Common Sense

PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason. -Thomas Paine (1737-1809). Common Sense, 1776

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Governments Don't Facilitate Progress, they Retard it

"I really have no argument with someone who wants to believe that human existence c. 40,000 BC was better than today. I think virtually everyone on the planet would think that postion is insane, but I can't argue with such a person's *belief*. --Greg

You insist on assuming that without governments, modern conveniences wouldn't exist. I would suggest just the opposite: Governments, trying to freeze change as the name "State" confesses, actually retard progress.

For example, the research from Penn State that proves a certain virus kills all grades of breast cancer cells in 7 days. That's in vitro (in a test tube, etc.), which is significantly different than in vivo (live organisms). None the less, this seems to be a novel approach, and if I had terminal breast cancer (don't laugh, men DO get it) I'd rather try some version of treatment using the virus than just sit still and die.

That, of course, won't happen -- the FDA won't permit it, at least not in the open market. I might die quicker as an unexpected effect of the virus. Or it might do no good at all, but so what? Why should people with a death sentence according to the establishment be prevented from trying to save their own lives and at the same time, contributing to research which might lead to the proper way to use this virus to save later victims?

Lest you think this notion that "The State" retards progress is an original idea with me - - -

Government, in its very essence, is opposed to all increase in knowledge. Its tendency is always towards permanence and against change...[T]he progress of humanity, far from being the result of government, has been made entirely without its aid and in the face of its constant and bitter opposition. --H.L. Mencken
"The objective of war is not to kill people; the objective is to obtain a political end," says John Alexander, a retired army colonel and former head of a non-lethal weapons program at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. "In the current political situation, that end is to maintain stability." --A Fate Worse than Death?, Laura Spinney, "New Scientist" (science weekly), London, Oct. 18, 1997
"Any factors that could jeapordize our stability must be annihilated at early stages." --Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Chinese police officers, MSNBC Watch It, 28 Dec 1998, ~11:08:12 AM EST
~"Change has the effect of enlarging the state, not diminishing it." --well-known economist John Kenneth Galbraith, NWI Century, 09-22-97, 3:26pm EST
. . . What led the greatly advanced civilisation of China to fall behind Europe was its governments' clamping down so tightly as to leave no room for new developments, while, as remarked in the last chapter, Europe probably owes its extraordinary expansion in the Middle Ages to its political anarchy (Baechler, 1975:77) --F. A. Hayek, THE FATAL CONCEIT The Errors of Socialism, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 1988), p. 44 & 45

As far as tribal life, which we're designed for, being better in general, even 40,000 years ago -- although you only have to go back maybe 13,000 years, if happiness counts for anything, it may indeed be better. No? Explain this:

The REAL Human Condition

< C:\USR\WP_DOCS\TROLLEY\TRIBES~1\WK\27_CLIQU.WK Governments Don't Facilitate Progress, they Retard it >

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