I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The end times

Want to make a brief reply to this post at the Smallest Minority, as well as comment broadly on the concept of freedom.

The one bit on reading that provoked a brief bit of cognitive dissonance was not Kevin speaking, but rather him quoting one Donald Sensing. "I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free." I have depressingly little doubt that what we see now is indeed the last of the free generations in my lifetime, all the more regrettable concerning my youth.

I used the modifier "in my lifetime" for a reason though. I do not think that individual freedoms will disappear forever. I think they will at least be curtailed practically to the point of nonexistence for quite some time, but there will be a point in the future where the pendulum swing of philosophies of the individual will make its turnaround and come back to a time for people to be free.

I do not think it will happen in the United States. Removing the factors of governance dampening freedoms in todays US is nigh impossible while retaining the fundamental values of the country. Their removal would lead too thoroughly to national collapse for the same nation to come out the other side.

This is not to say that this swing back is by any sense bad. The nations that emerge from the ashes of the modern authoritarian world will be stronger, freer, and totally independent of modern states. The notions that lead to the rise of the individual in the west are still fairly new. Renaissance humanism and the American revolution broke the authoritarian grips of the divine kings, putting in place modern notions of individualism. The technological boom and associated increase in standard of living since their inception is, in my opinion, unparalleled in the entire history of the world thus-far.

It looks like we passed the point of no return for the present a while back. That does not mean that individual vitality, esteem and power will not be able to restore what once was. History will look back on the modern rise of socialism as we today look on the European Dark Ages, a period of folly and strife now thankfully passed.

It is a shame that swing probably won't happen in any of our lifetimes. I hope I can be proven wrong.

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