Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Where has the golden age gone?

Written in reply to this blog post.

It's easy to think of golden ages in the past primarily because we lack experiences there.  Interpersonal violence has actually been on a long decline for thousands of years, just that it used to be more one-on-one.  The golden democratic age of ancient Greece ended with Socrates and his pupils.  Socrates preached a society run by those who know best--elites.  And he got what he wanted through his pupils who destroyed Athenian democracy.  Which didn't work out very well because they didn't know as much as they thought they did.  Funny he has become a kind of secular god precisely because his anti-democratic idealism fit with the emperors we have lived with since.  So our current rot actually began with ancient Greece.

The golden age democracy of Greece was much more democratic because it was based on lottery, not the rigged elections we have in capitalist democracy.  With elections that money can rig, democracy simply becomes another way we are owned.  The main way elections are rigged is through the media-controlled primaries.  Individualism and individual choice is promoted incessantly, but power-to-the-people actually comes only through solidarity.  Solidarity means real political parties with stakeholders whose success depends on how much they actually deliver to the people, not how much advertising they can buy.  The smoke filled rooms we abolished were actually what made our system work better.  The last golden age was from FDR to Kennedy, and economic elites--especially fossil fuel and war barons--reasserted control starting with the assassination of Kennedy and the rise of movement conservatism.

There's still a chance the Neolithic Revolution will be a success, but it's looking more like the beginning of the end.

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