The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wondering About Nations And Such

I tend to mind-wander when reading articles, or books, or just about anything more than half a page long. This was a bit troublesome when I was in school and most of my learning was done by osmosis, or you could say, "sleep-learning."

So, last week, as I read an article about the Scottish vote of independence, I began to muse. Articles that make me think actually make me day-dream. This particular day-dream involved the history of how countries formed.

No country popped up like a mushroom overnight. Each evolved over many years and all took their tolls in blood and treasure to come about. I think they are still evolving. At the core of every country is an ethnic group or tribe. As I was discussing American history vis-a-vis the so-called "Native-American" (they weren't actually native to this land but simply earlier immigrants). We treated them badly, horribly, and cleverly pitted them one against the other. This was not a new strategy but a time-honored and successful one that had always worked well in the past.

A city-state forms, generally ethnically "pure" and pushes outward, aggressively bringing more land and people under its control. Eventually, if they were successful, building an empire made up of many ethnic groups and vast expanses of land. The Roman model is the classic one.

But all the empires follow a similar model. What always bothered me was revolutions in feudal times. The rebels always fought for "freedom" and that bugged me. I eventually came up with a rationalism: "relative freedom" or, if you will, the freedom to rally around a despot of the group's choosing. Because, in times past, all countries (and empires) were ruled by despots. Today they tend to be elected ones... but still...

Have we really advanced much in the last 3000 years?



Vagabonde said...

You ask a valid question. The answer is not an easy one. I think we have evolved in the physical realms – like the Internet, medicine, industry, but as far as what people believe and think – not at all.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Always the same basic script.
Just different players in different locations.