To Ethan Walters:
Re: http://www.psmag.com/magazines/pacific-standard-cover-story/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

Welcome to the Uncomfortable Enlightenment (or the Dark Enlightenment).

History, Economics and Anthropology have addressed this issue for decades:
RICHARD DUCHESENE: The Uniqueness of Western Civilization
MARIjA GIMBUTAS: (Everything she has written)
SAMUEL HUNTINGTON: Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress.
KAREN ARMSTRONG: The Great Transformation
(Or See the reading list at: propertarianism.com/menu/reading-list/)

We’ve learned that our enlightenment view of humanity is flawed. The purpose of that vision was to justify the taking of political power from the landed aristocracy and the church, by the emerging middle class of northern european merchants.

That political change may have been necessary in order to create the industrial society that we live in. However, the aristocratic view of man and mankind was accurate. And our ‘enlightened’ view of the perfect natural man if only ‘set free’ is simply an error. Man is an animal that must be trained to participate in one society of another.

Our ‘progressive’ view of humanity is flawed as well. The purpose of that vision was to justify the taking of political power by women and the working classes. The ‘progressive view’ was put forth by Marx and Freud.

But as Friedrich Hayek said, the trend in 20th century political ideology, which was the product of Marx and Freud, will eventually be seen as a new era of mysticism – with no basis in fact. In fact, counter-to-fact.

And that will mirror the warnings of most of the great historians: Toynbee, Gibbon, Braudel, Spengler, Quigley, Durant, Burnham, McNeil, Keegan. That we are unique and unique for circumstantial reasons, and that all of science and reason are the product of our uniqueness.

It has only been since the progressive ideology has become received wisdom due to the ‘revisionist history’ put forth by the last generation of academics, and then followed by the collapse of western economic uniqueness, that we have begun to see scientists, and a new generation of academics begin to undermine that ideological view of man.

Welcome to the “Dark Enlightenment”: We are unequal and Western Civ is Unique and impossible to replicate.

Western civ is the product of individualistic aristocratic egalitarianism caused by indo european battle tactics learned as pastoral radiers. Objectivity, debate and science, and the unique western solution to the problems of politics and market are the product of the need to obtain consent from other peers, rather than obey a chosen leader.

Then, the church created individual property rights, and created the universalism which led to the high trust society when it tried to break up the noble families, outlawed cousin marriage, and gave women property rights. Western high trust is a produced within the Hanjal line and the Lotharingian kingdom at the bottom, and the english and scandinavians at the top.

Manorialism: or the ownership of land, and the need for men to demonstrate their conformity and reliability, as well as participate in military when needed, in order to gain access to land, created the protestant ethic. It encourage the working classes to adopt the ethics of the nobility.

Chivalry provided a means for men regardless of land-holding to demonstrate their socials status through service -which is a unique means of status achievement we thing of as ‘heroism’ that no other society has in such abstract, non-familial terms.

The need to ‘keep the east at bay’ using the germans, and therefore preserving german militarism was a intentional choice of the catholic countries. The western high trust society is the product of this aristocratic egalitarian individualism.

Culture is a set of property definitions, property rights, relying upon myths, traditions and rituals to propagate those rights. It is a set of rules for sending status signals. Status signals are those things that we imitate because they give us better access to mates and opportunities. Property definitions vary from the individual to the commons on one axis, and administration of it from the individual to the state on the other. Cultures matter. Our culture matters most. Cultures are not equal, and ours was (not is) unique.

Northern European (protestant) Americans (at least to some degree) carry this ancient aristocratic tradition with them today. It isn’t well understood that the anglo-celtic and german populations were about equal in america until the progressive strategy to take over ‘white’ america through immigration was put in place in the 60′s. (But that’s why American english speech is flatter than UK english – it’s merged with the flatter german tonal structure.)

Americans did not have an ‘aristocracy’ or a landed church to rebel against. There was no opportunity like in europe to create a popular “US vs Them”. We retained our distaste for government, where the europeans saw themselves as taking over the government from the aristocracy and church. Instead, it became feminists and the lower classes against white protestant male culture. This is one of the reasons why other cultures think our male-female relations are ‘businesslike’ rather than intimate and affectionate.

And quite contrary to the revisionist progressive historians, it was not luck that made we westerners successful in our ‘great divergence’. The west was a poorer, less numerous people on the edge of the bronze age who used technology, cooperation, speed and strategy to give their inferior numbers the advantage against an east that was always more brutal, totalitarian, numerous and wealthy.

Americans have the lock on the world’s speculative capital, because we are the people least likely to abuse it through various schemes of privatization. In abstract terms, we own the stock market. and the Brits own the Bond market. The brits lend and the americans risk. You can trust an english speaker or one of the varieties of german speaker with your money. But you pretty much can’t trust anyone else in the world. And that is a cultural value that runs back 4500 years.

We westerners apologize for our conquest and colonialism, but we have spent the past five hundred years dragging humanity out of ignorance, mysticism, totalitarianism and dirt-scratching crushing poverty, hunger and disease. We should not feel guilty for it. We should instead, require others thank us for it. For while we did it sloppily at times, we did it none the less.

(In essence, that’s the Dark Enlightenment philosophy.)

 

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