Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dissent on biology

I got a interesting, although somewhat cryptic comment on my post "Struggle" from a reader, who goes by the name of Rik.

Rik:
"No, our design is not fixed. Our biology is anything but immutable."

Snouck:
can you provide me with a source for the possibility of modifying the genetic hardwiring that guides behavior? Some kind of genetic engineering?

Rik:
Who should run it? Your argument would apparently rather have unaccountable neo-aristocrats, after the Enlightenment and all that.

Huh? Neo-aristocrats? In my admittedly provocative post I make clear what is undermining the way Western society is run: demography. If you read the articles that I referenced it with (a lot of work, I will admit) you will see that I have been looking for alternative sources of legitimacy apart from the modern state: Kinship and Religion. They precede the secular state in time and have built it up, but now these sources of legitimacy and social order are missing and the State rules on its own. We now are starting to see the limitations on this monopoly of organising the social order. Secular Westerners are weakening in numbers and others are trying to unseat them.

Nowhere in my article is there a direct or indirect reference to Aristocracy. It could be considered an ommission. If you want my 2 cents I do not think Aristocracy will have much chance to gain any influence from the demise of the State. But who knows what lies ahead of us?

Rik:
"I vehemently disagree with you. I think we would do much better if we started an Enlightenment 3.0, that overcomes the present fear of risk and the creeping statism."

Snouck:
Well, since I do not support the notion of Aristocracy gaining credence, you are merely disagreeing with your self. Enlightenment: I am all for Enlightenments. And Light. And Darkness too! I am such a broadminded person. And even retained my modesty despite my humongous greatness!

Rik:
"We - Western Europe - have started democracy, which is slowly but surely conquering the planet and now we're backing off ourselves. Away with it!"

Snouck:
No, we haven't started Democracy. Democracy is the most natural type of social organisation. All early forms of political entities have elections and a strong sense of equility. The fact that Western Civilisation is democratic has a lot to do with their relative youth in relation to the original centres of civilisation: The Middle East, India and China.

So tell me: what is the essence of democracy?

1 comment:

mothmaam said...

Hi. I've been reading your blog on occasion. I loved Holland, and the Pim/Van Gogh events horrified me and frightened me for Holland's future, much moreso than 9/11 did for America's. (Redstater here.) Demographics are undeniably extremely powerful, (witness unbrideled abortion's effect on the last election - how many Democrats were never born and didn't vote for either Bush or Kerry, abortion being 30 years old in America) but there is always the "unexpected event" that completely derails the process. For example, the Black Plague. Bird Flu, anyone? After the "event" demographics change. Secularists have less children than religionists, of any stripe. I suspect this is due to 1) self-involvement (God, children are time consuming) and 2) they have less optimism in their "faith" than religionists. (And I think secularism is as much a faith as any religion. Usually secularists I have met worship environmentalism, but I suppose there are other varieties.)I don't know enough about the history of politics to know if you are correct that democracy is the most natural form of society, and also that it is a feature of a "young" societies. I don't know how democracies are formed. I suspect that there are many, many strategists who think they do know deep in the halls of my government and armed forces, and I pray they know what they are doing. The Allies did have success in Asia in seeding democracy. I hope they are successful in Arabia, but I think this generation lacks the optimism of the generation that conquered and freed Japan and Germany. What is democracy? I keep thinking of the police motto I see on cars all the time "Protect and serve" - it is all that keeps policemen from being dictators and monsters. I think democracy is the restraint and channeling of the power inherit in a mass of people. Religion channels that power for either it's own use (or they would say God's) Democracy tries channels that power for the greater good. Sometimes it succeeds. Sometimes it fails.