Dirk Droll

If you can’t think for yourself (or believe that you can’t) you prefer to leave the thinking to the traditions into which you were born. If those traditions are well-balanced, you and those around you may benefit from them. But how can you know if they are actually good traditions if you forfeit your ability to think like a smart human and instead live the instinctive life of an animal that lives its preprogrammed life? Don’t you throw away the greatest gift of humanity, the ability to evaluate, analyze, and improve things?

The theme I am discussing in this short piece is one of the two main pillars of Republican-co-opted conservatism: the placement of tradition over thinking. (Blind faith in authority is the other.) I am not saying that conservatism is bad. Good things deserve to be preserved. But do bad things deserve to be preserved, too? I don’t think so.

The good thing we should preserve above all is the ancient commitment to goodness, the dedication for a good life for all, at least all who don’t act against this principle. This principle of cooperation, community, and camaraderie is what allowed humanity to survive in a hostile wilderness world of eat and be eaten. It also allowed it to gradually develop a world more suitable for human survival: a world where dangerous animals are kept in check, a world of clean running water and sewage systems, reliable food production, comfortable housing, powerful medicine, information technology, and many more useful things. This human-made world even sports automation which could free us all from unpleasant chores instead of casting many of us into unemployed poverty — if only we still lived by the ancient human covenant, the principle of cooperation, justice, fairness, participatory decision making, or – simply put – a good life for all.

This principle has however been thrown out of the window by “conservative” political parties and their followers, and by so-called liberal parties and their followers as well. Therefore, the goal to create a world that is committed to a good life for all is both the ideal conservative AND the logical progressive goal: the goal to conservatively preserve what little is left of it and progressively restore and improve on what has been lost of it. It’s the natural main goal for all decent people. It’s the principle around which a sensible people’s party or people’s coalition and a people’s movement can form, putting aside restrictive labels like conservative and progressive and focusing on what makes sense.

The one thing we should honor and follow as a tradition is the ability of Americans to challenge old notions, reject evil systems, and fight for a good one, like our founding fathers did. Is there anything more American than this? Aren’t we proud of this heritage and haven’t we been admired by the whole world for this for many generations following the American Revolution whose slogans are repeated worldwide to this day? Americans like Mark Twain used to travel the globe, spread the American notion of liberty by democracy, and be welcomed everywhere with open arms and loving hearts. We were the freethinkers of the world which made us the Shining Beacon of Hope.

We now live in an age where traditional political parties have become corrupt tools of a horrid global ruling class of oligarchic plutocrats (called robber billionaires by me) who eat democracy for breakfast and rob us all blind, out of a tradition of unfettered greed which developed in their aristocratic predecessors’ past. It is high time to replace those corrupted parties (and their awful tradition of callous and destructive avarice) with a people’s unity formed around the profoundly human and time-honored principle of a good life and voice that matters for all, a concept not unlike the founding principles of our nation.

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Dirk Droll is the publisher, main writer, and senior editor of Beanstock’s World.

Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash

Comments (9)
No. 1-9
Dirk Droll
Dirk Droll

Editor

You could simply google my "unsupported assertions".

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

I'm not trolling you Dirk, and I'm not foolish enough to want your instruction in anthropology, or anything else for that matter. As far as I understand it your premise is: Before the age of writing (roughly 5k years ago) tribes lived in harmony. To quote you: "This principle of cooperation, community, and camaraderie is what allowed humanity to survive in a hostile wilderness world of eat and be eaten". My question is pretty basic; if there was no written record how are you able to make suppositions about the daily behavior of "primitive tribes" that supports your hypothesis, and what is your evidence for these suppositions? If you make statements and present them as factual, you need to be prepared to defend them as such. Since you haven't done so I'm forced to conclude those statements are NOT factual. Until I see the evidence I remain unconvinced. Perhaps if I knew you better I would be willing to take your unsupported assertions as a given; but I don't and I won't. This is how rational people have a discussion. So, once more, where's your evidence?

Dirk Droll
Dirk Droll

Editor

Please educate yourself and stop heckling people from a position of ignorance. This site is intended for intelligent debates (which requires some pre-existing knowledge), not trolling. It is not my task to teach you a course of anthropology. When you know nothing about it and choose just to doubt and challenge everything, no matter how well established it is, then discussion cannot proceed.

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

How would taking a random "primitive tribe" from today be in anyway relevant to how tribes behaved 4,000 years ago? To say so suggests that all "primitive tribes" are the same to you and/or that they don't learn and adapt over time. Both of which are extremely high-handed suppositions, to say the least, if not downright offensive. It's up to you support your hypothesis, that's how science works. It's not up to me to prove it for you. That's NOT how science works. So prove it. Where's your evidence?

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

So you're saying that before records of any kind were kept that humans lived in egalitarian tribes in which they cooperated and shared with each other to meet the challenges of living outdoors. And you know this how? The archaeological record supports small tribal groups to some degree, but there's not much I've seen that could be used to support your premises of behavior within the tribe. Even Otzi (sp?) the Iceman, one of very few frozen prehistorical bodies that have been recovered, had been shot in the back with an arrow and had defensive cuts on his hands as well as bruising on his head and cracked ribs. You should try being hungry sometime and see how well that agrees with your ideas of egalitarian tribal society. Give me examples of what you're talking about; and not just "back before writing everybody was nice to each other because I say so". You weren't there, where's your evidence? Pretend I'm from Missouri. Show Me.

Dirk Droll
Dirk Droll

Editor

"Just in Twain's lifetime The United States fought LOTS of Indian Wars, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, ..."

That's true, and the kind of things Mark Twain fought and I fight against whereas you support them, apparently.

"History shows vanishingly few examples society-wide fairness, justice, participatory decision making and cooperation."

You are not looking back far enough. Our written history is nothing more than a blink of an eye at the tail end of humanity's past. Most generations lived before writing, cities, and agriculture. They lived as tribes, highly egalitarian in their social structure, and cooperation with constant sharing is what permitted them to survive in hostile wilderness environments. Human-to-human hostility developed mostly between tribes fighting over territories and natural resources. It is those dark instincts which float to the top in our modern societies with their human-upon-human predation outlook created by bullies in our agricultural-city-living past who created slave-states, aristocracies, and our modern plutocracy. Yes, a dark element exists in human beings, but making it the dominant one is both lopsided (and highly destructive) and unnatural for a species that has lived most of its generations in a coperative and sharing manner on a daily basis with only occasional inter-tribal conflicts. You shouldn't cherry-pick the last brief spate in human history when things went terribly wrong to justify our current mess as natural.

There is a dark and a good side in all of us. Most prefer the good side. The dark side is destroying human survivability. So, picking the dark side over the good side is not a good choice.

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

I have to ask; what is it about civilization that makes you think that "the principle of cooperation, justice, fairness, participatory decision making ,or – simply put – a good life for all" is "an ancient human covenant"? History shows vanishingly few examples society-wide fairness, justice, participatory decision making and cooperation. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Tahiti before Fletcher Christian got there; and chances are I'm wrong and just don't know enough about Tahiti. The only really ancient human covenant I know is "screw them before they screw you". Civilization breaks out when people realize it's better to screw the other guy lightly for a long time, rather than really hard just once. A government which manages to moderate this innate human tendency, keeps major conflicts from breaking out, fixes the roads, provides enough water and wheat for this year and the next, and does it all with the minimum of screwing it's own citizens is about the best we can hope for. The utopia of you write of does not, did not, and probably cannot, exist. I have to admit though "Americans like Mark Twain used to travel the globe, spread the American notion of liberty by democracy, and be welcomed everywhere with open arms and loving hearts. We were the freethinkers of the world which made us the Shining Beacon of Hope" is a nice theatrical touch. It's a buncha crap though. Just in Twain's lifetime The United States fought LOTS of Indian Wars, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the Mexican American War, a religious war with Mormons, the Kansas Border War, the Philipine American War, and nearly got into another war with Britain over a pig. This is only what I can think of right now and I'm leaving off a lot of Banana wars and one or two things in China because I'm not certain of the particulars. "Welcomed everywhere with open arms and loving hearts" indeed. Here bud, these are for you in case your current pair breaks.

Philip Carino
Philip Carino

It's ok to be a conservative as long as you also employ discernment in your every day life, especially in important things such as politics, societal changes, family, and anything that affects the future generations


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