Is the human race regressing? From Francis W. Porretto at bastionofliberty.blogspot.com, via the burning platform.com:
This piece will be somewhat out of the ordinary for a Fran Porretto essay here at Liberty’s Torch:
• It won’t link to any news stories.
• It won’t embed any illustrative videos.
• It won’t present a reasoned analysis of contemporary events.
• It will vibrate with unpleasant emotions, particularly anger and fear.
• It will probably contain more profanity than my usual helpings of verbiage.
• And with luck, it will be “out of my system” and not to be repeated…at least not soon.
You have been warned.
There’s a great and terrible evolution in progress in the world. You know it; I know it. Yet we do our best, day by day, not to take notice of it. We have to; if we were to allow it to impinge upon our consciousness, it would probably freeze us in place.
Men are becoming beasts once more.
No, not literally – and here I will pause to regret, briefly, my opening pledge not to embed a video, as the “Of Mice and Men” Monty Python sketch would be fully appropriate – but in terms of the mental and spiritual characteristics that distinguish us from the lower orders.
Man’s mental and spiritual advantages can be summarized thus:
- He can reason out the causes of things through observation, inference, and judicious experiment.
- He can inhibit himself from action on moral and ethical grounds.
Both faculties are experiencing a decline in employment. Don’t ask me for the examples I have in mind; you can find plenty for yourself. Besides, I’m bloody tired of amassing links to stories about people claiming to be the wrong sex, or puppies, or the possessors of the secret to effortless riches, or holders of a “license to rape.” Such stories are everywhere. The violence and insanity have mushroomed near to the point of being no longer exceptional
The blood-dimmed tide has been loosed.
Beast-men don’t look at one another and see opportunities for collaboration or trade. Beast-men don’t seek like-minded fellows with whom to develop or advance a set of social or political ideas. Beast-men don’t create art of any kind. Beast-men are incapable of maintaining a complex technological civilization, much less advancing it.
And the numbers of the beast-men are growing more rapidly than the numbers of the sane and civilized.
Brace yourselves, Gentle Readers. I’m about to do something that will shock you. Something the bien-pensants will say is intolerant and disrespectful – of them, mostly. Something that will probably get me banned in Boston.
I’m going to define.
In recent years, sanity has been regarded as whatever state of mind conduces to survival within one’s chosen environment. I dislike that definition; it’s relativistic and therefore not useful to one who looks and sees widely rather than provincially. By my lights, sanity is that state of mind which accords with the reality around one.
A sane society is one whose laws, norms, customs, and institutions align with reality and are maintained thus by the overwhelming majority of the participants.
Civilization is a tougher nut to crack. Here’s a typical swing at it, from Princeton University’s WordNet:
Civilization n: a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations.)
I call bullshit. A civilization is a society whose ruling norm is civility: a state of affairs governed with the irreducible minimum of violence. Complexity is no way to measure civility. Indeed, it’s no way to measure anything but complexity itself.
Sanity and civility are both retreating from American society. It should provide no salve to our self-regard to observe that we’re still doing better than the rest of the world. We’re losing what our forebears achieved and passed on to us, mostly by refusing to defend it against the lunatics and the thugs.
While we huddle behind locked doors and distract ourselves with “Survivor” and “American Idol,” the lunatics and the thugs are taking our country from us.
To continue reading: The Fraying