Monday, April 2, 2012
Most of you have figured out by now I constantly have several plates in the air. I multi-task pretty well.
So, while I build a mundane web page for IIIGear or make plans for running a gun show remotely, or meet with a local political pro about this or that, I also have one or two bits of what I call "Brainwork" being chewed in the background. Very rarely am I pondering life's "Big" issues - I've pretty much settled my positions on most at this point in my life. I'm still open to reason, but I am the first to admit that any argument against my position had better be strong to even get my attention.
Bill Nye has been challenging paradigms at his new place. I'm not sure he's trying to shock you, so much as he simply doesn't care what you think. I like that about Bill, and others like him who do as they see fit and make no apologies. That's called Liberty. Look it up.
So, here is one paradigm every "religious" or "politically conservative" child is taught as fact that simply doesn't hold up to the first direct contact with real-world observation.
How many times have we heard that our Founding Generation was more "Moral" than are we, and those arguing the point immediately point to sexual modesty as the definition of "Morality" for the time. Obviously, that is bunk, as we explored about a week ago with just a scratch-the-surface-look at Franklin, Washington & Jefferson.
When our Founding Generation spoke of "Morality" they rarely took its measure by sexual convention. Yes, they were more "Moral" as a society, but sex had nothing to do with it.
Here's another "Fact" taught to the same batch of poor kids who are expected to one day become good little Republicans: The decline of a civilization is measurable by the amount of moral decay on display. Again, most people spouting this line are speaking of sexual morality, incorrectly.
But let's test that paradigm with a few brief firefights with observable fact: If the premise were true, that a society's decline can be measured by its public display of immoral (sexual) behaviors...how do we explain China, India, Japan, just as starters?
Each "Civilization" pre-dates Greece & Rome, yet all are essentially living today as have their ancestors for thousands of years. Japan has strayed the furthest from her true cultural roots, thanks to American Occupation after WWII. But that is only the work of the last 70 years or so.
Instead of looking at sexual behavior as a measure for morality, is it not more accurate to point out that most Civilizations in the known History of Man have come into or out of existence through military campaign?
Rome fell not because Caesars became greedy and lustful (Show me any man capable of raising armies and conquering the world, I'll show you a guy with a host of such pursuits!) - Rome fell because she over-reached and claimed ground she could not keep militarily. Greece conquered the world with Alexander, but when he died, she cannibalized herself.
Yet, Japan survived for thousands of years and only stumbled when she was forced to interact with the rest of the world. When left alone, she was a quiet nation who did not bother her neighbors, whose sexual "modesty" had zero bearing on the strength of the society. It was common practice, for instance, to traveling Samurai to be offered the (married) woman of the home when he stopped in as a guest.
Hmmm...that kind of "sexual depravity" and the Japanese survived for thousands of years.
China: Another ancient people who still live today, by percentage, as did their ancestors a thousand years ago. She only suffered when her Leaders took her to a bridge too far militarily. If the depravity of a people is a measure of how fast their society is unraveling, and one were to look at a timeline of Chinese culture, one would have to contort tremendously to make the argument that a sexually permissive country, that is today ruled by Communists, is failing...
China will only implode if she over-reaches into the world and must fight to eat.
China is a rising power by any measure, with the ultimate depravity in power. (As did Germany)
India: Likely the oldest of the three cultures. The Indian people have always been more passive in the face of aggression...and have you seen those sculptures?! Ho ho ho!!! Sexual permissive people in decline? I think not. Indians will be around when Americans are speaking Chinese in Kindergarten.
No, folks, I simply can not agree that "sexual modesty" is what the Founding Generation had in mind, nor is it any reliable measure of the decline of a culture. The premise does not survive first contact with observable facts.
Sure, one can cherry-pick any examples from history and jump up and down, point, and say "See! There! I told you!! Rome declined and they had Calligula! It's a fact!". Post hoc ergo propter hoc arguments do not survive.
Sorry, most Civilizations come and go from this Earth through combat with other Tribes.
Stop worrying about the other guy or gal and who/what they choose to do sexually, and pay more attention to who wants your land, your water, your wife or daughter as breeders, and the sweat equity off your brow. Those are the people who will take us to the brink of existence.
It has always been so. It will always be so.
I have counseled folks for two years online and in print to always, always do a gut-check on First Principles and the underlying Premise of any argument.
How can any thinking person take the position that "sexualy depravity" of a people represents their end as a Civilization, when the sons of Romulus & Remus founded Rome with the Rape of the Sabine?
The premise that sexual behavior is an indicator, especially a leading indicator, of a failing culture or civilization is an epic Fail.
Just one of the nuggets I've been chewing on as I work.
Posted by K at 5:24 PM