[ExI] Civilization, Virtue, and Stress

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Aug 28 05:16:50 UTC 2009

In "Re: [ExI] Tools for improving health care in the USA, now"
Post Futurist wrote:

> Stress? sure, there is no civilization.

Come now, don't be silly.

> America is like ancient Rome.. wealthy, powerful, but no virtue. 

*No* virtue? Again, you exaggerate wildly. And it's
evident that you know very little about ancient Rome.
Whatever corruption, mal-distribution of power and
influence, disregard for individual rights that we
suffer in the modern world, multiply by 10 or 100
to get ancient Rome or Greece.

And as for brutality or intimidation by force, there
is utterly no comparison.

> Dysfunctional families. High crime.

As compared to what, when? Of course, it varies a lot
from neighborhood to neighborhood and city to city in
the West (or in America, as you write), and I'll have to
let others speak for their neighborhoods and cities.

Yes, there are more dysfunctional families in America
than in 1950. Most adults in the slums were married
back then, and relatively few children were born out
of wedlock. But "dysfunctional" in terms of intra-
family tension, alcoholism, and so forth, sadly the
situation has never been ideal.

And that's the eternal problem in the babblesphere
and among the chattering classes: invariably the
comparison is made to an ideal, rather than to anything
real (past or present).

> K-16 Schools that teach students not to think.

As compared to when?

Besides, to me it's not clear at all that you can "teach
someone to think". Yes, some constructivism in education
has been all to the good, but some of it is very bad.
I would guess that most schools and most home-schoolers
are not too far from a happy medium. (I am by no means
saying that things can't improve, nor suggesting that
anywhere near optimal learning and teaching strategies
geared to individuals have yet been found.)

> This country is still fighting not only Vietnam, but also the 
> Civil War; and after 144 years.
> Stress. you betcha.

Okay, there are still echos of both those conflicts,
in both politics and daily life.

But compared to 1909, when the country was nearly at
war with itself (labor vs. business), politically the
country today is quite united.

And leaving politics aside, the *real* stresses of
daily life for almost everyone have nothing at all
to do with those ancient wars or their after-effects.


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