[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Encourage Singapore To Come Out Of the Stone Age

At 12:39 PM 9/3/96 +0800, Enzo Michelangeli wrote:
> The idea that rights and values can be "natural" is contradicted by
> several thousand years of history, during which absolutism or downright
> tyranny have been well more common than freedom. 

The existence of foot binding in China is not evidence that women's 
feet have no particular natural shape.

> The success of that misleading view in America, and by extension in most
> of the western countries, is largely due to the unfortunate influence of
> [...]

When one engineers bridge, designed according to one theory of 
materials physics, stands up, and another engineers bridge, designed
according to a different theory of material physics, falls
down, does that not suggest that the first engineer knows 
what he is talking about, and the second engineer does not?

> In the real world, freedom is a by-product of a materially prosperous
> society (which is why capitalism generally produces free societies, but
> socialism does not).

First, you have this completely the wrong way around:  Prosperity is
the product of a free society.  For example when the Dutch revolted
from Spain, they were at first poorer than spain.

Secondly there is ample counter evidence:  For example in America
before the european conquest, some Indian societies were extremely
free and others, such as the Incas, had institutions very similar to 
modern totalitarianism, yet their material level was very different 
to today's, and not very different from each others.

Again the Germanic tribes that conquered England had very high levels
of liberty, yet were terribly poor, and the Icelanders of Saga period
Iceland were very free, yet very poor.

> Trying to build a free society by screaming loud
> what the "natural" rights are supposed to be, has no better chances of
> success than [...]

Succeeded the last two times it was tried.

We have the right to defend ourselves	|   http://www.jim.com/jamesd/
and our property, because of the kind	|  
of animals that we are. True law	|   James A. Donald
derives from this right, not from the	|  
arbitrary power of the state.		|   [email protected]