The Moral Dilemma of "Progress"
The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong. —Winston Churchill
I stubbornly insist upon citing this quote by Churchill again and again, partly because it demonstrates a fundamental, central theme of this blog, and partly because, as Churchill himself asserts, it is fundamental to the history of human civilization itself. You may see this quote again if you continue to read what I write in future. I’m somewhat fixated on it.
On one hand, generally speaking, we want to do what is right. We want, for example, to defend the defenseless and to help those in need of help. On the other hand though, what is right taken to a national level can easily weaken and undermine an entire civilization. Darwin’s dictum of survival of the fittest remains true, regardless of how harsh or cruel or politically incorrect it happens to be, and regardless of how profoundly liberal welfare states try to abolish it, or just ignore it. It is a matter of survival of the fittest, not of the justest, or the rightest, or the “nicest.”
Rome of course is the classic example in the west of a great nation which rose to the peak of glory, became rich, luxurious, decadent, and weak, and then fell to ruin. The Republic became strong, successful, and prosperous not only because of its citizens’ tough, absolute refusal to give up against horrific odds, and not only because it possessed the justest legal system in the world at the time, and not only because it had the best trained and most formidable army, but also because the Romans indulged in the occasional political atrocity against foreign nations, the occasional crime against humanity. The Third Punic War, for instance, was essentially a case of unprovoked mass murder; yet it was definitely to the advantage of the people of Rome. The Romans’ victories in the Punic Wars resulted in Rome becoming a superpower, and extremely wealthy and prosperous.
But this wealth, and the unequal distribution of same, helped bring about what could be called social justice movements. The plebeians continually rebelled against their privileged patrician overlords, demanding greater privileges, and gradually acquired enough political power in the Eternal City that they were able effectively to paralyze or overthrow the government, if only by rioting. Consequently politicians, generally wealthy patricians, learned to bribe the unemployed and idle mobs living in the city with handouts—“bread and circuses”—in order to obtain and retain power. This uneducated, politically empowered rabble had no real concern for what was best for the nation so long as they got their welfare check, so to speak, and the political situation in Rome continued to degenerate until a coup establishing a military dictatorship was seen as an actual improvement on the status quo.
Similar phenomena have occurred, and continue to occur, in modern times. America exists because European settlers took land which belonged to native American tribes—which, to be fair, those tribes had taken from other tribes previously inhabiting it. Such an occurrence could hardly happen now. Rather, modern ideas of justice have resulted in prosperous if ruthless nations like Rhodesia degenerating into more politically correct fiascos like Zimbabwe, with South Africa following in its footsteps, and in loudly protesting “progressives” insisting that Israel also commit suicide by ending its apartheid with the Palestinians. Just a century or two ago the Israelis could have simply exterminated the Palestinians and gone about living their lives in some semblance of peace and prosperity. But it’s getting to the point that even peace and prosperity are becoming problematic.
As a strong and prosperous society becomes more refined and pacifistic—and more ethical or just—it begins weakening itself. Here is a fairly stark example: women’s right to vote. The franchise for women was the first great cause for feminism, and I must admit that it is eminently just. It is only fair that women, who are just as human as men are, and presumably just as entitled to consideration, should have an equal say with regard to the government which governs them. But women differ from men psychologically, in deep, hormonally conditioned, instinctive ways, and they are more inclined to be fearful and to crave security. So, they tend to favor security over freedom, and vote more towards the political left than men do, on average. Thus women’s right to vote steers a nation toward socialism, which doesn’t work—or at least it doesn’t work nearly as well as more masculine free-market capitalism. But they don’t want to see this. Women in general are more inclined to vote for greater gentleness in society, and also the greater weakness and defenselessness of its members, in opposition to the harsh and unavoidable reality of Charles Darwin. Feminists in the west are now even against fecundity as a survival mechanism. Women are more compassionate, and thus more inclined to favor humanitarian aid to floundering “shithole” countries as well, which simply (or complicatedly) increases the size of the problem (by increasing the number of hungry mouths there, increasing catastrophic destruction of the natural environment due to said overpopulation, increasing overflow of excess mouths into places like the EU, etc.). Women, being more subjective and feelings-oriented than men, vote in ways that are less rational, and are sometimes plain destructive to society. Women want the abolition of weapons and violence, which promotes a weak, effeminate populace incapable (or even unwilling) of defending itself against aggressors who don’t give a flying damn about feminized social justice. (It is true that hypermasculine, aggressive societies have been destroyed by picking the wrong enemies, but this is less of a hazard than a hyperfeminine society just degenerating to death.) As I’ve already mentioned it really is only fair that women should have the right to vote, but it creates one hell of a philosophical dilemma.
For that matter, it has been known for millennia that wealth and prosperity are themselves conducive to weakness and decay of society. This is a big reason why those badass ancient Spartans used iron bars for money—it made sure that nobody would be able to carry much of it around or use much of it. Strength→prosperity→luxury→weakness→destruction may be a pretty much inevitable progression in human societies; and if that’s the case then we’re all just screwed.
From a realistic, pragmatic point of view, some sort of “enlightened fascism” would be far superior with regard to survivability, with regard to Darwinian fitness to survive and prosper, than a progressive, feminist mess like postmodern Sweden. Seriously, from a political perspective existential survival is infinitely more important than social justice.
But better than a fascist state that denies many rights and freedoms for the sake of national strength would be some sort of limited democracy, a kind of expanded oligarchy or aristocracy, in which a select relative few have the right to participate in the process of “democratic” government. This is the way democracies have always been until recently; for example the Athenian “democracy” allowed only adult male citizens, amounting to a small percentage of the population, to participate in government, and the original system of the USA was not so different. In the USA of 1800 only free adult male landowners were allowed to vote. This has the advantage of weeding out the least intelligent, least industrious, and least willing/able to fight for their freedom, the least meritorious, thus greatly improving, on average, the quality of the decision-making with regard to national survival of the fittest.
Expecting a nation like the USA to revert back to such restrictive voting eligibility is unrealistic, however. Some would argue that limiting the vote is too unjust; although it is limited even now, considering that children, non-citizens outside of California, and jailed felons may be prevented from voting. It is unrealistic simply because the democracy as it stands now would never allow it. The only way such a reset would be possible would be through some kind of radical overthrow of the current system, a revolution or coup, possibly as the result of a civil war. It could hardly take place through moderate means.
One step in the right direction, which somehow might even come to pass without rampant bloodshed, might be as follows. A law could be passed, maybe even a Constitutional amendment, that people living on a government dole should not have the right to vote. Those who receive more from the government than they pay into it are, technically, parasites on the political system, regardless of how awful that sounds, and regardless of their race or gender or sexual preferences; and they should not be allowed to vote in a truly healthy political system. This may sound cruel or bigoted or whatever, but an unemployed rabble voting for free handouts in utter disregard for the prosperity of the nation (like the urban plebs of Rome) is self-destructive. If the left continues to drive people rightwards with its hysteria and intolerance and refusal to accept empirical facts, then such a rectification might actually come to pass. For that matter, it could be argued that people dependent upon a dole should not be allowed to bear children either—if they can’t even feed themselves, then why should they have children that they also can’t feed? But that’s a discussion for some other time.
Getting back to the issue of voting, though, it could be argued that non-natives also would be less inclined, in general, to have the nation’s best interests at heart. Certainly California’s recent allowance even of illegal immigrants to vote is pretty much of a guarantee of decline and fall. Obviously such a group will vote overwhelmingly for socialist largesse to the poor and illegal, which is why the political left is so willing to shoot their own homeland in the foot by supporting it. Assuming that homelands have feet.
Again, we simply cannot have prosperity without survival! This should be plainly obvious. The idea of feasibility, of simple existence in the form of national integrity, must come before idealist humanitarianism, or “progress,” or justice, or anything else. Consequently, strong men and virility should be strenuously encouraged; putting one’s own nation first, one’s own culture first, should also be encouraged. Patriarchy or death. Literally. That is a very likely crossroads for western civilization. Or, to elaborate a little, the big choice is between patriarchy and a progression of security→weakness→emasculated slavery→death.
One hypothesis I have toyed with is that feminized socialism is attempting a kind of globalist takeover at present in order to prevent competition from more economically aggressive systems—perhaps from a sneaking awareness that socialism really can’t compete with more masculine, more competitive societies. If there simply is no viable competition, then socialism on a grand scale may actually work, or so leftists may suppose. But still, Darwin remains king, or even invincible god-emperor. Excel or die remains an immutable law of nature.
The choice between occasionally harsh existence or even ruthless prosperity on the one hand, and consistently compassionate decline and fall on the other, should not be a difficult one to make, unless perhaps one is a saintly idealist with no children. But the making of this choice at a civilizational level may require struggle, possibly even a real, honest-to-goodness fight, as the regressive left won’t simply stand down. This indicates that reactionary fascism of some sort, preferably benevolent, may actually be more realistic than somehow easing back into a stronger, more feasible, more limited form of democracy. And of course there are no guarantees that survival will win out over decline; but even so, there is another quote of Churchill that I have cited more than once: "You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, for it is better to perish than to live as slaves." True, Churchill was fighting against fascism, but now the slavery threatening us all is of a different sort, an emasculated, weak, timid slavery of the mind and spirit. But if the political left continues to self-destruct, then possibly we could just adjust democracy's course to one less bound for decline.
At any rate, what we ought to do is what is best for our own society, even if it hurts some feelings and melts some snowflakes, even if it results in some detriment to outsiders. The more leftist radicals howl and riot, probably the better for civilization overall.