Posts Tagged ‘ Institutions ’

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Man Is Depraved

So I’ve been on a blogging vacation. And the world kept spinning, who’d’ve guessed.

I’m reading The Wealth and Poverty Nations by David Landes currently, and although I find the writing style obnoxious, the history and the books is fascinating and his ideas about the history worth chewing on. It’s not a scientific approach to history like Guns Germs and Steel or Battle Cry of Freedom,; it’s more like an extended conversation with a brilliant old guy who’s read everything on the sun. He’s telling you what happened and his interpretation of it, a transference of wisdom moreso than knowledge.

He’s no Niall Ferguson (at least not from what I’ve read so far), that is he’s less an explicit apologist (colonialism was good for Africa, and they threw it all away pursuing a third way). Rather, he reminds me more of Edmund Burke, the English reactionary, or Gary Brecher, modern day (and disappeared) War Nerd, who have a dark view of humanity stemming from the Fall and an atheistic nihilism, respectively. If I had to guess, I’d say Landes lays closer to Burke, as he gives off that stuffy, gentleman conservative smell.

I’d sum up what I’ve read (I’m a little less than halfway done) as follows:

Centralized authority (empire) breeds stagnation, and centralized authority is the natural state of humanity. After the fall of Rome, Western Europe became a playground for military technology, spurring innovations in firepower and naval technology that lead to successive Western European countries colonizing the rest of the world. Continue reading

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Liberal Arts Degree? ROFL

Was just talking to someone about my life. Thought I might share it with others.

Me: I was on an academic track but decided, you know what, fuck that. Didn’t quite make the grades for it to be worth it. Didn’t really want to do it. And now here I am man, do you hear me? Shitty PhD program with decent rec letters from my profs. Can you really blame a twenty-three year old kid who’s lived his entire life in a fucking bubble probably? It’s like, at some point there should be a course for all this shit you’re supposed to have figured out on your own.

Friend: Well I grew up in a small, boring midwestern town with two professional parents. Got to go out to the East Coast to a good college… oooohhh, ahhhh. I’m not blaming anyone here—I love my parents to death, but, you know… I wasn’t really prepared for an elite East Coast experience. I didn’t have any frame of reference, and I sort of fell through the cracks.

There was no arrow of time plan. Continue reading

Critical Mass and the White Moderate

Ok, we’ve got some different threads going on here, I think they all tie together but let’s just see how that plays out.

If I were a talented writer, I’d be able to weave all of these different link into a beautiful, poly-paragraphic blog post. As I am instead an uneducated boor, here’s what you get instead.

First, a nice quote. It’s my favorite MLK Jr. quote, but I don’t see it used often. It’s from Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate.

I was talking to Nothalffull yesterday, and he was telling me about some drummer bro who’s been responsible for the death of two bands because apparently he rapes/tries to rape girls.

We had a discussion about this and yada yada, he asked me if I’d continue supporting an artist I liked if he used racial epithets or is a rapist/pedobear.

If you’re wondering, yeah, I would.

He went to take his turn drowning American culture in a bathtub of inanity while I spouted off on the hypocrisies of the American middle class.

I didn’t think much of it; we can’t all be scions of taste and enlightenment. But then, while indulging my addiction to the most depressing website on the internet, I found two wonderful submissions.

Full disclaimer: I’m not a cyclist. I don’t even know how to ride one, and so I stay up all night crying over attendant Daddy issues. Continue reading