Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Modern Jacksonian - Chapter 5 - Progress not just change

We live forever in a changing world, and that is something that everyone must get used to. The weather changes, constantly, as do seasons, day follows night, and so forth. The natural world is full of process and change, as everything does as it needs to do to survive, thrive, prosper and keep going. Change is generally neutral in the natural world, save if one is on the receiving end of a shark attack or attack by a carnivorous predator. Or if an amoeba gets in your system! Pound for pound the deadliest creature on the planet is the amoeba. That said, that is process change - change as part of an ongoing process to lead to continuation of the balance of things. It has been going on for quite some time and, so long as we don't do some Terraforming, should remain going on for quite some time yet. What change usually isn't is directional via intention. While elephants may deforest large sections of Africa to turn them into savanna and then deserts, that is part of the life cyclical change which has direction only via non-conscious decisions. When consciousness gets added, then change can have a direction to it.

The move over the past few decades has been one of greater communications and integration of idea space as seen in the Internet and the idea of a Global Village. This has been enhanced by modern transportation via jet aircraft, which has reduced the time to go from one part of the globe to a point on the other side of it in less than a day. These are two radical and profound changes to the world and requires a re-examination of what Nation means in an era in which vast oceans are no longer moats and problems to overcome, but mere crossing points to individuals on the move. This modern era of interconnection first arose on the older systems of National companies and then moved to International companies with long and far reach as the means and methods for communication and transportation allowed such to be established. With good and reliable communications and timely transport of goods, entire industries that had been purely localized became global in scope. Today both of those things are faster and more reliable than ever before and offer means to ensure communications on a global scale for low or even trivial cost. Likewise the regularity of shipping has reduced the overhead on such and actually sped it up so that distribution of goods with minimal overhead is now possible.

Together these have ended the idea-space of American Isolationism. The pre-modern Jacksonian, all the way up to the 1960's, could utilize Isolationism in the 'go along, get along' attitude by putting forth that such vast distances meant that there was little in the way of repercussions when the Nation did not act in ways and means to secure itself overseas. From Washington the idea of not being in 'entangling alliances' was and is a good one, as the Nation should be free to chart its own course in the ways of freedom. Stepping into the post-WWII era, Jacksonians acknowledged that the post-war work needs be done and that Communism had gained reach to harm the US, although not *grasp* to take it. Early years of that bipolar world meant that steadfast preparedness, which Jacksonians had always put forth as means to secure the Nation, was continued. That said the means, via conscription, was NOT the favored way by Jacksonians as this is a Nation of Free Individuals and each should determine their course for themselves without having to do work for the Nation unless it is *voluntary*. Even though the idea of global reach for warfare was eroding isolationism, the concept of global *grasp* had not been fully shown. Isolationism was still a bulwark of Jacksonian thought, even if it meant a lesser sort of diplomatic distance from the world.

What did and does disgust the Jacksonians of that and this era, is that the Nation, once putting forth to defend a Friend and Ally, did not do so. That is pure dishonor upon the Nation that cannot stand by its word and would feed those we ally with to the wolves. For Jacksonians that is pure and utter deceit and dishonor and any political party that took part in that was something that Jacksonians found distasteful and anathema to them. The message of 'acceptable defeat' is one not in the Jacksonian space of ideas nor ideals, for themselves or the Nation. Further the amount of pure change in the world was slowly eroding the last bastion of Isolationism, thus leading to the quite repugnant conclusion that the Nation could no longer sit at home and just deal with threats as they arrived. And those threats were becoming more and more pointed and with the pace of global technological change increasing, the sudden diminishing of time for travel and communications was increasing the severity of what could once be seen as purely trivial threats into something far, far more deadly.

That is the consequences of unbridled change without directivity to it: increasing chaos.

Chaos itself can give rise to form and capability, as the uncertainty of effects have shown be it from the actual nature of light or to the far reaching consequences of ideas in the public sphere. Investigation into the former led to expansion of the realm of the latter, so that even with better understanding of chaos, comes an increase of its reach even as we understand it just barely a bit better. That being said the larger scales that form activities and works amongst mankind can utilize those very chaotic concepts so as to put a framework of understanding around them and learn the limitations of such chaos. With Einstein having decried the idea that 'God would not play dice with the universe' the other side put forth that this was not only the basis of it, but the dice, at least, were not 'loaded'. Chaos on the small scale is delimited in the physical sciences, although they can have unknown large scale impacts when not accounted for. That is something known as 'uncertainty' of knowledge, and is something that must be lived with by everyone from the simplest of animals to Nation States.

By being able to understand chaos and find out what its implications actually are, some idea of how those interactions play out can be had. Chaotic action, in far off lands, that were seen as suppressing liberty and freedom were no threat to the United States as the great Oceans on either side served as dampers and lessened the effects of those things by lengthening time and distance between this Nation and others. As the time to ship and communicate dropped, the effect of the dampening was lessened, year on year, until the chaotic actions abroad could have short term ramifications at home. The Global Village started to tighten up and Jacksonians found that the new 'neighbors' were not the best sort of folks one would like to have in the neighborhood. Jacksonians, by and large, love tinkering and all things mechanical and honest work to make things, so that a better life can be constructed. From Yankee tinkerer to Southern distiller to Texan rangeman to Alaskans preparing for the winter, Jacksonians acclimate and adapt to the world, even if some of the places we end up are not the best around, they can be made 'liveable'.

Having to deal with the neighbors, on the other hand...

Somehow the grand idea that bringing people closer together will actually make them palatable for society is something that just doesn't seem to be the way of things. Better to 'live and let live' and, so long as things are kept to a dull roar and none harmed, then there is no reason to go being a busybody trying to make everyone get along. If you can't do it in your parish or neighborhood, then how, pray tell, can you do it on a global scale? A world of 'peace and harmony' will only come about when the sun engulfs the planet: then being in harmony with fusion reactions is very, very easy to accomplish. So long as the neighbors are 'civil' and not being overactive busybodies, then let them do as they like. The entire Nation State arrangement is set up on JUST those terms. And as the Global Village started to come into being in the 1980's and 1990's, Jacksonians realized that this view of neighborhood for oneself is perfectly applicable. Works just fine as an idea and concept and one can work with neighbors or ignore them as you please...

The second thing is that some of the neighbors were thugs, gangsters, thieves, miscreants and outright barbarians that did not understand the term of 'civility'. Even worse is that they had means to get around the Village which was getting tighter together and so while they might be from the other side of town, the town itself was smaller. And the outcome that was first tried by the 'Progressivists' at the beginning of the 20th century, to use some sort of larger body OVER all these Sovereign Nations, just wasn't worth a damn. Actually made things worse with the police castigating the law abiding folks for minor things and letting murder, robbery, mayhem and slavery go unaddressed in any meaningful way. When the civil folks are castigated for tossing their gum on the sidewalks and the folks with weapons are mugging, killing, raping and extorting others and given a blind eye, you *know* that there is just something damned wrong with the system itself. That ideal of a League of Nations or UN or other super-duper Transnational body to make and enforce laws is a failure before it even starts as it will not put forth that tyranny must be *ended* and that Free People must choose their own course in life with the barest minimum of interference.

Now, about some of those neighborhoods... the ones with little in the way of actually being nice to folks, they are also neighbors, but not so good ones. They are stuck under systems that do not afford them personal freedom as all Power comes down from the State and not up from the People. In the days of Isolationism, that wouldn't matter too much, even when those in control would rant, rave and carry on about those of us living in the good neighborhoods. Distance, however, has brought them to more than just earshot and they have gotten into the roving gangs of the terrorist concept, to cause murder, mayhem and generally intimidate the other neighborhoods. By not affording say to their own People and using the power they have to intimidate them, there is not much they can do. Outside of those areas we can demonstrate to have better governments there, but, unless the government actually goes to *attack* us, those folks are left up to their own devices. A stark choice is presented between those neighborhoods that have agreeable law and have governments that are accountable, and those that impose law and have unaccountable governments. The rights of their People to be heard are suppressed and there is very little that can be done about it.

Unless, that is, one places any stock in the idea of the Universality of the Rights of Man as Individual. Here and again, the idea of Nations adhering to the things their People adhere to is a prime mover for this Nation called America. Growing up in 'The Land of the Free' makes us forget what it means to be under the boot of a tyrant or suppressed for one's religious outlook or mere ethnicity. We do hear much about that, in this day and age, but the difference between things like racism of the US *today* and that of places like Serbia, Rwanda, Darfur and India *today* are stark: the US has practical freedom and the discrimination is social with only long lasting endemic problems due to lagging acculturation while in these other places you end up dead. That is the difference between being Civilized and handling things as a society and being Barbarian and killing those unlike you because they ARE unlike you. The 'repression' of the US is that of cultures unwilling to break with dependence upon Nation to support them in poverty while that of these other places are people in fear of their lives. Truly this 'repression' of the US is quite minor compared to 'ethnic cleansing' in other parts of the world, that goes by the name of Genocide.

It is those sorts of differences that are played down by a part of American society and made not even equivalent, but EQUAL. Lagging culture is equal to individuals killed en mass because they are different. That juxtaposition is in no way helping build a 'more perfect Union' inside the Nation nor in how to deal with such situations outside the Nation. When two things that are patently unequal are made out to BE equal, the rest of Civilization slides away from building up and finds itself sliding into decay and destruction. That is exactly what is seen in those regions of the world with that other sort of 'repression': many dead bodies piled up in mass killings. And yet, even with that, this Neighborhood idea is still in place because although they have attacked the Rights of those in their own place they have left Ours alone. In truth the job of those with Freedom is to safeguard their own, first and foremost.

That goes far back into US history and is a prime foundation for it: leaving other noxious places alone if they do not bother us. They do bother our conscience, but we recognize that the place of America is *not* to right the wrongs of the world but to show that path to a better world than what we have by those things we DO. Thusly those that seek to show America as absolutely imperfect because it strives for perfection that cannot be reached then should turn around and apply that exact, same scale and say how little others even get as far as America. But there is no seriousness in that outlook and it immediately turns and, instead, cites that 'you have looked for perfect tyranny and gotten it so we may not criticize you for your low standards of repression and death'.

That is not helping to build 'a more perfect Union' and looks to some fantasy world where perfection of liberty can be achieved, when we are told time and again that it is a process to be sustained. There is no 'cultural equivalence' between those cultures asserting perfect tyranny and those asserting imperfect liberty. Not once nor ever. If there was than any of the 'repressed' here, in America, would gladly switch places with one of the 'repressed' in those areas that have more finality of outcome. If they ARE equal, then there would be no difference as death due to bigotry and hatred of the other would be just the same. Somehow those mass killings don't show up in America all that often. Hard to find mass graves with 300,000 dead in them due to a tyrant on a rampage, and the bodies left unmarked and just buried. With some few buried alive, no doubt.

It is that difference between these 'repressions', these cultural outlooks, that marks the difference between mere change and progress. Both look to change the status of individuals, but on the one hand it is up to a better life through self-achievement within society and on the other a change of life state from living to dead. Both are change. One is progress.

There are those changes which open up freedom and liberty in this nasty neighborhood of Nations on this Earth. And there are changes which also close them down with finality to those involved. Directionless change, without goal nor without looking towards long term sustainment of human freedom is chaos itself. Change for changes sake.

Change can be given direction for good and ill. We see the outcomes of that every day with those wishing to remove freedom and liberty fighting those wishing to maintain and sustain it. Americans would much rather stick to their knitting, have amicable relations with everyone and live and let live. We are forced to admit, as Americans, that the rest of the world isn't up to that standard yet. Still, that is not cause for the Nation to take action, save when it is attacked. Then such attackers must be held accountable and if they break down on agreements they must be seen as unworthy of being trusted and brought down. That is the Sovereign Accountability which is the Right of any Nation to have, when other Nations break their word.

Where America is different from other Nations is that the People of the Nation have great leeway to do things to alleviate the suffering of others even when the Nation, as a whole, cannot. The greatest amount given in time, energy and sheer cash via donation in this world is from Americans as Individuals, supporting diverse needs and charity across the world to help others in making it a better place. That is not only the view of America it is the Right of Americans, as Individuals to do that. As Individuals we do not trust Our Government to do more than a very few things to safeguard liberty and freedom at home. Mostly because governments are incompetent and unable to adapt faster to needs than the People are. Also the People demand direct accountability to ensure that their gifts are utilized as those putting forth for such say they will use them. Those that do not find an *end* to funding from Individuals as they become aware of the abuse of their giving. Above and beyond that Americans bestir themselves to go to other lands and help directly in the making of liberty for others.

That is more than building labor movements and such of the famed Red Communist sort. Instead Americans *build* places where commonality may be had to form greater community. In the early century of this Nation that meant churches and schools, and then later helping to expand schooling to include basic civic responsibility to oneself and their neighbors. Many of the first Universities seen in many lands across this Earth were made by Americans offering education to the bright without regard to race or status. That was seen as a good and noble thing to do so as to uplift Peoples as individuals. The beliefs of those Americans were many and varied, and yet their teaching and helping the poor and sick, and gave outlook as to what sort of People these Americans *are*.

Even beyond that Americans have helped others fight for their liberty and freedom, not only through care packages, donations, building of hospitals and schools and places of worship, but directly. Americans who believe that other People should be free and have liberty have gone on their own to fight, and often die on foreign soil. From the Greek Civil War to separate from the Ottoman Empire to this very day in many spots across the globe, Americans in uniform and under private cognizance fight and die to help others to gain liberty and know the dear cost to hold it is in the blood of tyrants and patriots. That tells more about Americans than any labor union or cathedral built: Americans come and place ourselves in the line of fire to protect the innocents even when our Government cannot help. And while the Government may not particularly like that, it does *not* exercise the powers given to it in this realm and so We the People must and reclaim that right for ourselves. And remind our Government that we are damned if we do not support the spark of liberty in freedom in far off lands because that gives light and civilization to this sorry Earth of ours.

That, too, is something Jacksonians understand: helping your neighbors that ask help of you. A battered wife or man fallen from his ladder finds aid and succor and help. And those trying to chase down our friends and neighbors that we come together with had damned well be ready to fight *us* if they wish to fight *them*. We aid liberty and try to find those most worthy, if not most skilled, in bringing that to other lands. Often Americans will pass the artful speaker for the simple man who just says: 'I need help, can you spare a dime?' When the handout is *assumed* it is an affront to kindness and our ability as individuals to judge who is worthy of help. And when it is from overseas none can demand our pity, but those in piteous circumstances we work to help out often with our lives. That makes us something known as a 'good neighbor'.

By showing we are willing to back change for the better, change for the better is given chance to flourish.

By opposing change for the worse, we show that it will be curbed when it threatens us or when it threatens the ideal of liberty and freedom.

For that is progress.

Not mere progressivism, but the real deal of progress.

Because if Americans don't help to make change go for the better, we see many others who are working in the opposite direction.

Those are the enemy of Our Ideals, as a People.

And surrendering to them is tyranny, enslavement or just their version of 'repression'.

Death.

3 comments:

A NEWT ONE said...

Hey!
You are listed as one of the sites linked to us.
Please update the address from http://anewtoneblog.blogspot.com to http://www.anewtone.com

Thanks,
Sonlit

Lady Hawk said...

I hope people from the three branches of American government read your BLOG. I need to e-mail them your web address (along with a set of lessons on chivalry. It is clear our leaders are not aware of and/or are not following the dictates of our forefathers. They are chaos devolving America into an evil dystopia.

A Jacksonian said...

Lady Hawk - That is, indeed, what I have seen during this life of mine in this, the greatest Nation on the planet. And I agree that it is chaos, pure and simple, that is facing us if We as a People, do not take a hand to stem it, guide it, and give direction towards progress.

The purely Evil parts must be addressed as just that: no sugar coating to make the bile sweet. Those that have broken the covenants held between Nations have foresaken mercy so that they may extend brutality and tyranny. By doing things circumscribed by our laws and the agreements we hold in common with other Nations, they place themselves outside this thing known as 'civilization'.

That sweetness that coats such things belies the acid within that corrodes the will to be civilized, have standards and hold others accountable for their conduct. Arming oneself is not a threat to society or guarantee to increase mayhem: it is the Ancient Right to defend oneself, one's loved one's and society when all else is found wanting, and then be accountable for the deeds done to uphold those things.

Helping those that had been under the boot of oppression and tyranny and who suffered until we bring freedom to them then deserve that same Ancient Right: to be able to stand up, declare oneself, arm oneself and *defend* their lives as Free People. We, as a Nation, are Damned if we do otherwise for that is a betrayal of Freedom and Liberty, and the Honor of acting to make things better when threatened.

Three decades back you could, in actuality, find those on the Left who would agree with that, and quite some few on the Right, too. Today, those basic concepts being eroded now threaten not only those that need help to stand, but also our Nation. The price of betrayal of sustaining liberty is the loss of our own.

We are coming upon the Season of the Storms for this Nation. Looking into the wind and stepping forward to start building shelters and helping those that need it is necessary. If we turn and run, the debris cast by the storm shall fell us all... and then we will have no peace... no safety... and the end shall be upon us.

Americans have always reached inside to understand that and feel it and know it. We cannot avoid the storm, but we can confront the reality of it and deal with it to save ourselves. And then see if the storm is of nature or of a huge beast bearing down upon us, with this just the wind before its coming.

Either can kill us.

Both are the death of freedom and liberty if left unconfronted.