Updated: Feb 18
By a miracle of birth we who have won the greatest lottery of all time. The lives of people today even in the lowest and meanest of circumstances enjoy an unprecedented level of material wealth that would be not just unimaginable to our recent ancestors but frankly extra-terrestrial.
Modernity with all its flaws (of which there are more than a few) is a verdant tree of seemingly infinite fruit so long as there are hands to pick it. It has grown up as the saying goes, “First slowly and then all at once”. Toppling cultures, traditions and institutions for good and for evil, the most curious effect however seems to be the toppling of the old common sense.
After the rocket boosters of divine providence broke us free from the Malthusian black hole that our forebearers orbited, that same common sense that once staved off hunger, famine and oppression has turned on modernity like a kind dog with a crushed tail, gnashing its teeth at the Liberal project.
What greater act of selfishness and egotism could be shown in a agricultural community living on the brink of survival than innovation? What enormous risk to try something new with as vital a supply as food. Don’t they know that the land’s ability to provide the necessities of life could fail into famine at any moment? Likewise what frivolity to travel to distant lands with your neighbor’s food in your belly to trade with foreign people for new niceties and novel enrichments. Indeed the history of innovation is that of repeated failure and disturbingly low success.
The spirit of the agricultural age is one of fear and well grounded fear at that. The Earth may turn against us, best to assuage the angry Gods at any cost and curry their favor for another harvest season. The power of law and the sword of the King must prevent useless tinkering, exploration and invention and channel production towards useful ends.
After all, in such an age as this, economic growth doesn’t happen. Those who became rich must have become so through the deprivation of another. It is one thing to out compete a stranger but what about a friend? Worse still a friend who shares the same history and culture, who’s family you and yours has been intertwined with for centuries. Some cultures reset the board with violence other such as the ancient Hebrews did choose a Jubilee year to start the economic game anew. Regardless of the method the same common sense is the same.
Unassailable wisdom indeed for the better 9,780 odd parts of humanities 10,000 rural and agricultural years together. Why then in that tiny sliver of time we call the present would we marvel that the voice of the past doesn’t still echo? Indeed not just an echo but among some it can be heard today loud and clear in common speech, in the media, at the voting box and from the platforms of our would be leaders.
What is Climate change alarmisim but the fear of the great famine where Mother Gaya finally crushes those ant like humans for want of sacrifice. Great liturgical parades on the holy days of the neo-pagans march through the street in their hemp vestments. “Sea level rise in 100 years of three feet” cries the priest. “Behold the waters rise and the Hurricanes strike the land, the great deep swallows the islands and lays waste to the ice caps” chant the laity. The scroll is opened, the clean and unclean is preached, “Abstain therefore from the GMO for it is detestable in the sight of Gaya, through hubris it was made an affront to the Earth. Neither shall thou eat of the cage-ed chicken, or roaming cow as the vapors of its flatulence rise to the heavens, an unpleasing odor to the Gods.” How better to serve ones society than to sit in the ash heap called “Prius” and seek to atone for the sins that will one day condemn us all.
What is the call for redistribution but the fear of the zero sum oppressor stealing family lands? What is occupational licensing but the return of the guilds? Today moats are built of zoning and land use laws and filled with the flesh eating reptiles called building codes, paperwork and bureaucracy. With such fortifications local political power will never be successfully be assaulted by a band of ballot casting riff-raf.
Far from chastising the Leftward masses in these parades I sincerely applaud. Is Climate change a real threat? Sure, as far as it goes. Are guilds and moats good? Sure, just in different a century perhaps. What has been awaked in them is a religious fervor and concern for ones neighbors. Channeled poorly? doubtlessly, but no worse than the noble pagans of old that are lauded in the Christian tradition.
The secular gods never defeated the pagan ones only the Christian God ever did that. Instead the pagan gods dress up in modern clothes and walk with Starbucks in hand around modernity’s world of ideas. Still powerful as they tap into the real fears deep in our collective uncontentious but maybe to weaken as as time moves and abundance is the new norm. The Gods of the pagan left ought to be battled precisely with the word “Progress” that they have co-opted.
But Pharaoh won’t let his people go that easily. Defeating his Gods and persuading the people is never enough, he has both the chariots of suppression and violence and the alluring “flesh pots” up his sacred sleeves. Todays masses imagine a Nordic socialist paradise while forgetting that Venezuela stopped giving the people straw to make bricks a lone time ago. Todays Pharaohs preach paid family leave while we all forget the Chinese midwives enforcing the one child policy.
But we lottery winners are in the promised land so why look back? The Grocery shelves flow with organic milk and raw unfiltered local honey. Canaan produced grapes the size of a fist watch Monsanto make one the size of your head!
Perhaps just as Antaeus was invincible as long as he stayed close to his mother Gaya the Left will never be vanquished until it is cleaved from its fictitious Gods and introduce to the promised land that modernity as been lead to while they were busy chewing Kale and saving owls. Todays sacrifice ought to be of yesteryears common sense.