Re: Life after the oil crash

From: janice matchett <>
Date: Fri Oct 28 2005 - 10:37:28 EDT

At 03:41 PM 10/27/2005, wrote:

>"....If we are going to tell people what they can and cant drive. Why
>dont we just start telling them how many kids they can have, and require
>them to work within 10 miles of where they live, etc, etc, etc. ? ..."

### As Thomas Sowell pointed out so succinctly in his commentary, "Us" or
"Them" --- (I posted the link here the other day:
<>) --- those who
view themselves as "morally superior" will always assume that they have a
right to tell the rest of us what's best for us. CS Lewis described these
moral busibodies (who torment us without end because they do it with the
approval of their own conscience), perfectly.

In light of the foregoing, when you have time, you may want to take note of
these two items below:

[1] Doomsday Is Cancelled Until Further Notice: A Review of Predictions
and Prophecies .... [succinct excerpts]

"...there has always been profound pessimism available at the wholesale and
retail level, from thinkers such as Oswald Spengler (The Decline of the
West, 1918), down to the streetcorner preacher warning sinners of the
imminent apocalypse. And indeed, the persistence of apocalyptic visions
throughout history and across cultures suggests that human beings are
endowed with eschatological chromosomes.

The year 1000 was marked by widespread anxiety that the world would come to
an end. Thousands of people awaited the coming of the year 1000 on mountain
tops­rather like Californians did for the harmonic convergence back in 1987.

The decline of religious consciousness has not ended this deep tendency in
human social thought; rather it has secularized it. We now find many
sources of apocalyptic portents, as we shall discuss in a moment.

This is what makes the outlook of the year 1900 so striking. In a nutshell,
social thinkers of every variety, and in every modern nation, thought the
20th century would experience the full flowering of the moral and
scientific promise of the Enlightenment. The year 1900 was, after all, the
cusp of the age known in America as the "Progressive Era." The German
philosopher Ernst Haeckel published a book in 1899 entitled The Riddle of
the Universe, in which he argued that science would soon solve all of
mankind’s most pressing problems, and, most important, eliminate war. In
America, President Theodore Roosevelt predicted that the 20th century would
be a century of "moral progress" to match our rapidly advancing material
progress. He had lots of company. A few far-sighted thinkers even tried to
envision what the year 2000 would be like.

One of the most popular and best-selling futuristic visions of the late
19th century was Edward Bellamy’s futurist novel Looking Backward. Bellamy
predicted a benign socialist world would exist by 2000, and it seemed very
plausible at the time.

Looking Backward sold millions of copies when it was published in 1888, and
was translated into more than 20 languages. Hundreds of "Bellamy Clubs," a
precursor of the Fabian Societies, sprung up all over the United States. In
form, Looking Backward was an updating of Rip Van Winkle, in which the
narrator, Julian West, awakens to find himself 110 years in the future, in
the Boston of the year 2000. There he describes the utopia of a
hierarchical society in which the entire population is organized like an
army, all means of production are state-owned, and there is complete
equality of income.

Most astonishing of all, in the utopia of Looking Backward, private
transactions of any kind are frowned upon. "What if someone wanted to buy
something from someone else?," West asks his host. "Before the nation could
even think of honoring any such transfer as you speak of, it would be bound
to inquire into all the circumstances of the transaction, so as to be able
to guarantee its absolute equity," he is told. "Human nature must have
changed very much," West concludes. ...

Mankind has always tried to predict the future in various ways. Once upon a
time shamans used to predict the future by reading chicken entrails. Today,
we still read entrails, but we call them computer printouts. ....

Most of the doomsday predictions are based on a very simple fallacy of
assuming that current trends will continue unless something dramatic is
done about them, by the ubiquitous but never defined "we" or "they."

This neglects Herb Stein’s first law: If something can’t go on forever, it
won’t. This is true of population bombs, energy crises, budget deficits,
crime rates, and so forth. ....

The radical egalitarian impulse that was always at the heart of utopian
thinking lives on, but today it manifests itself mostly in the group-based
politics of anger and resentment, and through narrow issues such as
"comparable worth"­an idea that appears in Looking Backward. Instead of
trying to move people with grand visions of utopia, the egalitarian agenda
today is more akin to trench warfare, with small bits of ground being
contested in the arena of public policy.

As Hayek presciently reminded us in The Constitution of Liberty, the most
potent threats to liberty come through small administrative measures.
That’s why there’s still a lot of work for us to do, and why we must gird
ourselves for the inevitable ideological contests of the 21st century."
~ Steven Hayward - Doomsday Is Cancelled Until Further Notice: A Review
of Predictions and Prophecies for the Year

[2] Hillary Clinton Proposes Massive Energy Tax

~ Janice
Received on Fri Oct 28 10:39:39 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Oct 28 2005 - 10:39:39 EDT