This is not one of those “wake up and march up to DC posts.” I will confess that standing by the Liberty bell and being told there’s a legend if it rings again the revolution will happen, I started studying ways to make it ring. “If I crawled under there” — this was the early two thousands, though. And it was a moment. I’m a crazy libertarian, (which I found out yesterday in a comment thread I was mentioned in, might mean I’m for more regulations. Okay, to be fair, though the person who said it knows me, I don’t know if they know I’m a libertarian. They probably heard the SJWs whine that I was a fascist, and thence to thinking I want more regulations it’s less than a step. Sometimes I grow very tired, you know?) but I know we rolled the dice once, and if we did it again there might be no miracle at Philadelphia.
None of which means the time might not come. There are things a free people can’t tolerate and remain free, and as little interest as I have in living through a revolution (again) I have even less interest in living in Venezuela.
But as much as we get furious and as bad as things get, the time is not yet. There’s still time to row this little boat back from the edge of the waterfall, without drastic measures. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t studied what went on during Woodrow Wilson’s tenure, or FDR’s either. And you’re not aware of the difference technology makes to the way people relate to the state, and/or you might believe that regulation of technology sticks.
Which brings me to the point of this post (what, less than a page in! I want a medal.)
Yesterday Charlie linked on Facebook some environmentalist or other being jealous of his friend who was so sure of global warming he’s moving to Ireland and waiting for climatemaggedon.
What struck me is how much this sounds like many people on our side. “I’m going to move to Montana and collect guns and food, because the zombie apocalypse is on the way.”
There are many factors that go into that sort of attitude and one absolutely is aging. As a world we have an aging population, particularly in the literate, writing parts. (And in the other parts they’re probably messing with the numbers, because they’re net recipients of “international help” per capita, of course.
Since Ecclesiastes we’ve been aware of people wanting to crawl into a hole and pull the world in after them.
And everyone gets like that every once in a while. And absolutely times are tough, and our leadership hates us.
When I was thirty one, I sat on my back porch on a lovely summer day, reading Reason magazine. The issue was devoted to debunking global warming. And suddenly, like a weight lifting, I realized there really wasn’t proof. That it wasn’t preordained that my generation would be the last to have a decent life on Earth. That my kids and grandkids (I only had one kid at the time, and he was still nursing) wouldn’t necessarily be doomed. That the future wasn’t all doom and gloom.
And I realized my entire life I’d lived in the shadow of the fear of decay and death. First there was the cold war, and sooner or later, the bombs would fly. We’d die screaming. Then there was overpopulation. If we escaped the bomb, we’d all starve to death. Or thirst to death (thank you, Paul Ehrlich!) Then there was global cooling. We were all going to freeze in the ice age. Then there was global warming.
Amid all these threats, how could we escape.
To watch the thing debunked and to see it pointed out that even the proponents of AGW don’t live like they believe in it lifted a weight from my heart.
Since then I’ve been skeptical of the end of the world prophecies.
Once you poke into them, they melt at the touch. Even overpopulation seems to be a paper tiger, because we have no exact data, and can’t really have. In the countries we have an easy look into the population growth is plummeting, and there’s whispers from the countries that report the population growing by leaps and bounds, that it’s not. Now, whether that’s good or bad, it’s a matter of “yes” but we’re not all going to die in population mageddon. Not now and possibly not ever.
And the various ecological disasters are so much less than advertised and forest cover in North America is now more than when the colonists from Europe first arrived.
As for the growth of government and the boot on our neck, and are we moving to more or less freedom that’s also a “yes”. As with the mess in publishing, the wounded beast trashes harder, but the technology is against centralization/standardization/concentration. In fact, the opposite of the technology that gave us the statist regimes of the nineteenth and twentieth century. And how we live influences our politics.
Only it won’t be instant, nothing is instant. And you might not see it. But your kids and grandkids likely will. Or someone’s kids and grandkids. Humans, like us.
And then they’ll have THEIR own challenges. Their own fights.
The good news, and I want you to realize that, is that there is no reason we should be poorer/less free/worse off in the future.
While religion preordains a collapse and judgement, I was taught that is individual, for each soul. And that much is true. You will, one day, day. Later than your ancestors. Possibly earlier than your descendants, but die you will. You knew that right? That’s why individuals invest themselves in things bigger than themselves: their work, their descendants, the human race itself.
And for those bigger things?
There is no predestined gloom. Take a deep breath.
You live in the most prosperous era humans have ever known and all your problems would make your ancestors wish theirs were so light.
Yeah, you have to fight. Being human is to strive. You’re not living in heaven or an earthly paradise.
There will always be challenges and there will always be some defeat.
But ULTIMATELY? That has not been written.
Leave it to the left, an ideology of absolutes, to lament and be depressed because utopia can’t happen. Let them rage that they’re aging without seeing the socialist paradise. Let them hate humanity for falling short of their dreams.
We are human and own ourselves as such, and strive for the best while acknowledging the worst in us. We know nothing on Earth is perfect, but we strive for improvement. And we love and hope in others, as well as ourselves, so it’s easy to take the long view to a better future. And to work to bring it about, day by day, knowing we’ll never see the completed work.
Wake up! Turn around. That gloom you’re staring at is only one direction, and not fatally determined.
It’s not preordained we will lose, but it’s not preordained we will. The future is ours to make.
Wake up. And then get to work.