Amerika

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You can have one of two types of society: (1) where the strong eat the weak, and (2) where the weak eat the strong.

The first is Darwinism. The second is egalitarianism.

We can moralize about these, or talk about how they make us feel, but there are advantages to each. In the first, competence gradually increases. In the second, diversity and plurality and tolerance all increase, but competence declines. Think of your favorite tropical island paradise as described by National Public Radio.

“The villagers spend their days picking fruit, resting in the sun, swimming and hunting for fish and crabs in the tidal pools which line the white-sand beaches. Wearing colorful clothing, they dedicate most of their time to socializing, and are known as the friendliest and most open people on earth. Visitors are surprised to find themselves gifted with prized possessions and even family members by these generous, gregarious people whose lives are governed by the pursuit of pleasure more than efficiency.”

On the surface, it sounds very peaceful and comfortable. A little more analysis shows that for anyone with the ability to have more out of life than fruit salad and crab cakes, this life must be maddening. A society without the impulse to learn, grow, conquer, develop, evolve and improve. In other words, a stagnant place in the grips of entropy, made comfortable and colorful because it has given up on everything else.

Europeans grew strong when we valued excellence and supremacy. That is: we applied high standards, based in real-world consequences, across the board, and in so doing, taught our people vigorously in the ways of reality and how to discover it. The strong ate the weak, yes, meaning that those with no excellence to offer had a hard time of it, but in turn, they had a more stable society.

With democracy we switched to the third world system, weak-eat-strong, in which whoever can successfully conjure up the image of himself as a victim will get priority over everyone else. As a result, our standards have fallen and our mass culture now produces utter garbage, our government incompetents, and our business, trivial amusements. Maybe having the weaker get eaten was not such a bad idea after all.

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