J Corbally wrote:
> > Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 20:46:25 -0800
> > From: Neal Blaikie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Subject: Re: The IFG - Still don't think.....
> <Loads snipped>
> Just wanted to add a point on the whole Imperialism debate. It seems
> that in the rush to determine whether colonization was good or bad, we
> are lacking opinions from those whose countries were directly affected
> by it. I come from just such a country, and we were affected for a
> far longer time than the rest of the British Empire, with perhaps the
> exceptions of Scotland and Wales.
Thanks for your contribution. I think this has gotten a bit out of the
intent of the original comment. Blaikie was trying to insinuate that I
was some how racist or something of the sort by trying to get me to say
that only *some* types of people can live in a libertarian or a stable
democratic society. Greg, I think, has made a far more cogent argument
that is in the vein of the point I am trying to make, namely that
societies which are low-trust tend to be rather unstable and in *need*
of a rather repressive government using systematized violence to
maintain stability, or else such societies must accept high levels of
instability and random violence. I've often said that societies tend to
get the government they deserve (whether its self or externally
imposed). Societies that are high-trust tend toward libertarian
societies. When such societies are subject to immigration from low-trust
societies, then destabilization occurs, trust decreases, and governments
try to re-establish equilibrium at a lower level of trust and greater
government power, rather than trying to educate or assimilate immigrants
into high-trust modes of thought, based on dim-witted ideas about
'cultural preservation', etc.
This is not a new phenomenon, as the comments about lines illustrates.
George Orwell commented on this in the 30's with respect to jewish
refugees from eastern europe living in Britain. He noticed that when
there were few immigrants, the normal british civility would quickly
train them to the ideas of trust involved in line waiting, but when
neighborhoods became overwhelmed with easterners, the normally quiet and
polite bus lines quickly devolved into pushing, shoving, shouting and
Because of this, societies which resist becoming 'high trust' societies
will tend to employ high levels of violence in opposing such societies.
In order to overcome such low trust societies, high trust societies must
in many cases meet the level of resistance with a relfective level of
opressive violence until the society is assimilated or else give up on
Here in North and South American, and in Australia as well, the accident
of disease and the 'virgin field' decimated prior societies, while the
introduction of the horse created additional destabilization to the
native society. The native societies faced by europeans, when europeans
actually faced them were generally (not in every case of course) already
drastically different from the societies that existed prior to the
original conquistador period. Midwest tribes had transformed from
stationary agricultural cultures that traded widely and were generally
high trust nations to nomadic buffalo hunting cultures, for example.
Because of these destabilizations, native cultures had become low-trust
cultures that were resistant to returning to the sedentary agricultural
high trust culture of their forebears.
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