Tuesday, January 13, 2009

After the fall

Raphael Alexander has suggested that perhaps the best and only way to free the nation from parasitical public service unions and their unsustainable wage and benefit demands is to allow the process to go to the bitter end; let the economy collapse and rebuild on a new foundation.

While in some sense I agree (after all, this is in fact how the Strikers plan to rebuild the world at the end of "Atlas Shrugged"), history suggests that this is a huge reach of the imagination. After all, the end of the Res Publica Roma was marked by a massive civil war and the Imperium ended in a dark age that lasted centuries. Being the strongest warlord in the valley *might* ensure your survival and standard of living after the collapse, but is hardly the nucleus of a future Libertarian paradise. Warlords need to focus on the acquisition and maintenance of power; even the cultured and civilized lords of Renaissance Italian city states were still warlords, or they did not remain lords for long.

How civilization reached the Enlightenment is a subject historians still continue to debate, so unless there is a powerful nucleus of learning and culture like "Galt's Gulch" to rebuild, there are no garantees that ideals like Freedom of Speech, Property rights or the Rule of Law would ever regain their primacy in the world.


softwareNerd said...

As some wise fellow said: Atlas was meant to be more of a warning than a blueprint.

Zip said...

I think a lefty/collectivist premise has snuck itself in here.

There will always be a need for a rational, rights respecting Capitalist Laissez Faire nation to be able to defend itself. The idea that the future of any such nation must somehow be accomplished without the assistance of armed force is a peacenik/socialist/anti-gun/anti-rights pipe dream.

I say should a collapse be necessary then we must deal with that reality as it comes. And should it happen, lets work from that point to defend our rights and build a place in which those individual rights are paramount.

Rest of the world be damned :-)

Thucydides said...

While armed force is needed to protect values, I suspect that most people who have the strength of will to become effective warlords in a post collapse environment will not be paragons of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness".

Since monasteries are very few and far between, and most Universities are a write-off as repositories of enlightened thinking (although huge reservoirs of progressive nonsense), we would need an unlikely combination of circumstances (John Galt as an accomplished military leader as well as a scientist and philosopher) to ensure the rebirth of liberty.

Actually, Zip and I need to review those timeshare arrangements in Colorado.....

Zip said...

"Actually, Zip and I need to review those timeshare arrangements in Colorado...."

Don't we all!