Great Leap Forward killed between 30 and 50 million people.

The European method that developed after the fall of Rome was feudalism. The king had to rely on the large land owners for money and soldiers. Those large landowners often relied on lesser nobles to collect food rents and conscript men for soldier work. This system put limits on the power of rulers, so a tyrant or lunatic could be controlled until he fell off his horse or got some bad wine. It was not perfect, but it protected the landowners from a predatory tyrant or a dangerously ambitious monarch.

The other unique thing about Europe that effected the evolution of governance is the fact that no one group was ever able to dominate the rest of the continent. The Qin unified China over 2000 years ago. Various Arab tribes dominated the Near and Middle East for very long periods. The Romans dominated Europe, of course, but that domination was their undoing. The cost of holding the Empire together exceeded the benefits of keeping it, leading to the collapse of the Western Empire. The fact that the Eastern Empire held on is not an accident. Europe is not built for unification.

Europe’s governing structure where rulers were limited and ethnic groups competed with one another, but were never able to fully conquer one another, was probably the recipe that eventually led the West to race ahead of the world economically, militarily and technologically. There’s more to that story, but things like the rule of law and property rights were essential ingredients for the Industrial Revolution. Without property rights and limits on the state’s ability seize property, there’s no reason to save and invest.

The sudden changes in governance that swept Europe coincided with the Industrial Revolution. One way of looking at the French Revolution is that the old governing model was built for an economic system that was being replaced by a new economic system, one that would require a new governing model. Liberal democracy has only flourished in nations with merchants and manufacturing. Industry does not automatically lead to democracy (China), but in order to have self-government you need a market economy.

The point of all this is that social structures like liberal democracy are not the product of inevitable historical forces. The Chinese form of government is the product of the evolutionary history of the Chinese people. Pluralism, openness, self-government, the rule of law, all the things we associate with liberal democracy, are the product of the unique history of the people of Europe. It is why they have proven to be impossible to transplant to other parts of the world. The rest of the world is not built for Western social structures.

That’s a lot of book length material summarized into a few paragraphs, but it is an important lesson of history. The people of the West have unique organizational structures because they have unique histories. As a result, they have different human capital, because the people evolved with those social structures. These small differences on the individual level, roll up to be rather large differences when expressed in customs and social institutions. Just as important is the fact that it is ongoing. People and their societies continue to evolve.

With that in mind, what we call liberal democracy is the product of the industrial age when making and selling things was the core of European economies. The challenge every ruler in Europe faced in the 17th century was how to get the most of the available human capital. That not only meant getting everyone working, it meant increasing each worker’s productivity. If you are going to have a big standing army, for example. your farmers have to produce lots of surplus food and supplies for that army.

The technological revolution is going to lead to a different economic model. Instead of one that gets the most from the available human capital, the new economy will be one that gets the most from technological capital. The robot revolution is oversold, but the future will require fewer people to produce the goods and services we demand. It is not just labor being replaced with machines. It is intellectual capital being replaced with technology. The future is about how best to organize society when technology is handling the bulk of work.

The so-called populist uprising in the West, seen through this prism, takes on a different color. For instance, the reason Hillary Clinton lost is that technology allowed for a different type of campaign and new way around the government controlled media. The establishment showed up in its 1960’s muscle car and the challengers arrived in Teslas. In 2016, the twitter account of thousands of alt-right types carried as much weight as the pages of the New York Times.

This post is going on too long, so let’s wrap this up. In 1789, no one in France could imagine what was coming. That’s in part because they had not noticed the demographic and economic changes that had been going on for generations, which led to the Industrial Revolution. The modern West has been in a post-industrial phase for at least a generation, maybe two. Yet, the organizational model we have is still an industrial one. Consider this. Who has more power? Congress or Google? Your PM or Tim Cook?

It may not be 1789 all over again, but these populist uprisings that are vexing Western leaders could simply be the tremors that precede the earthquake of social upheaval, as the old organization system falters in the face of new challenges. Ours is a less violent age so Madame Guillotine will not be making an appearance, but systematically altering the governance model is not out of the question. Our constitutions were not handed down by God. They were always temporary solutions to immediate challenges. We have new challenges and maybe social democracy has run its course.

90 thoughts on “New Solutions

  1. Compare the Dissenting Sociologist: “…as paradoxical as it may seem, from a sociological point of view the cracks in the Leftist edifice aren’t a sign that things are getting better, but rather if anything that they’re going to get much worse before they get better. The failure of the Leftist religion-surrogate is a failure of social control at the most basic level, indeed, of the very possibility of effective social control. A society that loses its ability to hold thought, belief, and sentiment within limits of variation deemed acceptable to its elites is on the road to becoming completely ungovernable.”

    • Absolutely. The dirt people don’t have to do anything the clouds say they have to. That was always the premise of a government which derived it’s just power upon the consent of the governed.

  2. You write of “Europe,” as in “Continental Europe”?

    Does it make sense to explicitly separate the Anglosphere* from the rest of “Europe” and the “West” in your examination of development of governance and social structures?

    Daniel Hannan has pursued the thought more recently (see, Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World), but there’s an earlier book, The Origins of English Individualism, by Alan Macfarlane, in which Macfarlane examines the particular English history of family, property and society from the 13th through the 18th centuries (including inheritance, church and land records), and finds much to distinguish it from the history of the same categories in mainland Europe.

    …just a thought.

    * considered by Hannan to be the “core” English-speaking countries of Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

    • I apologize for “over commenting” but I have to add that Daniel Hannan is one heck of a speaker. Intelligent, articulate, imbued with a charisma that his words (a brilliant vocabulary and usage) enhance. Check him out on YouTube. His speech in support of Brexit was spectacular. We do not have anyone in our government who can articulate ideas like he can. A lost art on this side of the pond.

      • I watch Hannan’s YouTube videos and his tv interviews with as much pleasure as watching an award-winning movie or theater performance. He is marvelous. And brilliant. His speeches in the European Parliament were masterful.
        Even extemporaneously, he speaks with more eloquence and logical coherence than all but a few of our politicians, pundits, and agency heads.
        It’s rather embarrassing as well that he knows far more, and that far more accurately, about our own American history than do most of those aforementioned.

  3. “This post is going on too long”

    No, it isn’t. The brevity of your posts is great for maintaining a large number of readers and red pilling new ones, but it would be nice if you’d sperg out and give us Moldbug-length posts every once in a while. This post in particular could be much longer and more interesting.

    • Hear Hear!
      Bloody Democracy had a great brevity too, the kind of strategic literary brevity that makes the reader use his critical thinking skills. Though I for one would have enjoyed and appreciated moar, it is a rich subject with some really relative tangents a writer like Z could shed some thoughtful perspective on.

  4. If the Googles and Tim Cooks are are to be the new power mechanisms then driving the most productivity for the least capital will be the model. This will last for a very short time indeed. There is a word for this model, it’s slavery and once the people find out that they and their children can nowhere through the only avenues available they will fight. Maybe each other, maybe the power structure but fight they will.

    • Those oligarchs and mandarins are like government, they don’t produce anything tangible, they produce allusions of power, power to take from others who produce tangible assets.
      But Trump is a fascist.

      • I guess you might call him a classical fascist based on his ability to the use the government to his corporation’s advantage. We don’t know yet however, if he is a political fascist in the more modern sense BUT I have no illusions that he will not continue to use government to his corporate and personal advantage while president. To assume otherwise would be to ascribe an attribute to a man that does not exist in the type that seeks that much power.

        • No, you can call him a fascist. After the homosexual marxist drug addict we suffered as president for 8 years, I think he scares a lot of people because he is fearless and has a big set of balls, tells it straight, and is a man of his word. A mans man. And being a president has nothing to do with that. Being a stand up man has everything to do with it. And there is a whole world of beta males and mangina’s out there who are afraid of Patriarchal men. As far as his political orientation, He can be the man on the moon for all I care, long as he and his administration do not infringe on my liberty and freedoms. If Trump is the first President to create liberty and freedoms, all the better.

          • Government cannot create liberty or freedom. Government is force – force of law, enforced ultimately at gunpoint. God created freedom and every man is born into it, in a perfect state of liberty, only your submission is required to lose it.

            No man can set another free!

          • I agree whole heartedly with you it can’t, only people can do that, and the government only has power by consent. Force and guns aren’t power per say, they are methods of coercion to obtain tacit consent, coercion dressed up in an illusion of legitimacy. My fundamental human rights have nothing to do with any man made laws or the U.S. Constitution, and threat of violence and using force to deny me those rights changes nothing about my rights.
            If Donald Trump is successful in removing government from meddling in our affairs, even incrementally, and begins to protect freedoms, liberty, and prosperity of the people, he limits and removes tyranny. Where tyranny ceases to exist liberty flourishes. Does it matter how Trump manages to do that? Hurting peoples feelings or in the process it interferes with or denies protected people their ideology, agenda, self interests or special interests, does not count. There is a built in equality to liberty, giving everyone an equal opportunity to the blessings of freedom, no more, no less, as they see fit, not what someone or something thinks they can or can not have or are to do.
            The U.S. Constitution has not protected our liberty either, if anything, from the moment it was ratified it has enabled unbridled administrative tyranny unfettered intrusion into our affairs. It is an instrument of administrative dictatorship. It’s only savings grace has been the amendment regarding the protection of inalienable basic human rights. And even those are always under the guillotine of executive, administrative, legislative and judicial diktat. So much for the checks and balances of republican form of government.
            It comes down to people, always has, the buck always started and stopped with us dirt people. I’m just one guy saying it, but I see Trump as one of the dirt people. A very successful dirt person, who has prospered greatly, but one who understands where the buck begins and ends morally and on principle, and that liberty is unfettered economic freedom, that without unfettered economic freedom, liberty can not thrive. I see that in the guy. And as a leader, he not only can inspire a nation, but lead it into prosperity. And there is everything to be said for that, if your a dirt person.
            For sure, I don’t see any of the sonofabitches currently running things who espouse those ideals of liberty.

      • It is classic liberal-left projection at work to call Donald Trump a fascist, especially when he has never held a government position in his life. The “real” fascist to whom you ought to be referring is Barack Obama, many of whose actions during his eight years in the White House are – for all intents and purposes – nearly prototypical examples of classical fascism in action, i.e., his sweetheart deals with G.E., Solyandra, etc.

        Benito Mussolini -“Il Duce” himself – once famously-said, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” You can bet Obama knows the quote well, just as well as he knows the Italian dictator’s speaking style, which he emulates. If you didn’t catch it the first time, go back and re-watch Obama’s keynote address at the 2008 DNC – his vocal mannerisms, gestures and especially his arrogantly forward-thrust chin – were all textbook Mussolini.

        • They always project their own evil on their enemies. It is how they avoid being held up by their own petards. The legacy media is instrumental in this deceit,It is why faceborg is the gate keepers of the narrative. Why they strive to hide the truth.

        • I’ve seen an awful lot of people throwing around their analyses of what Trump will be like as a President – including all the ones from the Left calling him a fascist and dictator and Nazi and so forth.

          I’m going to throw a different twist on all this – based on some stuff the wife indulges in on occasion. I’m throwing this out there simply because it’s another angle to view the world from:


          (cue the laughing)

          Trump is a Gemini. Go do some research on what types of public figures are Geminis.

          Now go to some research on what astrological signs make up a list of well known tyrants down thru the ages. I found one here that came up with a decent list:

          Short answer is – Gemini is NOWHERE on the list. But some of the other signs show up multiple times.

          Again – this may be laughable – but I think if you’re going to try and predict the future you’ve got to look at everything – and the astrological analysis at least says that the lies coming from the left are just that : LIES.

  5. >>> The so-called populist uprising in the West, seen through this prism, takes on a different color. For instance, the reason Hillary Clinton lost is that technology allowed for a different type of campaign and new way around the government controlled media. The establishment showed up in its 1960’s muscle car and the challengers arrived in Teslas. In 2016, the twitter account of thousands of alt-right types carried as much weight as the pages of the New York Times.

    With all respect, I disagree with this assertion. Hillary Clinton lost because she is a career criminal, a pathological liar, and loathsome wretch who hates Americans. That was enough to bring out the Reagan Democrats in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and Clinton had no message to deliver to sway those voters back into her column. A moderate Democrat without Clinton’s baggage would likely have carried most of those states and won the election.

    I’ll post my well-worn warning to conservatives not to take the 2016 election as anything more than a fortunate fluke, a brief respite from the demographically-driven leftward march in American politics. Now that the Old Hag blew the Presidency, and approximately $1.2B in donor funds, the Clintons are finished as kingmakers in the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party will correct its course and will nominate a moderate Democrat in 2020–someone in the mold of Corry Booker or Jim Webb. Trump, who will be 76 in 2020, will be hard pressed to win an election against a moderate, likeable candidate.

    • During the summer and autumn of 1241, most of the Mongol forces were resting on the Hungarian Plain. They had defeated the armies of Europe and all that stood between them and Paris, maybe the Atlantic, was the ability of their horses to carry them. The Mongol conquest of Europe was a matter of when, not if. Then, the Mongols started turning around, decamping for home. the Great Khan Ögedei’s death was probably not the only reason, but it does appear to be the final reason the Mongols relented. It was a fortunate fluke, but that’s the story of history.

    • Jim Webb got zero love or even attention a year ago when he ran. The Democrats have gone full retard and are going to stay that way. Elizabeth Warren will get the next nomination and will make Dukakis look competent.

      • She is a one trick pony, who has gotten most things wrong on financial services regulation. Plus she was actually a pretty crappy insurance lawyer when she did defense work for the industry. So no surprise she Hiawatha’d up and stuck with academia.

    • Fluke the election may be, but if Trump and his people can deliver, then 2020 is not an issue. There has not been much meritocracy in the government lately, and the demonstration of well applied political skills and talents would be a breath of fresh air. We are so used to dealing with small increments of “slightly better” or “slightly worse” than the alternatives, we have forgotten what true competence looks like.

    • “A moderate Democrat without Clinton’s baggage would likely have carried most of those states and won the election.”

      Well, they actually had one of those, and nobody ever even got to hear him make his case. I’m speaking of James Webb. Did you notice how quickly he got eliminated? I think he was in ONE Democratic debate — and then, curiously, was never heard from again. He was the only Democrat running who was arguably an intelligent, sane, honest, decent person. Personally, as a dedicated pro-lifer, I never could have voted for him, since he toes the line on abortion just like every other Democrat — pro-life Democrat, at least on national level, has gone from being an endangered species to an extinct one. But Webb is intelligent, solid (Navy vet and former Sec. of the Navy under Ronald Reagan), moderate, and has personal integrity — NOT a criminal like Hillary nor a socialist like Bernie, but a sane human being with a core of fundamental decency. I think he would have reached out to Republicans and others instead of demonizing them. Those of us who wanted a Republican victory would have faced a formidable foe if Jim Webb had been the Democratic nominee.

      If the Democrats were to: 1. actually bring people like Webb to the fore; and, 2. change their demonic position on baby-killing — I would maybe be willing to give them a chance. But there’s little danger of my being a Democrat anytime soon, since I rate the odds of either of those things happening as near zero.

      • Jim Webb was Marine not Navy (they make a big deal of that), and unfortunately he established a record while serving in the Reagan Administration.For whatever reason he acquired a reputation “does mot play well with other children”.

      • Kathy, hope you don’t mind a slight correct in an otherwise informative post: Jim Webb attended Annapolis and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps upon graduation. He was the honor graduate of his Marine Corps Officer Basic course, and later – as a platoon CO in the Vietnam War – distinguished himself in combat. He was decorated multiple times for valor under fire, including the Navy Cross, Silver Star, and two awards respectively of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

    • That sounds like a disagreement a cuckservative would make. The ones of the political class who abandoned their conservative base and betray it’s trust in a faustian bargain with the left.
      The cause for me to say that is your argument leaves out a vital component why Donald Trump won, us dirt people. You leave us dirt people out of the equation you are going to loose every time. It is we who are ascendent, we made both political party’s, the legacy media, and their narrative irrelevant. Ignore the truth of us and who we are us at your peril my friend. The proof of that will ascend on January 20th.

      • Sorry to be pedantic but “lose” and “loose” are two distinct English words with different spellings, pronunciations and meanings. You made this unfortunately common error twice in comments on this post.

        • It’s weird sometimes. Almost like this darn spell check changes too many words. Sometimes I think they’ve installed some sort of subtle revising algorithm in it that isn’t about correct spelling but makes changes based on certain context. Just a gut feeling. I don’t put nothing past the gate keepers.

    • Correct course? I expect the Democrats will instead double down. While it is nice to think the donkey party could move back to the center and once again represent the interests of most Americans including the citizens of flyover country, you are more likely to win the PowerBall than to see such a thing happen.

      The narrative is already being formed that the Democrats lost because they were too nice, because they did not attack those horrible deplorable white people viciously enough, and therefore they must move further left. What few moderates remain in their ranks will be purged, not given the 2020 nomination.

  6. Unaccountably, this discussion completely ignores the role of the Elites in building, exploiting, and then wrecking, usually out of greed and contempt for the plebes, their civilizations. That model characterizes every known civilization. The operative mistakes are almost always foolish wars, excessive debt, and the corrupt enrichment of the elites and their helpers at the price of destroying the other classes. Rome is a perfect example, Britain in the 20th century another, and the French Monarchy in the 18th century is another. The current USA features all three, with the special feature that our rulers decide 50 years ago to replace the hardworking white population with immigrants, many of whom are of low intelligence, violent, and of no value to a technological civilization, but make massive demands on the welfare State. We have to tell ourselves that this vast corruption can be reformed, but history does not offer a lot of encouragement on that front.

    • Kokor (whatever that means – no disrespect intended);

      I think you are on to something. So-csalled ‘Political Scientists’ talk about ‘institutional corruption’ or decay or similar as a result of decline in other historical polities but they never seem to specify what this means (for obvious institutional reasons). To a person of observation and experience, particularly anyone who has been within the gravitational pull of a near-100-year blue city, what this means in personnel terms is pretty obvious on the ground. If you have any power, you are engaged in packing the political job infrastructure with your dim relations because they have few other elite-level-income options. And because your wife expects/demands this.

      Since there is the usual regression to the mean in ability and intelligence, meaning that the less dim relations will look elsewhere. So, as a result, the performance of the machine inevitably declines over time, the faster the more hires are added: Thanks Obama_!. So, barnacles accumulate on the hull.

      So, since The God of the Copybook Headings yet prevails, the scraping will happen, one way or another. The later the harder.

    • Two points Kokor: 1. What I have always found puzzling/interesting is that the military operates at the behest of politicians. Accountability is one thing. But when war is declared, or not, but violence is begun on behalf of some goal, my belief is that the war fighters should be left to “do their thing” and accomplish the goal. When politicians call in the plumber, electrician, mason, or any other kind of help, e.g. consultant, that they have limited knowledge in the field of, do they “micro-manage” the job as it gets done?

      We have seen so much waste because idiots wave what they think are “their” swords around when they can’t even pick their own teeth without bleeding their gums.

      2. On your point of immigrants “making massive demands on the welfare state” I would only remind you that the welfare state was set up primarily to draw them to America and provide freebies in exchange for political power, e.g. the vote. Everyone seems to keep blaming the immigrants when it is your fellow “white man” albeit the Liberal kind mostly, who created this whole scam using taxpayer funds.

      Why don’t you try blaming them for a change? Start with LBJ, BJ Clinton, loser Carter, Barney fife Frankenfurter, Dodd, Feinstein, Pelosi, Reid, Boxer, Kennedy (itwasntme), and all the rest. All white folks. Get it.

  7. Another seminal post, Z Man;

    I particularly like your pinpointing the problem of succession as a potential central knot for understanding the vast network of politics. You gotta start by grabbing some node or other and working outward in a highly complex system.

    Back when there was still some science in the so-called social sciences there was a backroom of bad-thought called the Michigan School of anthropology, IIRRC. it’s central idea was the evolution of culture as the driver of human social development. In a nutshell, cultures that were able to capture more of the total available energy (sun’s energy via food production + fossil fuel) for human use were able to outcompete adjacent cultures and displace the people bearing them. In effect, culture is the DNA of society and its members are the body bearing it. Obviously military force had a central but not exclusive role in said competition. Equally obviously this was anathema to the multiculturalism that the Frankfurt School was in the process of rolling out at the time. So it disappeared. Temporarily.

    The relevance to our discussion is that leadership selection is a very important aspect of any culture and you gave several examples of how this has evolved over time. Under this theory there’s no surprise that in most of these examples, the leaders selected were best able to develop and direct military power under the constraints of the then existing technology in the then existing geographic habitat, even if they were not themselves the actual war leaders.

    So, if we’re heading for a highly automated technology, what sort of leadership is best suited to turn it into military power_? Not the method we have now, that’s for sure.

  8. Just outta curiosity, Z have you been reading some Jared Diamond of late..?
    if not I found Guns,Germs and Steel to be enlightening…though its been around for a while….

    • No, I never read it. The various ways in which the good thinkers explain away human diversity are endless, but I don’t think I need to read all of them.

      • I have read the book. Diamond is relatively interesting, an engaging writer and, of course, highly-intelligent – but if you are expecting someone who colors outside the lines prescribed by political-correctness, you’ll come away disappointed.

    • “Guns, Germs and Steel” is one great piece of anthropological writing. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

      • “The west and the rest,”nial fergusson, and “The shield of Achilles war peace and the course of history” by? Are two books I have enjoyed which touch on the subject. Recommend them both

      • There have been a handful of books that kinda filled in the blanks or helped me connect dots in the “Big Picture” outside of my conventional education… (profound aha moments actually)….GG&S was one, Denial of Death, another ….Both Pulitzer winners FWIW… And, even though some of Diamonds theories and timelines have been disputed due to new discoveries and technological capabilities, it still serves as a great base of understanding and starting point for discourse, IMHO…..

    • He explains a lot of the aspects of human variation that *aren’t* explained by HBD pretty well, actually. It’s the half of the picture everyone already knows about, but it’s pretty well explained. You read it *along* with Sailer and the rest of them.

  9. I think in respect to America, if you can compare possible parallels to the French revolution, the Chinese Mandate of Heaven and the AR-15 will be predominate.
    The crisis of legitimacy reflected in populist grass roots movement is beginning to have profound effects on the course this country takes. And I understand it is a distasteful subject for quite a many people, the fact there are quite a many people also who are armed for the reasons that created the idea of the 2nd Amendment is another 500 lb gorilla, (or is that guerrilla) in the room. To those thusly armed and are preparing themselves, it is a profound matter effecting their course in their lives. Both these dynamics have the motive power to over-ride all the politics of the day. They certainly are a n underlying factor in their effects presently on politics. It is arguable too many are whistling past the graveyard, but ignoring it won’t change the truth of it.

  10. It will come to war. And, if they win next time, I expect re-education camps. They really do hate and despise us.

    • Don’t get on any trains or buses no matter what you have to do.
      I think they are loosing anyways. Us dirt people win this round. They are still dangerous to our freedoms, but they can’t win, they have nothing to offer, and a lot of people are seeing that.

      • But the ruling class have not yet flexed their muscles, still trying to maintain their grip via relatively civilized means of propaganda and political graft. God willing, Trump will be sworn in and begin attacking his Herculean list of tasks. The more he accomplishes, the more I dread the mask will come off the increasingly angered ruling class and we’ll see just how much they control: switching off the internet, banning certain media, activating laws laying in wait that allow them to name anyone a terrorist for any reason, curbing freedom of movement with expanded no-fly lists, freezing bank accounts, seizing assets, using drones, inciting violence from ignorant well-meaning lefties-turned-mobs via agit prop, using our deep state covert operations against us, etc. The most well-armed American will be a fart in the wind compared to the power this class wields, which includes the force of law and at least some of the military/intelligence services. They have worked with and paid lobbyists/politicians for decades to get us here where they want us: low pay, not enough jobs, dumbed down populace, legal propaganda (media & schools), deteriorating social fabric via degeneracy and floods of immigrants. Hillary was supposed to get in there and complete their globalist vision. They are not going to let go without a fight. With attempted change, we will come to see what power they hold.

        • I’d say your right. Frankly I’m gob smacked Donald Trump has remained alive never mind elected and a few days away from being sworn in. A lot can happen in a few days though. The fact Kissinger was sent to give Trump the do or die offer you can’t refuse is indication Trump and who he represents is a serious threat to the PTB, it is who he represents though that is the existential component at the crux of the chicanery of the deep state, the dirt people. I believe it is the only true threat to them, all other threats are manageable problems, us dirt people are all that stands in their way. It has always been so.
          Here are a couple examples of those running things attempting to stop the message. They are working at shutting down the truth from a number of different directions. The access to the truth on the information hiway of the inter webs is become a serious thorn in their side:
          (This guy Gary Hunt is a due diligent exemplary investigator)
          Statement by Gary Hunt, Outpost of Freedom, with regard to the government attempting to silence the Freedom of the Press
 Gary Hunt if you aren’t aware is a citizen investigator who has delved into the various cases of federal land grabs out west. Hunts blog is a gruesome sequential documentary of the state of affairs, rife with draconian attempts by the feds to shut people up.

          On the other end of the totalitarian state affairs spectrum is this piece by Al Benson Jr of Revised History Blog: The Establishment Declares Guerilla Warfare Against Trump Administration

      • Safe to say William Ayers isn’t about to recant or feel remorse for anything he has done, quite the contrary. Somebody who advocates a minimum of 25 million Americans need to be liquidated to bring the population down to a manageable level so he and his fellow cultural marxists can rule more easily is a psychopathic maniac.

        • When Billy made that advocacy, he got the figure from 10% of the 250 million population. Since our population has grown to 330 million, his current victim list would also have grown accordingly. Don’t surrender, or agree to any relocation.

          • What’s another 25 million more dead Americans to that genocidal maniac other than the more they can liquidate the less enemies of their diabolical agenda remain?

      • And it just won’t stop. I watched the movie “Indianapolis” last night and was disgusted. Not only did race dominate this tragic story but the apologizers for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made their appearance, and the rather despicable treatment the Captain of the torpedoed shit received from his country, while highlighted at the end, was kind of swept under the rug as no names were named in this gross miscarriage of “justice.”

        And who was the Director of the this American story: Mario Van Peebles who was sure to have his cameo appearances to boot. What a dick!

        • I’ve read a couple historical accounts of the Indianapolis. What happened to those sailors is a serious part of the the making of the atomic bomb. Haven’t seen this new movie of it. Not surprised it’s a revised history/emasculation of men of the West, a cinematic device for perpetrating White genocide and preparing that battleground. They played the racial guilt card to the max? The whole revisionist cult of marxism is revolting. It’s not so much they won’t stop, they will when they are, but they infest, infect, and taint everything with their lies.


          • Not a peep from Van Peebles. Only faint mention of the KIA/WIA estimates for the invasion of the Japanese homeland.

        • My apologies to all. Obvious typo that should have read ” … the Captain of the torpedoed SHIP …” I am sorry for that.

    • Your expectation is, unfortunately, not out of line or paranoid at all.

      Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are both close to Bill Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist, bombmaker and former mainstay of the Weather Underground. Ayers, who was freed on a mistrial of charges that he and his comrades set bombs that took the lives of a number of police officers and others in the early 1970s, now openly admits his guilt -saying that he is “guilty as hell, free as a bird.”

      When Ayers was the head of the Weathermen, he spoke of the necessity for liquidating those twenty-to-twenty-five million Americans too-resistant to re-education to be salvaged for the Marxist utopia they were trying to create. We know this because the FBI had a mole – the late Lenny Grathwohl – inside the group.

      Ayers and his wife-to-be, Bernadine Dohrn, both later became university professors and later still, patrons and mentors of a young Barack Obama – a man with whom they are still friends today. Ayers, it is widely-rumored, ghost-wrote both of Obama’s books, and remains close with him today.

      In light of the information above, it would seem to put a different spin entirely upon Obama’s efforts to disarm ordinary Americans. Taking arms from people immediately deprives them of the means to resist tyranny, which is why some in the Second Amendment movement believe that “gun control” should actually be termed “victim disarmament” – for if one examines the history of genocides and mass killings (especially those in the late 19th and 20th centuries), these events are almost always preceded by gun control.

      As you note, they truly do hate and despise we who oppose them. Who says they’ll stop at re-education camps?

      If the above isn’t enough to keep you awake at night, we haven’t discussed Mr. Obama’s evident ties to the Muslim Brotherhood…. but let’s that nightmare for another time.

      • That’ll teach me not to scroll down! I see a number of you folks beat me to the punch….. mea culpa for double-posting…. Dang, sure is a sharp bunch around here!

      • George, you shouldn’t never apologize for the truth. It is in short supply these days and under assault. No excuses needed. There is far too many people who have no idea of the associations between this group of radicals and usurpers. How the same actors keep showing up time and time again, how they are legacy domestic enemies of our country, and how they have strategically infested and invested in all the crucial positions of political and executive power within our system of government. I for one appreciate your courage to state the truth.

      • If I may, here is a link to a piece I wrote for the Post&Email back in 2010 as a citizen writer.
        Among a couple other pieces, this one figuring William Ayers, it certainly pissed someone off with an IP Address at the East Wing of the White House and an investigation from a team of FBI Special Agents, it also garnered me an exclusive computer hack through my laptop from that IP address into our WordPress provided editing system. Long before Cheryl Atkins. Our phone calls monitored, even our house was carefully broken into while away. It is a long story, involved a constant stream of server crashes, even agent provocateurs spreading disinformation of egregious lies of personal nature, which resulted in the Post&Email having to go outside the U.S. to obtain a server because every U.S. based server we contacted was threatened with extortion by somebody in the obama administration that their FCC licenses and other business requirements be revoked.
        So George, here is one American who appreciates thoroughly what you wrote.
        To this day I suspect do to a variety of suspicious things I’m still watched and monitored because of my frank views. Once on the list of extra deplorable Deplorable’s, you never get off.

  11. Pingback: How to pick leaders | IowaDawg's Very Own Blawg

  12. The biggest challenge is going to be handling the precipitous drop in functional intelligence. NOT IQ, which is grossly overemphasized (by us deplorables, anyway), but functional intelligence. Big problems require sustained thought, and lots of us can’t do it. And of those who can’t, the vast majority — looking at you, Millennials — not only don’t know they can’t do it, but think they ARE doing it. Consider that a blog post over 500 words doesn’t get read… and even 500 is a slog when you’re used to Tweets. Reading multiple posts (or, God forbid, an entire one of those “book” thingies), taking notes, collating information, sifting, evaluating… not only do lots of us not know how to do this, we don’t even know that it can be done. Trump isn’t Hector Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho, but any government structure that retains a popular vote in the Twitter age will trend hard that way, without major structural overhaul.

  13. Zman, very insightful look at development of governments in history. Thanks!

    Just a couple of comments:
    1. Estimates of deaths resulting from Mao’s GLF go up to 80 million while during his reign China’s population grew from about 550 million to 900 million people.

    2. In my gut, I feel that the traitorous scum who infest this country need a good culling. Madame Guillotine may still make an appearance although in a different form. This kind of cancer cannot be left unchecked and as Thomas Jefferson said,

    “What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

    We used to have laws about criminals, traitors and acts of sedition but they are no longer used. Politicians are deemed to be of a different class where the rules do not apply to them. Well, it is time to do so. Rats hiding under the protection of the laws of the land are a misuse and abuse of the rights and protections of the citizens. Liberty and freedom does not mean people like “Chuckie-spittle” Schumer and his gang/predecessors i.e. Harry Reid, should be able to hurt Americans. Politics is one thing. Being an ass-bite is another. Being an ass from Nevada should not give license to be an ass to all of the country.

    3. When you say “Our constitution(s) [SIC} were not handed down by God. They were always temporary solutions to immediate challenges,” my reply is that is incorrect. I know it is your opinion, but just as those who would ban the Ten Commandments as being an affront to the separation of church and state, or being out-dated, the Constitution written by men, was inspired by God. Some things, regardless of application in scope, remain true, immutable and undeniable. Your statement seems to welcome the casting aside of this great experiment which has proven to be the best man has ever seen, for that which is a great unknown … what, the reorganization of the States into different kinds of tribes?

    The issues of the freedom of men, liberty and the ability to pursue hopes and desires will remain timeless regardless of technology or circumstance. What makes it so unique, and as you point out so well, is that other people’s by virtue of their own histories, have no concept of the kind of liberty or freedom America represents. That is why trying to export our ideas to other lands fails so miserably. But in truth, even China’s great rise of the past two decades is a direct result of America’s greatness. Again, this country and it’s people have provided the impetus for change in that land. They embraced some of it and are running with it, kind of like a child learning to ride a bicycle but does not yet understand the rules of the road, or is not cognizant of the harm that can come from certain actions. They “think” they know everything but they are just babes in the woods when it comes to this stuff. America has been at it much longer .. that is the Freedom thing.

  14. Social democracy, dramatic economic growth. Which is the chicken and which is the egg? Does it matter? But I think they go together. Each facilitates the other. If we have hit some sort of limits on the increase in the economic well being of the average Western citizen, then all bets may be off on the rest of it.

    Like SamlAdams, I am in the financial services biz. I see three scenarios. One is that things haven’t changed, growth is there, participate and don’t think too hard, it’s all good. The second is that there are major disruptions from unexpected directions, and the nimble and aware can make it work very well for themselves. The third is that things are going to get very ugly, Revelation level ugly, and bug out and hunker down. Or maybe some of all three (that’s my wishy-washy highest probability outcome). In the area of governance, it is likely the same set of possibilities. However, evaluating the success of the governmental outcome is difficult, because how does one define or measure success? At least in finances, the spreadsheet and bottom line reveals all.

    • It is hard to come up with good systemic predictions. One I started making after doing some work in China several years ago was that we will be at war with China eventually. Three problems there, first (as Z points out) the political development is lagging economic development. There is a reason every available venue outside of China is full of Chinese investing for SHTF at home. This is where my Dad made a small fortune developing real estate–except he sold to Central and South Americans from true crap-holes. That the newly wealthy Chinese are hedging their own system tells you something. Second, demographics are not their friend. The age pyramid is quickly inverting. That’s a cap-ex killer for any economy. Third economic growth is sliding as costs equalize, but there is still a huge demand to be middle class. Add it up and nothing distracts from internal problems like a war or something lower intensity that looks more like the Japanese imposition of the “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”. Only this time may be a combo platter of cyber and kinetic warfare.

      • I have found that I am not in the predictions business, but instead I am in the identifying-of-probabilities business. Once one makes a prediction, then one spends time defending it. Instead, identify possible outcomes that are not ridiculously unlikely, and weight your positioning across the more likely outcomes. The trouble right now is that the array of likely outcomes is particularly broad, and the financial ramifications are unusually large for getting it right or wrong. And then, through all of that, is that individuals are clinging ever-so-tightly to either the “business as usual” outcome, or the “Armageddon” outcome. In other words, they are making predictions and making stands, in opposition to my probabilities-based approach. And some of the predictions will be right and my probability based decision-making will appear wrong. Though a blend or combination of outcomes still looks likely here. Helluva time to be in this biz.

        • I suppose I could restate and say, if I took a stochastic approach to China, running variations of the items above, plus others would cause “war” to pop out as a highly probabilistic outcome…but its been a long day and unfortunately working with some folks who are on PST so it ain’t over yet.

  15. I thought it was just me and my white privilege that gets all skeptical whenever a politician or activist gets all enthusiastic about bringing “democracy” to some Third World crap hole. I’ve been on those missions – 5 minutes after we hit the ground we (Marines and Soldiers) know it’s a fool’s errand. The locals humans are no more interested or capable of being good little middle class westerners than the local wildlife.

    Introducing huge numbers of outsiders without any expectation of assimilation into those unique European societies sure seems like a dangerous mixture.

    • It’s the height of hubris, when you think about it, isn’t it? G.W. Bush probably meant well — he was hugely influenced by the ideas of Natan Sharansky, who also meant well — but they were very naïve. They suffered from the typical Western failure of imagination that results in so many Westerners — including our intelligence services and State Department — being utterly unable to conceive that the world contains billions of people who do not see the world as they do. As we have seen, that kind of willful ignorance gets us killed.

      • I doubt that G.W.B. was seriously influenced by the ideas of Natan Sharansky though they may have met eventually. Bush was influenced by his experience as a drunk who recovered via 12-step program thinking and the support of his women folk, with all the consonant doo-gooderism. He was also influenced by advisors who came from that State and intelligence class people you referred to. Those people are overwhelmingly of an ivy league, bi-coastal elite class, i.e. the Uniparty.Bush’s initial instinct was to win the war quickly and decisively, and them declare “mission accomplished”. He came a cropper when he was persuaded to appoint Paul Bremer as Viceroy to engage in nation-building.Bush’s great failure was his lack of confidence to reject the guidance of those “better people”.

        • I think many of them were influenced by the occupation and reconstruction of Western Europe after WWII. Hey, if it worked so well in West Germany, Austria, and Italy – why not Afghanistan or Iraq?

          Of course it’s idiotic to think Afghan tribesmen are going to behave like Germans and Italians, but that’s the vision. The idiocy is reinforced by anyone who’s mind has been damaged with multiculturalism – the mistaken idea that all cultures are equal.

      • I have spent much of my working life in the third world and agree with you drake , been trying to tell friends this in Australia for 20 years, they started listening more recently.
        I was fairly left wing as a teenager. Reality changed that.
        You could argue that Bush Jr meant well, but it has always baffled me why Obama/Hillary would continue and expand these policy’s through the MENA region, despite knowing what had/was happening in Iraq, either staggering incompetence… Or was it the desired outcome?

      • I watched with dismay that GW and Obama and their administrations thought they could democratize the Middle East. There is no way anyone can go in and change thousands of years of tribalism in the Middle East and North Africa in three years or three centuries.

        • ” There is no way anyone can go in and change thousands of years of tribalism ” you misspelled “inbreeding”

  16. You may have left out the most important driver in the development of Western Civilization: Christianity. Everything that is described above as part of the progress of history happened with this gigantic backdrop coloring the whole stage.
    Two quotations come to mind. “Where the spirit of the lord is there is Liberty.” and Burke reflecting this, not specifically, as I doubt he had this piece of scripture in mind, but how you see its effect on the mind of the times: “It is better to cherish virtue and humanity, by leaving much to free will, even with some loss to the object, than to attempt to make men mere machines and instruments of a political benevolence. The world on the whole will gain by liberty, without which virtue cannot exist.”
    What we have here is that virtue cannot exist without liberty, and that liberty is a gift from the source of virtue. In other words you can’t have one without the other, and calling these things by other names does not change this fact.

    One reason your column generates so much interest is that you sometimes pack so many ideas into them that they can hit many buttons and be responded to in a myriad of ways. Like you said, books can/have been written on everything you said up there. It’s just a matter of picking a topic.

    • Yes – particularly how Christianity evolved in western Europe during the Renaissance. it become an energetic religion that embraced science, business, logic, freedom, and the pre-Christian great minds.

      • One could also argue that the Reformation, with it’s “solo Scriptura” focus on the need for laypeople to discover the revealed word of God through the Bible, in vernacular, put an entirely new premium on literacy. The degree to which Protestant, sea faring nations with unified government, outperformed (Britain and the Netherlands) in the 1600s and beyond is striking. Germany was still struggling with unification and was thus late to the game, despite Luther’s head start.

        • That’s Max Weber’s basic argument, if I recall correctly, in The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber is better read about than read (which is what I did), so maybe I misremember, but one of those rancid old Frankfurt School commies said something similar…. take wisdom where you can find it, right?

          • I take a very utilitarian view. A highly literate population is far better at both problem solving and propagating information and inventions. Though my personal favorite theory was that as coffeehouses rose in popularity, a significant portion of the population went from drinking “small” beer to drinking coffee. Though the Lister theory was not know, both fermented beverages and coffee has the advantage of not harboring dangerous bacteria. But innovation is much easier when you are not half “in the bag” most of the day

          • you talk about drinking during the day like it is a bad thing?! when I wake up, I don’t want that to be the best I feel all day!

    • I think you can go a few ways on Christianity. I think the concept of a covenant between man and God is hugely important. After all, if God can sign a contract and be bound by it, so can the king or emperor. Then there is the concept of a transcendent and universal law. This idea that there is a correct set of rules that govern everyone and everything is the foundation of the western legal system. There’s also the fact that Christians rejected occassionalism. God was not a fickle teenager. The universe he created operated by fixed principles. The discovery and understanding of those principles is the foundation of science.

      That said, did religion incubate these ideas? Did it impose these ideas? Or, did Christianity evolve to adopt these ideas that already existed among Western people?

      There are a few books there in trying to answer those questions.

      • “God was not a fickle teenager. The universe he created operated by fixed principles. The discovery and understanding of those principles is the foundation of science.”

        Which is why islam is what Churchill called “the most retrograde force in the world.” Islam’s “Allah” is a completely fickle being, who can change his mind at will and is subject to all the same petty emotions that the gods of Hindu, Greek and other ancient mythologies were prone to.

        One of the things that make Christianity (and Judaism) different from other religions is the emphasis on the dignity, freedom and moral responsibility of the individual. I believe self-government (and the achievement of any society decent enough that I would care to live in it) completely depends on this high concept of the worth of the individual.

    • When the great struggle for individual liberty began in Europe the one interest that controlled the life of the mind was religion. What men wanted most of all was freedom to worship God in their own way, freedom to believe or disbelieve; and for that they went to death at the stake intoning their hymns of heresy. The religious wars were terrible. They lasted until the lust of fanaticism was sated. Then reason rebelled and there was peace, founded on the principle of laissez faire in religion. That is not what anyone called it, because the words had not yet been invented; but that is what it was.
      The next phase of the great European struggle for liberty, therefore, was aimed at freedom of enterprise…The European mind was deeply religious still. It had been easier to die for a heresy about the Sacrament than to get rid of a sense of guilt in profit, People whose fathers and grandfathers had been tortured, burned at the stake and buried alive for the offense of reading Scripture for themselves might be expected, when they did read it, to construe it literally and in a grim manner. They did. The poor were friends of God. They knew for sure they would not meet the rich man in the Kingdom of Heaven. Avarice was a deadly sin. Pursuit of gain was the way to damnation. Land was the only honorable form of wealth. Business was the ignoble part of the social anatomy.
      The religious mind stood in a bad dilemma. It could sense the oncoming world and yet it had no way of meeting it and was in fact forbidden by the Bible to meet it at all. This it became involved in extreme contradictions as the necessities of trade increased, the economic function of the moneylender was one that somehow had to be performed, with the result that the Jews were brought in to do for Christians what Christians were morally unable to do for themselves.
      The question was, could the Christian become an economic man and at the same time save his soul? The Dutch were the first to say positively yes, and this was significant, because the Dutch had paid more for religious liberty than any other people. They had carried their struggle for it to a plane of appalling heroism. Their resistance so infuriated the Holy Office of the Inquisition that on February 16, 1568, all the inhabitants of the Netherlands were sentenced to death as heretics and Bible readers, except only a few persons especially named in the edict.
      If the spirit of laissez faire had been less than immortal it could never have passed through that valley of death. What emerged was the Dutch Republic, founded upon the ashes of its martyrs, dedicated to liberty of conscience, holding aloft a light to the world.
      Then an amazing thing happened. The prosperity of Holland became the wonder and envy of Europe. In the trade of the world it advanced to first place, and took what Tawney calls the role of economic schoolmaster to seventeenth century Europe.
      The power of individualism was now for the first time released to perform its examples. —
      Garet Garret

  17. The dynamic you are writing about implies that society evolves at a different rate than the governance model — if that model is imposed. Brittle governance systems have short life spans; internal contradictions being a concept beyond the leftist mind. At least for now, the US has a fairly adaptive governance model, so we will probably do some cleaning up/out of the accumulated rules and regulations (rather than wholesale replacement). Now the PRC on the other hand…

    • I think there is a good argument to be made that “solutions” are codified after they have been implemented. Think of things like safety regulations. Cars into the 50’s relied on size to keep passengers alive in wrecks. Then clever engineers learned that better brakes and uni-body construction were both cheaper and safer. After many of the features were on offer as options, the state came in and made them required.

      I think the same can be observed in social arrangements. As Pat Buchanan pointed out, America had worked out a self-governance model long before the revolution and the Constitution. It took a war and a few tries to figure out how to describe it and write it down on paper.

  18. A few things. First, I would not bet too heavily against Madame Guillotine. If things go tribal, then a SE Europe outcome is not out of the question on a larger scale. But there is an interesting intersection between tribalism and shifts in the economic model. My old instructor, Bob Gordon, makes a good case for the long term ramifications in The Rise and Fall of American Growth. Perhaps he is wrong and we’re headed into technology nirvana. But the spidey sense says that light is a train in the tunnel. But on the topic of tribalism…on the simplest level, the success of the United States was always in creating new and larger, interconnected “tribes” to replace the ones that came over from the old world. A couple months ago, in London, was speaking to some of my German colleagues who were utterly puzzled by the US college system and sports in particular. German schools have none of the latter and are just places where people go to class and little else, they often don’t live on a campus, nor do many really have campuses as we think of them. My explanation is that is how we take huge batches of very different people and create new “tribes”. And these affiliations and loyalties will run a lifetime. I’ve taken dozens of calls or meetings with kids that went to my alma mater, looking for career advice, connections. Why? They are from my tribe. And those affiliations don’t depend on race, ethnicity, or economic status. And there are many other examples…but all share one thing in common, the affiliations are different from the ones that bound Europe to a millennia of wars of seemingly stupid things. Northwestern does not wage war on Wisconsin, except on the football field. What I fear from the last eight years is that we’ve gone reverse on college campuses…and this is direct observation from one of my kids who attends my old school (and is 3rd gen there) . We’re bring back the old classic tribalism. That will not end well. Now back to the salt mine of financial services….have a great weekend.

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