Perhaps it’s being human, but we always seem to take the wrong lessons from wars or big events.
From World War I we took the idea that nationalism was bad and led to war. From World War II we added the bit not only that nationalism was bad — a reinforcement of it — but that it was particularly bad if those nations were based on blood and soil. Though lately we seem to be going after those that aren’t either.
Yeah, WWII had the side effect of stopping the runaway fascination with eugenics for a time at least. Then again, maybe it didn’t, because you know, lately the left has been returning to it, again, like a dog to its vomit, wanting to fund abortions in the third world and generally believing race equals culture, and that they should suppress or eliminate anyone they disagree with.
The Cold War…
The Cold War first seduced us with the idea that if only we were reasonable, and conceded a little more, somehow the people who wanted to step on a human face forever and those who stepped on the face could get along.
And the dismount on that one… Dear Lord. As much as I’m grateful that we ended the Cold war without a nuclear conflict, as much as I’m grateful to Ronald Reagan — yes, it was him. No, it wasn’t the Soviets. What they teach the kids these days should get everyone who goes along with this whipped through the streets — for bringing the Soviet Union to its economic knees without letting them take the Earth with them…
Well, it never fully exposed the horrors of communism. And part of that might be because by that time communists had taken over the media, the entertainment and education in the West, so there was no one to expose the errors of communism.
The other part of it is that the West somehow got the idea that everyone really could get along, that (and this possibly before the end of the cold war) if we just did business with people, they would change their authoritarian ways, and eventually would become just like us.
I don’t think China has become just like us. And look, I understand the part where yeah, they’re marginally saner than under the Cultural Revolution. Maybe. But at the expense of our companies collaborating in enslaving the Chinese people, and then getting ideas about enslaving us.
Look, there is something you can say about markets. Well, there is a ton of things you can say. One of them is that of course manufacturing will move to where labor is cheaper, and that cheap manufacturing (in China, mostly) has flooded the west with cheap goods, which in turn have made our lives richer.
On the other hand…
China has continued being China. Giving them a ton of business might have made the country somewhat richer, but most of their riches seem to be invested in ghost towns where no one lives, even while most peasants there still live like medieval peasants or worse.
The fundamental values haven’t changed. The fundamental lack of respect for human life hasn’t changed. And it’s not just that they’re being worse colonists than we ever were in Africa, that’s the most disturbing thing.
It’s stuff like the exhibit with “plasticized” human bodies that made the tour of museums. We know — we KNOW — those bodies came from China and are probably, mostly political prisoners. But everyone in the west was going on about how neat it was. Even when they were told.
China didn’t change… but we did.
Which is why Google — Motto
Don’t Be Evil — is perfectly okay with controlling the peasants in China, and really wants to bring it here.
Worse, China gave the left an escape hatch after the Cold War ended. They could tell themselves that the Soviet Union had been bad, but hey, look, China worked out, and they were still communist. Look how well communism could work.
I can’t possibly be the only person in the world to notice that for the last twenty years the left has had a China-hard-on. We needed to be more organized, like China. We needed to control our population better, like China. We Should build big, like China. The future was China’s. We lived in the past.
Of course it’s none of that. We don’t need to look very deeply to know that beyond China’s propaganda, China is a mess at every possible — and some should-be impossible — levels.
If their noses are rubbed in it, the left will make the same noises about it that it made about China. Anything bad about the regime is the underlying culture.
Look, I’m willing to admit that Chinese culture and history is often — though not always — sheer horror marinated in tears. And Russia … well. It’s a harsh land with a love affair with authoritarianism.
And yet, you know, communism took both lands to heights of horror and waste that the previous regimes could only dream of. It was horror by the numbers.
It turns out the only thing communism is efficient at is creating poverty and killing people in batch lots. Heck, it manages to make even Latin America efficient at these things, even though culturally Latin culture and efficiency shouldn’t be found in the same place at the same time.
In the end, you know, the evil is not nationalism. Evil is not even pride in one’s race (only if it comes with eugenics delusions that put every other race down. I mean, I don’t see much reason to be proud of one’s race — or sex — because it’s like being proud of having great hair or nice hands. It’s a genetic accident and you did nothing for it. But some people have nothing else to be proud of, after all.) And evil is not to want to have borders and allow people who live in a country to control their own country. Nor does doing business with evil redeem it. it is more likely to taint you.
Evil is to regard humans as things and want them to fit like cogs in the machinery of a vast totalitarian regime. An extra layer of evil is to want to perfect those humans, to change them, to make them “perfect” so they can bring about utopia.
What we should have learned from the 20th century is that it really doesn’t matter if you think everyone should be controlled and the people with bad genes eliminated so the future will be wonderful, or if you think everyone should be controlled and the people with bad opinions eliminated so that the future will be wonderful.
What matters is that any government which wants to control every possible facet of human life, and make humans behave in ways that go directly against every characteristic of humanity is evil. And none of this is made better when the totalitarian dellusions are carried by companies who try to get the government to do all of this.
Perhaps we should consider that when the government through regulation and propaganda insists that women should be given not just preference but every possible incentive to take the role of men, when the government steps in to take the role of families. When the government, through its education branch, teaches our boys they’re evil because they have a penis, or demand that white people disappear or live in subjection, for the crime of not tanning.
And the companies who collaborate with the evil of other lands and try to impose it here are in fact agents of that government, and equally evil. Oh, and corrupting our governance along with it.
The lesson should always be: It’s wrong to hurt people and to take their stuff.
Yes, there are exceptions to that — self defense coming to mind, or the kind of hurt surgeons inflict on the way to healing — but the evil does remain, and shouldn’t be ignored. Remembering the evil in these things, the price and the taint, might just keep one from crazy utopian schemes. Which in turn might keep governments from going totalitarian.
Life is not always black and white. But you shouldn’t look at gray and pretend it’s white, either. You should be aware of the grubbiness in it.
Because once you start ignoring the price and thinking that with just a little more push, a little more control over those dumb people — be they your countrymen who disagree with you, or those people who look funny, or the foreigners over there who live in some way they shouldn’t, or … whatever — you can build utopia, that’s the way to hell.
Every time that’s the way to hell.
Don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff. And it’s not any more moral if you do it in a big group, and if everyone thinks it’s neato-keen.
Or if “all” you’re doing is mobbing people on twitter and making it impossible for them to earn a living.
All of that is bad, and you’re still evil.
And you should stop. Because everything has a price. And the bill will come due.