On: The Suicide of the West.
Date: April 2018
Background: Columnist and author of The Suicide of the West.
- Capitalism and democracy are at risk in the current contentious political environment.
- We take for granted “the miracle”:
- The transformation of the standard of living in the democracies with market economies
- Unless we actively work to preserve our political and economic systems, the forces of populism, nationalism, and tribalism will work steadily to destroy them.
- Microcosm versus macrocosm:
- Microcosm: families function under socialist norms, tribes (sharing, top down).
- Macrocosm: societies function under capitalist norms (contractual, bottom up).
- Dangers of tribalism:
- Reassertion of human nature: I don’t like artificial constraints on my human desires and on my desire for my group to be victorious.
- Whether it’s nationalism, or socialism, or populism.
- Most fundamental form of human corruption.
- Having tribes or factions is fine, what’s wrong is when government takes sides.
- Danger is increase in government power / regulations.
- Awareness of dangers, gratitude for being born now (increased health & wealth), sharing ideas (rhetoric matters) [not wholly convincing].
- If ultimate danger is enlisting the government, then make government smaller and more local – at least the outcomes become more visible.
- Families function under socialist norms (sharing, top down); societies function under capitalist norms (contractual, bottom up).
- If government becomes more invasive, make government smaller and more local: at least the outcomes become more visible.