[ExI] Corvid-19

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 28 07:34:04 UTC 2020

On Feb 27, 2020, at 7:50 PM, spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of John Clark via extropy-chat
> >…"delaying" the November election … even the Civil War wasn't considered a extreme enough emergency for that to happen....   John K Clark
> The system was very well-designed.  It has stood through a civil war, two world wars, several depressions and recessions, epidemics and skeptics.

Um, surviving through the two world wears was very different for the US than for, say, participants in Europe or East Asia. So they're not really good tests of social or political stability. And the economic downturns the US has experienced, including the Great Depression, which was really bad from my reading (did anyone here love through as an adult or even a teen?), here don’t seem anywhere as severe as, say, the German hyperinflation in the early 1920s, where the currency system just plain collapsed. (Yeah, the Great Depressions had some analogies of that, but the currency system didn’t collapse.)

Regarding the US Civil War, while it was horrendous, it was mainly fought in the South and wasn’t a civil war in the same sense that, say, the Roman (several), English, Russian, Chinese, or Cambodian civil wars were civil wars. Instead, it was an attempt by the South to break away (to continue its institution of chattel slavery) rather than an attempt to wrest control of the entire nation (as in the other civil wars listed. 

One word of caution too: a healthy young person might suffer all kinds of stresses and shocks or might just be lucky and then one day, later in their life, something that might have seemed minor years earlier lays them low. For instance, bar hopping at 21 seems to have little or no day after issues, but do you know many 41 or 51 year olds that keep up the same pace?

My point here is the US today isn’t exactly the same society or polity as it was in 1865 or 1918 or the 1937 or 1945. Is it better to weather crises of those earlier magnitudes? I don’t know. I think other factors play into this, such as elite coherence and overall social coherence.

That said, I don’t think current conditions will lead to an immediate breakdown of the national political system. I do think the US is kind of reaching the Marian stage of its republic — via analogy with Rome. But like many such analogies, this one is loose and the US is very different from the late Roman Republic. (If it does follow the analogy more closely expect worse than Trump in coming years and for more internal police and military actions.)


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