Traditional China as a counterexample to "spikism"

Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 08:36:41 MDT

In a message dated 4/4/01 2:11:42 PM Central Daylight Time,

> Greg Burch wrote,
> > This long history of stasis stands as the
> > most important counter-example to the kind of self-sustaining social and
> > technical progress that lies at the heart of modern Western culture.
> So, first they went for the dynastic model, then they fell for Marxism.
> Could
> it be they have a genetic predilection to mass socio-genic illness?

This seems like a "great leap" (pardon the pun). Today there are millions of
examples of people of completely Han Chinese genetic heritage who are totally
acculturated to various pluralistic Western ways of living. Further, there
are tens of thousands of examples of Han Chinese individuals who were born
and raised in China, but who now reject both traditional Confucian culture
and ideas and the very recent Chinese dalliance with Marxism.

While there may have been some genetic selection factors operating over the
roughly 2500 years of Confucianism's reign in China, I think the example of
China's stasis stands for the power of culture in human affairs. Larry
Niven's "ARM" is an example of a similar idea in SF. The long sweep of
China's history stands for the proposition that humans CAN have a "high"
culture that does NOT inevitably result in a self-sustaining "take-off" into
accelerating scientific and technological progress.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:49 MDT