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.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Living In A New World

I almost added "Order" to the title. I am afraid that would have frightened some readers away. Not frightened, perhaps, maybe they would see that title and think it's a paranoid rant. It's not. At least, I don't think of it that way.

When I was a young man in my late teens and early twenties, I often wondered about how people coped with what I had been taught were oppressive systems. Places like Red China, or the Soviet Union, or Cuba. At the time, I figured it didn't much matter; that the system didn't matter all that much, that it would be one I would have been raised in, had adapted to. And, if I could have been conditioned to function under it, I could learn to function under any of them over time.

I also wondered about how I would fare in tightly structured societies where ritual was important. And within sub-cultures that also had strict rules and rituals to be followed.  I have run into these sub-cultures for most of my life; the most obvious are religious orders which require rites to be performed by their adherents. Catholics have "Confirmation", for example, and Jews go through Bar Mitzvahs and Bas Mitzvahs. There are training periods for each wherein the young adherent learns the ritual in order to perform it at the appropriate time. I have come to believe that rituals are important and that training for them improves self-discipline. Even though I hate rituals myself and avoid them as much as is humanly possible.

But all cultures do this to some extent. And we indoctrinate our children so that they will "fit in." By "indoctrinate", I mean we teach them the cultural rituals, rules,  and behavior patterns that will help them to be "good" citizens of the society in which we live.

I have lived all my life in (maybe I should say "on") a world where the country I lived in was the "Big Dog." I do not know what it is like to live in a "lesser" nation, a second-tier nation; one that had been a Big Player but was no longer. Or in a nation that had never been a Big Player.

What would the world be like if, say, China became the most powerful nation on Earth?

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